Search results for RFC.

20 August 1897 : Cpl / Flt. Cdt John Arthur Wilson MM

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As a boy, after Sunday lunch, I recall sitting on my grandfather's knee and he would start off with the line ‘have I told you about the time ...' and he'd then add, ‘.... we were gassed' or '.... we took a German prisoner' or '..... I was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps'. Perhaps this started my interest in history. In his 96th year Jack r…


12 August 1914 Lt Robin Reginald Skene, Royal Flying Corps

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Robert Skene, the son of Felix Skene, the Chief Clerk of the Judicial Office of the House of Lords,  was born in Surrey on 6 August 1891. Known as 'Robin', at the time of the April 1911 Census, the 19 year old was a clerk at the Royal Exchange Insurance Office and living with his parents and 3 siblings and their housemaid, at 47 Addison Gardens, K…


010: Spring 1984

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030: Winter 1990

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083: August/September 2008

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100: June 2014 Centenary Edition

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Fallen Eagles: Airmen Who Survived the Great War Only to Die in Peacetime

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In his introduction, Norman Franks states that he came across a list of RAF officers who died between the end of the First World War and the end of 1928 while surfing the internet. Rationalising the lists, he identified ninety-three who had distinguished themselves in the war only to die in the peace ‘they had so valiantly fought for.’ The result …


Captain Horace Coomber

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Captain Horace Coomber By Gareth Morgan    This article first appeared in the Australian Society of WWI Aero Historians and is published with the kind permission of the author.    The Manchester Regiment and 45 Squadron R.F.C. By Gareth Morgan   “The most popular officer we ever had” Many airmen who lost their lives during the Great War …


27 July 1917 : Lieutenant Ivan Beauclerk Hart-Davies

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4th son of Rev. John Hart-Dacies and Emily (née Beauclerk) of Southam Rectory, Warwick Educated at Clifton College, and King’s College, Canterbury.   Ivan started his career as a school teacher at New Beacon, Sevenoaks but turned to running a life and motor insurance business setting up an office on Bank Street, Rugby in 1907. He held the what …


April Fools? The Formation Of The RAF with Andy Robertshaw

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The renowned historian, author and TV presenter Andy Robertshaw makes a welcome return to the branch to present what has become his annual New Year talk to the branch. This year Andy presents a brand new talk all about the Royal Air Force which was formed 100 years ago on the 1st April 1918, when the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Ai…


Understanding the Ledger Indexing

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This article aims to set out some of the technical aspects of the indexing of - and subcategories that make up - the 'ledgers' in The Western Front Association's collection of Pension Record Cards. These ledgers have been scanned and digitised by our partner, Ancestry.co.uk and are available on their fold3 website. These are now available for WFA…


'Rikki' Little: Australia's Greatest Ace

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As the ‘Camel’ pilot approached dark shape in the gloom of the late May evening, he recognised it as a Gotha bomber – one of those that had been reported in the area that evening. Captain Robert Little - ‘Rikki’ to his comrades at 203 Squadron - could make out enough of the enemy machine in the moonlight to be confident that he would be able to bri…


7 April 1917 : 2nd Lieut. George Orme Smart

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Parents Arthur (a cotton waste manufacturer) and Edith (née Orm (a bunting and flag manufacturer).  At the 1891 Census, age 4 he was at home with his parents, four siblings, a nursery maid and cook. At the 1901 Census, age 14, George was a Yarlet, a private boarding school north of Stafford - a feeder prep. School for Uppingham.  At the 1911 Cens…


8 June 1919: Lt William ‘Billy’ Nichol Wilson

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Father Twentyman Wilson and mother Sarah were both from Cumberland. The family lived however 55 miles away in a cottage in Shotley Bridge, County Durham. To his parents William was known as ‘Willie’ to his five brothers  ‘Billy’. The third of six boys, Billy grew up in Shotley Bridge. His father Twentyman had started out in domestic service as th…


The Great War March Casualities

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During the early years of the war, March on the Western Front was a time of preparation for the spring offensives both sides knew would come as soon as the ground had dried out sufficiently to make a successful advance a real possibility. As a result there was only one Lewes casualty in March 1915 and two in 1916. March 1917 brought seven fatalitie…


17 June 1917: 63582 AM3 Frank Waddington, Royal Flying Corps

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Born in Burnley, Lancashire in 1893, Frank was initially lived with his mother and grandparents until his mother re-married. Employed from the age of 12 (part time) as a weaver in nearby Earby, Frank enlisted in 1917. The son of Mrs I Greenwood of West Lea, Chapel Lane, Grassington, Skipton he had a younger brother Victor and Doris. Age 12 the boy…


Jonathan Vernon BA, MA (Oxon) MA ODE (OU) , MA (WLV).

