Previous Talk

The Royal Flying Core

The entry below is a synopsis of our speakers talk on 15th December 2015.

A factual and very interesting presentation this week was given by Mr. John Gibson on “The Royal Flying Core”.

John started by outlining the state of our defenses in 1914 where we did not have an air force all we had was the royal flying core (RFC) which was attached to the army, also the navy had a Navel Service (RNAS).

The progress of going from Aircraft for observation-intelligence purposes through the action of sighting for the artillery, delivering spies and carrier pigeons behind enemy lines, intelligence on troop movements etc expanded the reliance of the core. It is said that General Hew Goulding told Winston Churchill when it was proposed that a separate force be set up (RAF) “If you take the planes away from us the German army would soon be walking up Whitehall” due to the amount of intelligence they received from them.

Several photos were shown of the development of aircraft over the period of WW1 and the along with the improvements in communications from dropped bottles with notes in them, single way radios pilot to ground controllers to two way radios, some of the innovations were instigated by the pilots themselves the dropping of bombs by hand to disrupt the enemy’s advancing lines.

John also said such was the advancement of aerial photography from the start of the war to July 1916 that the entire Somme offensive was based on RFC air photographs.

This presentation was well received by our members which struck a memory or two of their own.

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