Author Topic: Royal Air Corp - Service location?  (Read 744 times)

Offline HarrisPG

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Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« on: Friday 24 November 17 21:43 GMT (UK) »
Hello,
I have recently discovered that my grandfather Benjamin James HARRIS b. 7.4.1881 was a Air Mechanic 1st Class in the RAC (Army) Service No. 38112. He signed up 19.7.16 and was discharged at Shrewsbury 30.11.20. Other than the above I do not know anything about his service record and the locations he was based at?  Any help/advice would be most appreciated.

In anticipation... Paul Harris

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Offline newburychap

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 24 November 17 22:33 GMT (UK) »
There was no Royal Air Corps.

The Royal Air Force was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps (army).

Your chap started with the RFC and went to the RAF with everyone else on 1 Apr 1918. 

He served at NARD (Northern Aircraft Repair Depot) - Coal Aston, Derbyshire as an Air Mechanic class 2 from 19 Jul 1916 to 1 Oct 1917, He was then promoted to Air Mech 1. On 27 Mar 1919 he was posted to the DC (Dispersal Centre) at Heaton Park, Manchester. On 25 Apr 1919 he was transferred to the RAF Reserve - ie he was demobbed and went back to civilian life. He may well have done so almost as soon as he arrived at Heaton Park - discharge papers often took a view weeks to catch up with what had happened.

A year later he was discharged from the Reserve - ending his commitment to return to the RAF if war flared up again.

The only mention of Shrewsbury in his record is as the place were he would have to report if he was recalled from the Reserve.
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Offline HarrisPG

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 24 November 17 23:19 GMT (UK) »
Many Thanks Newburychap  :)

Am I to take it that he would have spent his time on service in UK then?

Offline newburychap

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 25 November 17 01:14 GMT (UK) »
Yes, no overseas service.
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Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #4 on: Monday 25 December 17 00:49 GMT (UK) »
There was no Royal Air Corps.

The Royal Air Force was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps (army).

Your chap started with the RFC and went to the RAF with everyone else on 1 Apr 1918. 

He served at NARD (Northern Aircraft Repair Depot) - Coal Aston, Derbyshire as an Air Mechanic class 2 from 19 Jul 1916 to 1 Oct 1917, He was then promoted to Air Mech 1. On 27 Mar 1919 he was posted to the DC (Dispersal Centre) at Heaton Park, Manchester. On 25 Apr 1919 he was transferred to the RAF Reserve - ie he was demobbed and went back to civilian life. He may well have done so almost as soon as he arrived at Heaton Park - discharge papers often took a view weeks to catch up with what had happened.

A year later he was discharged from the Reserve - ending his commitment to return to the RAF if war flared up again.

The only mention of Shrewsbury in his record is as the place were he would have to report if he was recalled from the Reserve.

Hi Newburychap,

You seem to have a good handle on RFC records.  I recently discovered that a Great Uncle served as an Aircraft Mechanic in WWI.  I have his service number, enlistment date in Feb 1915, and his promotions up to the rank of Sgt Mech but I have no idea where he served, other than that it was in the UK, until he was accepted for pilot training in November 1917.  He eventually went to France in September 1918 flying Bristol Fighters on 11 Sqn. 

Do you have any suggestions where I might find where he served prior to his pilot training?

Many thanks,
Mark 


Offline newburychap

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 28 December 17 01:58 GMT (UK) »
Hi Newburychap,

You seem to have a good handle on RFC records.  I recently discovered that a Great Uncle served as an Aircraft Mechanic in WWI.  I have his service number, enlistment date in Feb 1915, and his promotions up to the rank of Sgt Mech but I have no idea where he served, other than that it was in the UK, until he was accepted for pilot training in November 1917.  He eventually went to France in September 1918 flying Bristol Fighters on 11 Sqn. 

Do you have any suggestions where I might find where he served prior to his pilot training?

Many thanks,
Mark

If it doesn't say on his service record (which might not be too concerned with his pre-officer career) then I don't know where else to look. Sorry.

You might try the Great War Forum  - if more records exist someone there will know about them.
 
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Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 28 December 17 03:52 GMT (UK) »
If it doesn't say on his service record (which might not be too concerned with his pre-officer career) then I don't know where else to look. Sorry.

You might try the Great War Forum  - if more records exist someone there will know about them.

Yeah, that's about what I suspected.  My relative has 2 of the 2-page records of service which both contain different data from his time as a pilot.  I suspect his earlier record as an Aircraft Mechanic was thrown away once he completed pilot training.  It's a shame because I'd love to know where he served for the first 31 months of his service.  Maybe something will come up...but I suspect I have all there is to find, which is still more than many families have whose WWI records were lost.

Offline newburychap

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 28 December 17 13:30 GMT (UK) »
There is a vague chance that his pre-commission records was in the burnt records (worth checking in case it was and survived the fire).

You should also check officers' records at TNA (WO 339 and WO 374) - I have only researched one RAF officer and his file was there - 40 or so pages of it.

His Aviator's Certificate card would show when he qualified as a pilot, where and what he was flying.
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Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Royal Air Corp - Service location?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 29 December 17 02:02 GMT (UK) »
There is a vague chance that his pre-commission records was in the burnt records (worth checking in case it was and survived the fire).

You should also check officers' records at TNA (WO 339 and WO 374) - I have only researched one RAF officer and his file was there - 40 or so pages of it.

His Aviator's Certificate card would show when he qualified as a pilot, where and what he was flying.

Thanks for the suggestions, Newburychap.  I checked out WO 339 and 374 and, alas, no joy.  I can also find no Aviator's Certificate card for him, nor does he appear in the burnt records.  So it looks like I've discovered all there is to find.

Really do appreciate the suggestions.

Kind regards,
Mark