Search results for RNAS.

When the Navy Took to the Air: The Experimental Seaplane Stations of the Royal Naval Air Service

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Reviewed by Niall Ferguson. Those hoping to read of the exploits of the RNAS on the Western Front will be disappointed since the secondary title of this volume provides a better description of the contents than the primary. While there is some description of aerial action, it reflects only on the culmination of research and experimentation at plac…


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…


24 December 1914 : Flt Sub-Lieut Bernard Osbourne Ffield

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Bernard was the son of John Bernard Ffield (an 'importer of foreign produce) and Emma Ivory Beatrice Ffield. He was the older brother of two sisters, Barbara and Antoinette, and two brothers: Cyril and Paul. At the 1901 Census the family were living in Chelsea. A decade later at the 1911 Census the family had moved to Edgbaston, Birmingham.  B…


On-Line Joint Meeting with Cheltenham Branch (1)

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In another joint on-line meeting with the Cheltenham & Gloucester branch, our own James White will speak on Rex Warneford VC and his exploits in destroying a Zeppelin over Ghent in 1915. This presentation is based on the one prepared for the very successful Wiltshire Branch Great War Centenary Event in 2015.   All members and guests are welco…


10 January 1916 : Percival ‘Percy’ Victor Fraser

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His parents were William and Annie (née Grieve). Percy, as he was known, had three younger brothers, two of whom died ages 3 and 17. He came to England before the war and worked as a marine engineer before the war. During the war he was based at the Eastbourne Naval Air Station, Hampden.  He gained his Aviator's Certificate on 14 May, 1915…


"A Fine Feat of Arms" - The Zeppelin Base Raids, Autumn 1914 by Ian Castle

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The decreasing impact of Omicron allows us to return to Cobham for our February meeting although we will continue to stream on the Zoom platform for those who, for whatever reason, prefer to join us on line. We welcome back to Cobham Ian Castle, an acknowledged authority on the air war. In the summer of 1914, as Europe teetered on the brink of war…


'From Flying Dreadnought to Dogfighter - The Troubled Birth of the British Fighter' - Greg Baughan

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On Wednesday 11th of October we welcome Greg Baughan to our Hornchurch venue, to present his first talk to the Essex Branch. This talk destroys many myths about WW1 fighter development. Part talk, part detective story, it explains how the importance of air superiority was understood long before the Great War began, explores how naval influence dela…


'A Long Way from France & Flanders - Experiences of British Military Personnel in South Russia 1916-1920' - Alan Wakefield

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After a long break we welcome the return of Alan Wakefield to Hatfield Peverel.  This talk covers the RNAS armoured cars under Oliver Locker-Lampson and the various British forces sent to south Russia as part of the Intervention at the end of the First World War. These units fought in the Caucasus alongside the White Russian Army. This is an area …


‘Observation Balloons on the Western Front – an "over view" ' by Vernon Creek

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About this talk: Many groups of combatants could claim to be the unsung heroes of the Great War. But the men flying observation balloons must have a particularly strong claim. Operating at 1200-1800 meters above the front lines, the crew had nothing between their feet and the ground but a centimetre or two of wicker basket. The crews (or 'balloonat…


'The RN Air Service in the First World War' with Phil Tomaselli

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Phil Tomaselli will be talking about the early RNAS pioneers who flew off ships, developed the first proper bombers, shot down the first Zeppelin and much more.