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World War One

  • AVM David Murray
    A moment to reflect

    At 11:00 am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent over Europe and the First World War – the war to end all wars - came to an end.

  • Members of 12 Squadron at an airfield
    Eyes in the sky

    Reconnaissance – the ability to gather information on enemy forces – was catapulted into the modern era during the First World War with advances in aviation and photography.

  • DH.2 aircraft
    A Victoria Cross on the first day of battle at the Somme

    Having paid for his own flying lessons just three years before the Battle of the Somme, Welshman Lionel Rees had no idea what lay ahead of him on the first day of the battle.

  • 25 Squadron FE.2b
    The danger of flight

    Serving as aircrew in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was one of the most dangerous roles in the First World War. Aviation was still a very new science, training was minimal, safety systems were basic to non-existent, and the aircraft themselves incredibly basic and fragile.

  • DH2s of 29 Squadron
    The battle waged from above

    In the week before the land battle began of the Battle of the Somme, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) had been tasked with maintaining air superiority, gathering reconnaissance, and directing the British artillery bombardment of the German front line. 

  • An FE.2b two-seat fighter
    Before the attack

    The Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 2016, as thousands of British troops climbed out of their trenches and into the barbed wire and machine gun fire of No Man's Land. But for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), the predecessor of the Royal Air Force, the battle had begun a week before.

  • Operational centenary for 6 Squadron

    100 years ago today on 6 October 1914, No. 6 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps made its first ever operational deployment.

  • Poppy planting at the Tower of London

    On 21 August, some our staff took part in planting poppies at the Tower of London for its unique WWI commemorative installation. Our Public Relations Officer Samantha Budde was one of the volunteers and in this guest blog she tells us more about the installation that honours the British servicemen who died in the Great War.

  • It was a case of 'every man for himself'

    3 August marked the 100th anniversary of the deployment of No. 2 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps from Montrose Airfield to Dover in preparation for what would become World War One. It was a case of every man for himself in the quest to get to the coast in time to meet the rest of the British Expeditionary Force, who were assembling in preparation to cross the English Channel.

  • No. 2 Squadron: Second to None

    The creation of the Royal Flying Corps on 13 May 1912 saw the founding of the first three squadrons, numbers 1, 2, and 3. And although its numbering forever places it second, the early history of No. 2 Squadron is one of heroic firsts and bears out the Squadron’s informal motto, 'Second to None'.

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