Old Photograph Royal Flying Corps Montrose Scotland

Old photograph of the Royal Flying Corps by Montrose, Scotland. In 1912, the British government planned twelve Air Stations operated by the Royal Flying Corps. Under the instructions of the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, the first of these was at Montrose, allowing aircraft the ability to protect the Royal Navy bases at Rosyth, Cromarty and Scapa Flow. On 13 February 1913 five aircraft of No. 2 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps took off from RAF Farnborough under the command of Major C J Burke. The 450 miles journey north was completed in a series of stages over the following 13 days. The aircraft landed at Upper Dysart Farm on 26 February, 3 miles South of Montrose, thus making it the first operational military airfield to be established in the United Kingdom. Not considering the site ideal, after surveying the area Major Burke gained agreement to move the base to Broomfield Farm, 1 mile North of the town. World War I started on 28 July 1914 and in August of that year No.2 squadron moved to France. The first pilot to land in France after the declaration of war was Lieutenant H.D. Harvey Kelly of No.2 Squadron RFC. Another of the squadrons’ pilots, 2nd Lieutenant W B Rhodes Moorhouse became the first pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Unfortunately it was awarded posthumously on 26 April 1915.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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