[WWI] Army & RFC connection

Andy Bannister a.bann at ntlworld.com
Tue Aug 23 18:05:45 EDT 2011

Thanks for that Diego, all good ideas. Unfortunately I don't know enough
about the man to figure out exactly what his role was or what training
he had. As my grandmother had a picture of a plane that was referred to
as "his" biplane it implies his was a more specialist role, though his
lack of pilot's or observer's wings suggests he was perhaps groundcrew,
fitter or mechanic, etc. As Brad said, the shoulder flash and buttons
imply RAF, but the tunic seems to be at odds with that....

The medals he's wearing in the pic are the ones that everyone who served
in and survived WWI received postwar - the Victory Medal, the 1914-1915
Star (only for those who served in those years of course) and the
British Medal so no clues there I'm afraid. My grandfather received the
same medals.

Intriguing stuff though! Do let me know the name of that book if you can
though; I'm sure it would be a good read regardless of whether it sheds
any light on this or not.


-----Original Message-----
From: wwi-bounces at wwi-models.org [mailto:wwi-bounces at wwi-models.org] On
Behalf Of Diego Fernetti
Sent: 23 August 2011 21:01
To: wwi at wwi-models.org
Subject: Re: [WWI] Army & RFC connection

> 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?

There is an interesting book about the RFC formation in the 1910s, and  
how it evolved from a subsidiary service to the Balloon Corps to a  
full fledged force in 1918. I'll send you the title later today when I  
return home.
Anyway, he can have served in a wide variety of roles, from being an  
instructor to some specialist trade, even as a memeber of the  
transportation crews or the personnel that carried all the  
administrative and/or other airfield duties.
Did he had any special skill or trade? Was he in charge of some office  
during his other assignments? Did he had training as signalman,  
dispatch rider or telephone technician? Sometimes these services were  
"loaned" from other units and people temporarily allocated to certain  
duties. However it seems like he had enough time in the Air Service to  
have its insignia sewn on the uniform, even when he did not wear the  
usual "maternity jacket" for NCOs in this picture. Have you checked  
how and why he got those medals? Maybe there's a clue there.
BTW he had a wonderful, epic moustache.

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