[Cross posted from the RAF Museum]

As part of the RAF Museum’s First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lecture Series, C.G. ‘Jeff’ Jefford will speak on ‘Flying Training in the Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force, 1912-1918’.


Talk Outline

Flying training remains an understudied area of First World War in the Air. However, it was a vitally important process for preparing officers and men for the rigours of combat. In this talk, C.G. ‘Jeff’ Jefford will explore this important area from the pre-history of flying training in the British Army’s Air Battalion through to the major restructuring of 1918. The talk will cover some of the key challenges such as expansion after the declaration of war, the diversion of prospective service squadrons in 1915 to function as training schools and the reorganisation of methods by Major Robert Smith-Barry in 1917. The latter was a key moment in the evolution of flying training and Smith-Barry was later described by Marshal of the Royal Air Force as the man who ‘taught the air forces of the world how to fly’.

Location and Time

This lecture will be held in the museum lecture theatre at 12:30PM on Friday 15 May 2015.


This lecture is free of charge however we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited. Booking is quick and easy, we just need some basic contact information.


About Wing Commander (ret’d) C.G. ‘Jeff’ Jefford

C.G. ‘Jeff’ Jefford served with the RAF between 1959 and 1991, the bulk of his flying experience being gained as a navigator on Canberras and Vulcans. He is the author of the important work, Observers and Navigators, which has just been republished in an updated and expanded edition. He has also written a further two aviation books and has edited the Journal of the RAF Historical Society since 2000, and is a member of Cross and Cockade International.

RAF Museum Research Programme

The First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lecture, funded by the HLF, forms part of our Research Programme for 2015. This programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies and other events such as conferences. More details can be found in our leaflet, which can be downloaded here.

Details of our conference, ‘From ‘Shooting the Front’ to Combat ISTAR: The Evolution of Aerial Intelligence and Reconnaissance’, can be found here.

For more details about the RAF Museum’s research programme, please email our Aviation Historian, Ross Mahoney at ross.mahoney@rafmuseum.org

BAE Systems and the Heritage Lottery Fund support our First World War in the Air programme of events.


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