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  Jonathan has degrees in Geography (Oxford), Open and Distance Education (Open University) and British History and the First World War (Birmingham & Wolverhampton) and is a graduate of the School of Communication Arts (London).  He had a career in video & TV production in the UK and France first and then moved to online education in 20…


14 January 1917: 2nd Lieut. George Allan Exley

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Only son of John Exley of Farr Road a pharmaceutical chemist and his wife Mary Elizabeth. George was living on Cemetery Road, Holbeck (1901 Census) and then at the 1911 Census, on Farr Royd, Burley-in-Wharfedale. George went to Ilkley Grammar School, and was a student at the London College of Pharmacy, Clapham at the outbreak of the war. He had…


CANCELLED 'Albert Ball and His Aircraft' with Brett Goodyear

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Brett Goodyear will present the Bill Fulton Memorial Talk on a subject that Bill used to present himself 'Albert Ball' at the Royal British Legion in Hornchuch the 2020      NOTE: The map on the 'Events Details' is not correct for this venue


'The experience of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front' with Graham Kemp

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Graham Kemp will be giving a talk on the experience of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front during the First World War.    IMAGE: Observers and pilots of No. 22 Squadron at Vert Galand aerodrome, 1 April 1918. Each of them had brought down at least three German aircraft.  © IWM (Q 11993) 


'Missing-Died-Survived. The Senior Brothers and The Great War' by Guy Senior

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‘Missing-Died-Survived’ is a rich, complex, family story told by the the grandson of the brother that survived. In his new book, Guy Senior, weaves together a collection of letters home from the Western Front, qualified with original records and privately held photographs from family, and family friends.  Joseph Senior served alongside Norman Ma…



The Contemptible Little Army, 1914 -1918

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By Alex Saunt   The story of the expansion and development of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 1914-1918 and how the Contemptible Little Army became a huge, effective machine.   BEF AND THE START The possible conception: In 1904 King Edward, having decided our pretty frosty relationship with France should be improved, went to Paris with the…


"Leadership in the RFC and RAF" by David Spruce

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This presentation will be exploring the different aspects of leadership of the newest branch of the British forces and how it developed during the conflict. 


24 March 1917:  2nd Lieut. Richard Patrick Hemphill

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To parents Rev, Samuel and Flora (née Delap). The family lived at Townparks, Birr Urban, King’s County, Ireland.  Educated at Chesterfeild School and St Columba’s College, Rathfarnham, Dublin and Campbell College, Belfast. ‘Pat’ was a member of the OTC and a medical student a Trinity College, Dublin. He was an active member of the Student Volun…


29 March 1915: 2nd Lieut. John Ollis Mullins RFC

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Parents E. Roscoe Mullins (sculptor) and Alice (née Felton) of West Heath Avenue, Hampstead.  Educated at University College School, London. At the 1901 England Census, John, age 9, with his parents, three other siblings (older brothers Geoffrey and Claude, and sister Ida), a boarder (a sculptor student) and two domestic servants.  9 January 1…


The Sky Their Battlefield by Trevor Henshaw (reviewed by Peter Hart)

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Fetubi Books, ISBN: 9–780–992–977–115 (softback) £40.00 ISBN: 9–780–992–977–108 (hardback) £50.00  This is the most important book published on the Great War this year. The first edition produced back in 1995 seemed unbeatable, but this is even better. Revised from top to bottom it covers the carefully indexed contributions to the air war of som…


17 June 1917 : Air Mechanic Frank Waddington

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Parents Isabella Waddington and step-father Barker Greendwood . At the 1911 Census the family, now including three children, lived on Lincoln Rd, Earby, where Frank, his step-father, mother and the children, even the 12 year old (part-time) worked at the nearby cotton mill as cotton weavers.  A keen artist in his spare time, Frank enlisted into t…


16 June 1918 : Capt. William Ernest Dawson, RFC

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Son of William Frederick Dawson (Timber Importer) and Margaret (née Simkin) of Llantarnam Hall (now Rougemont School) nr Newport. At the 1901 Census when William was 6 years old, he was at home with his parents, his 4 siblings, a niece and aunt, 2 visitors (timber merchants) and 4 servants. They were living in the large Victorian mansion of Llan…


A Tragedy at Glamis Castle

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In 1915 an R.F.C. aeroplane, crewed by two newly-qualified pilots, crashed in the grounds of Glamis Castle in Scotland, witnessed by a teenage girl who went on to become a Queen and, later, Queen Mother.  Here we look at the story behind that fatal accident. The Castle and the Bowes-Lyon Family Glamis Castle (below), sometimes described as Scotla…