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Help regarding Royal Flying Corps and Hursley Park

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MikeMeech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeMeech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2011 at 15:00
Hi Dave
The attached document may be of use.  In my research into Contact Patrols I came across this on the footnote.com website.  It was in the USAS AEF documents section.  It relates to the 'Winchester' Observers School of the RAF in 1918.  A two week course for Observer's was run and also a one week course for Infantry officers.  Classes were run on; Reconnaissance, Contact Patrol, Artillery Observation, Signalling, Hostile Aircraft, Map Reading, Elementary Gunnery and Photography as well as general lectures and church parade!  it also of course included flying.  I hope it is of use.
 
Mike
 
 
 
 
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DaveKey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveKey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2011 at 15:15
Hi Mike,

It certainly is. I've been looking for a bit more detail on exactly what the course entailed. I'd like to try and get hold of some of the original materials (or replicas thereof). I have a description of a gadget with lights to train artillery observation and signals which I'd love to see/recreate (all part of a "cunning plan" to provide some interactive items to show the history of the site ... now as regards the Bomb Disposal ....)

The reference to the Church Parade made me laugh. I recently managed to get a copy of some of the letters of the Chaplain to the RFC at Hursley Park in the spring of 1918. One of his first observations was that his predecessor had closed the Camp Chapel because he was in despair with the pilots who flew on sundays just like every weekday. In the end he had focused his attention entirely on the Military Hospital and the WAACS. Another, not entirely complimentary,  letter about the camp also complained about the lack of a Church (bit rich as the village church was about 300yrds away and the Hospital had a Chapel as well).

However, the Chaplain goes on to say that he re-opened the Chapel and did get reasonable attendance once he'd persuaded the CO to properly schedule it ... so maybe this dates from that change. Would be interesting if it did.

The final comment on the flyers was on Ascension day, when he commented that there was little ascension of mind or spirit ... just of aeroplanes.

Thanks for the post. It's all coming together rather nicely (which makes a change!)

Cheers
Dave     
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DaveKey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveKey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2011 at 13:14
Hi Mike,

Just a quick 2nd Thank you.

I followed up on the reference to footnote.com and found the image you posted plus the rest of the document containing all of the course materials plus at least 3 of the instructors names. So brilliant.

However, I took a gamble and tried looking for other material on Hursley and found the engineers records for the Hospital on the site. They had been refitting the RFC/RAF buildings as wards to extend the capacity of the existing British military hospital as well as building new wards alongside.

Plus references to several of the US Aero Squadrons passing through Camp Standon. Standon is a curious one as there is very little info on it, but Standon was literally the other side of the track running around the edge of Hursley Camp.

So all in all a fruitful little search.

Cheers
Dave
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MikeMeech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeMeech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2011 at 17:50
Dave
Glad I could help, I agree footnote.com is a very useful source.
Regards
Mike
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Simon Birch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon Birch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 08:36
Good Morning.
 
Ref: William Tadgell.
 
If you want a copy of William AIR 76 file PM me know & I will send you a copy without paying for it. I do have a picture of William if you want a copy.

William Christopher Tadgell came from Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. Born 11th April 1899. His Royal Aero Club licence number was 6770 and he took his ticket on 8th Dec 1917 - roughly a month after 65 Squadron went to France. His training took place at Winchester, Reading and Shawbury. I cannot tell you much about his service with 65 Squadron as he appears to have served with the squadron less than a week, and according to the squadron record book only had 2 flights in Camel's No. B2416 and B2419. Both of these flights were on 22nd Jan 1918.I am certain that he never went over the lines. I can send you copies of the squadron record book if you need them. Both of his flights with the squadron were completed without incident.
I have two suggestions as to what happened.

1. Major Jack Cunningham, CO of 65, was known to "test" new pilots before sending them anywhere near the lines. They were sent up and told to perform a set routine of aerobatics. There are about 6 officers who failed this test and were sent home for further training. As most of this Squadron were new to aerial warfare at this time that seems a reasonable plan. It is possible that William failed that test and was sent home from where he went to hospital.

2. According to his AIR 76 file he spent much of the remaining war at home and in hospitals across the country. They are listed on his AIR 76. I do not believe that he was wounded either in the air or on the ground (there are no reports on the aerodrome being bombed or any accidents) on that day. I am certain that whatever happened to him it was not as a result of his flying. So I suspect that he had an existing condition that resulted in much of his war being spent in hospital. I cannot tell you what that condition was. This is my best "shot" but am open to negotiation!!
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