Tuesday 13 September 2011

Hunt for Missing WW1 Air Heroes

From the Royal Aero Club and Ancestry (www.ancestry.co.uk):


The Royal Aero Club (RAeC) Trust and Ancestry.co.uk have launched a worldwide search to uncover missing images of over 200 pioneer aviators.

Family history enthusiasts and local history communities are being urged to help find the images which accompany a number of Aviators’ Certificates held in the Trust’s extensive archive (www.royalaeroclubcollection.org), which includes over 28,000 index records and 34 albums, or “volumes”, containing about 13,000 photographs of early aviators.

Like a modern passport, these certificates were given to pilots who, in the early days of the First World War, successfully completed their initial training through the Royal Aero Club before joining the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) or the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) for active service. The licence required the submission of two photographs, one of which was pasted into the licence; the other was retained by the Club.

“Unfortunately, Volume 4 is missing, so volunteers from the Royal Aero Club Trust are busy compiling a “virtual” replacement album, drawing on photographs from other sources,” explains Andrew Dawrant, a trustee of the Royal Aero Club Trust. “Thanks to Cross & Cockade, the First World War Historical Aviation Society, we now have replacement images in about two-thirds of the cases. But nearly 200 photographs are still missing.”

“We are urging any budding history sleuths, or anyone with an interest or family connection with the early days of flying to go to http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2011/08/08/help-find-the-missing-heroes-of-world-war-i/ or http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/AeroClubTrust_Find-Missing-Heroes1.pdf and help us track these images down, whether they are from personal collections, school photos, newspapers or obituaries.

If you can provide a copy of one of these missing photographs, or if you have any ideas about where may be a good place to look, please email us at royalaeroclubgb@googlemail.com. It is important for us to fill in the gaps in these records, both to commemorate the lives of those brave pilots, and also to provide a complete historical record.”

(With thanks to Annabel at Ancestry)


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