ROYAL FLYING CORPS 1914 - 1918 We
have had a few WW1 R.F.C. 'names' passed on to us from
around Hawke's Bay.
Perhaps, others can be added from local families. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Neville Harston R.F.C.
Returned from action in France Click image to enlarge →
Flight M/ Geoffrey Cato R.F.C. 1914-18
Killed in France.
F/LT Ivan Kight R.F.C. wounded
in France. Returned to New Zealand.
Captain T.W.White R.F.C. Pilot.
Returned to NZ.
Became Commanding Officer R.N.Z.A.F. Levin then
Rongotai,(previously Chief Pilot for East Coast
Two other R.F.C. pilots...Captain Malcolm McGregor MC DFC and
Captain Harold F. Beamish.
Edmond Stewart R.F.C. pilot 1914-18
(CLICK PICTURE TO ENLARGE)
aviation began April 1911 with the formation of
the Air Battalion, Royal Engineers.
The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was formed around
that battalion in April 1912.
There was no shortage of volunteers, and they
were picked from the best men in the army.
The British Army used its aircrafts for
Initially, they were unchallenged by rival
aircraft, but as intelligence gained from the air
was realised, duels broke out between Allied and
armed with only rifles, pistols and grenades.
visit www.overthefront.com for more info.
BE2c No. 2679 Hawkes
Bay New Zealand
In WW1 and WW2,
provincial patriotism abounded.
One project that became "the order of the
day" in many NZ cities and towns,
was to fund the purchase & presentation of an
aircraft to a NZ squadron on overseas service.
Graham Duley has on this most interesting story
of a first world war aircraft,
funded from donations to represent Hawkes Bay.
World War One aircraft were presented to the
Royal Flying Corps (RFC)
from public subscriptions raised throughout
Britain and the Commonwealth.
Around the middle of 1915, a campaign across the
Hawkes Bay Province raised about £1,500
for the "Overseas Aeroplane Fund".
Subscribers' names and amounts were published in
The Hawkes Bay Tribune of 20 August 1915
reported the following cable, received from the Army Council in London: "Army Council desires
expression their great gratitude be transmitted all subscribers ". A few days later another
item concluded with: "The secretary has sent
the following cable to England:-
'Money cabled. Call Aeroplane Hawkes Bay,
Lady Russell, 19 Tedworth Square,
"presentation" aircraft was a BE2c No.
"Hawkes Bay New Zealand."
Rushton Proctor at Lincoln built it under licence
from the Royal Aircraft Factory
and a 90 horsepower RAF 1A engine powered it.
ceremony shown in the photograph - above - was
Farnborough airfield, (England), in mid-September
Lady Russell is presumed to be the person
performing the "christening"
(any confirmation of this would be appreciated).
aircraft then went to war, issued to No. 6
Squadron RFC in France, 18 October 1915.
It was damaged in combat on 19 December 1915 but
the crew were unhurt and may have
damaged an opponent. After repair it was again
damaged in a forced landing
on 9 April 1916 & struck off RFC charge.
name Hawkes Bay was later used on two other WW1
a Martinsyde G. 102 Elephant (No A6284), that
went to France on 30 August until
eventually struck off RFC charge on 18 March
and an FE2b (No E7037) whose history is largely
unknown at this point except that
it was struck off RFC charge on 18 January 1919
(help about these would also be appreciated).
Public fund-raising around NZ to purchase
presentation (or subscription) aircraft also
happened in WW2.
In all, twenty Spitfires were purchased for 485
(NZ) Squadron serving in the RAF,
and at least two were named "Hawkes
Two of our
members, (Charles Black and Dudley Payne),
rounded up this menu from somewhere.
They set themselves quite a task unravelling the
owners of the signatures.
dinner was part of a 3-day reunion,
12th. to 14th.Feb. 1965
at the Hawkes Bay Club, Marine Parade, Napier.
surviving NZ WW1 pilots & ground crews,
it would be the last reunion.
the pilots flew in Mesopatamia with the
Australian Royal Flying Corps. True Anzacs.