Monday, 29 January 2018

Gosport Photographs: Keith le Geyt Lansdowne 1897 - 1984

Keith le Gent Lansdowne aged 17 in 1914 from album 3
Historic Croydon Airport Trust is extraordinarily fortunate to have 3 albums of original photographs taken (mainly) at Gosport 1916-18. They are among the Trust's archival 'crown jewels'. We  knew very little about them before now but can add some information about Keith Lansdowne, who donated them. They have been digitised due to funding given to  this Fighting for Air project from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The photographs appear to have been (mostly) taken by Keith le Geyt Lansdowne, who was born 1897 and served in the Royal Flying Corp then Royal Air Force as an electrician and mechanic. It is likely that he was transferred within the army from his original regiment, where he'd seen action in Belgium, due to the need for electricians in the enlarging RFC.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Pre-War Literature and Attitudes Toward Aerial Bombardment

In the decades preceding the First World War, future war fiction brought the concept of war in the air to the forefront of public imagination. The stories focused on the possibilities of weaponised flying machines, and the danger of failing to acknowledge their potential.

Top of an Australian poster. A German Zeppelin is caught in the
beams of two searchlights © IWM (Art.IWM PST 12259).
The art of posters around the war in the air often drew upon the
images depicted - in word and in image -in the pre-war novels.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Women and Work in the First World War - The War in the Air

The merging of the RFC and the RNAS to form the Royal Air Force (RAF) raised fears about losing their specialised female workforce. The WRAF was formed on 1st April 1918 to create a separate women's air service. Their work was divided into clerks and store women, household, technical and non technical. They were not trained at first and recruited according to their existing skills. 

The Role of Women and Work in World War One - General Background

From the late eighteenth century the Industrial Revolution used the labour of women, both single and married. Most women still worked in domestic service,  though many worked in textile production and even in coal mines. They often worked in poor conditions and treated unfairly, arguably like the plight of women in countries described as ‘Third World’ today. 

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Some of Henry Montgomery Martin’s 1918 Photographs of Croydon

Aerial view of Croydon, 1918
A series of photographs that HCAT has copies of - not the originals - gives a great visual glimpse of Croydon / Beddington aerodrome during the war and occasionally leisure activities in Croydon itself. As we have progressed through the project, we've found some information that assist with some context for those photographs. the photographs belonged to and were probably taken Herbert Montgomery Martin, who appears to have been one of the ground crew based at Croydon / Beddington during the war.