[WWI] Army & RFC connection

Brad & Merville bigglesrfc at sympatico.ca
Tue Aug 23 15:58:57 EDT 2011


The buttons appear to be RAF and, as you say, the shoulder flash. 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Andy Bannister 
  To: wwi at wwi-models.org 
  Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 3:19 PM
  Subject: [WWI] Army & RFC connection

  After a lengthy break I've started looking into my family history again, particularly my maternal grandfather and my great uncle, both of whom served throughout the duration of the first world war. I've managed to find a lot of information on the National Archives site, however I'm struggling to find my great uncle's service record. I know he joined up in 1904, served for well over 20 years and was initially with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment - 47th & 81st Foot. At some point however he transferred to an aerial unit. I'm not sure if he was actually in the RFC/RAF as I can find no record of his air service and in the only picture I have of him he seems to be wearing an army tunic, but with an RAF style eagle on the shoulder. No pilot's or observer's wings so I'm guessing he served in another role.

  Was there army units that were involved in aerial work during the first world war, or would all air fighting be solely the domain of the RFC (or RNAS)? Would army personnel be 'loaned' to the RFC? Or was the RFC still considered an army unit up until it became the RAF? I thought I knew this stuff but the more I look into it the more confused I am and it doesn't help that a lot of the information available in the censuses, birth & death records and military records doesn't always agree with each other!

  I've attached a pic of the dashing fellow. As an aside, my mother told me that she once went downstairs in her late teens and found her mother throwing old family photos in the fire - one of which was a genuine colour picture of my great uncle's biplane taken in the early twenties! How I would love to have seen that....

  Any help or advice appreciated.

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