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Thread: Inter-War RAF Reserves

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    Default Inter-War RAF Reserves

    Dear All,
    I am trying to get my head round the complexities of uniforming Meteorologists, primarily, in the inter-War years. A veritable minefield!
    Malcolm’s rafweb tells us that Class E of the RAF Reserve was:-

    E 1918 1923 Ex-regular airmen. In April 1921, the Air Ministry announced that Class E reservists could not enlist in the Army.
    14 days/year if required for ground trades, 12 hours/year for pilots.
    As far as I am aware there weren't any Regular RAF Met Men in WW1 - they were all HO?

    But Jim Routledge’s paper has:-

    558001 to 558503 May 1927 Section II, Class “E” Reserve Meteorologists.

    Thus there were 502 of these guys who purported to be Met Men (yes, it was solely a male preserve in them days!). Who were they?
    And, more importantly, is there any method whereby RAF databases (and the LG, etc) can be searched by RAF Service number, other than by painstakingly entering each succeeding number into the search box. (Bear in mind I am computer literate – but not expert).
    I have read Ross’ recent erudite Threads on the RAFVR Military Training Act, and I have read Malcolm’s summaries of the various Reserves. I am beginning to get slightly uncomfortable that they don’t fit together as they should.
    I am not suggesting that there is skulduggery, and it seems likely that all the information provided has been distilled, in good faith, from Acts of Parliament, Acts of Air Ministry, and Acts of AHB, etc. But the RAF – in order to get certain Reservists into uniform and ‘off to the war’ did things which were illegal when held up against The Letter Of The Law as passed by our popularly elected government. They certainly did in my case (post-WW2) and I very much doubt that I was not the only one!!!!!
    Can anybody shine a light into these dark recesses – specifically the Class E Reserve Met Men?
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter,

    Class E and Class F reserve continued in use up to 1938/39 as a handy category for listing men for certain Trade Groups.

    Class E in patricular was used to collect those in Trade Group II up to Munich crisis. So the Met men from the trade group who left prior to 1938 were placed into this category along with the newer group II trades being released on completion of service.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?13106-Trade-Groups-(1943-1945)

    Other Class E entries were Imperial Airways Pilots and
    710000 to 710060, 61 men, begins Jan-36, RAF: Class E Reserve (Direct entry) Section II

    All of this suggests a "bucket" category from mid 1930s to collect skilled trades from both military and special civil sources.


    As for Class F most of the published narratives has this class of reserve being phased out in the late 1920s/early 1930s

    If you have a scan through the cards in any of the AIR 78 pdfs you will see a number stamped F, these all relate to prewar service numbers of the expansion period and I strongly suspect that these are men in the extended Class F reserve.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Looking for something else I came across this from Flight dated May 1939 where airmen with previous service are being invited to apply to Officer i/c Records for entry into the Class E Reserve

    So some of your met men could have been enrolled as late as May/June 1939 into Class E

    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1939/1939%20-%201471.html?search=class f reserve

    Regards
    Ross
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    Ross, VMT,
    I'm going through the Met Class E Reserve numbers, one by one, on the LG (slow and boring!!). Up to 558161. The only hits are from WW1, or shortly afterwards. They are all (with one exception) for blokes in the RE. The RE was where WW1 Met Men in uniform were 'parked'. This was slightly disturbing, but I can't (yet) see a pattern appearing. The thought did occur to me that the RAF may have 'lifted' a load of RE Met Men - complete with their RE numbers - into the RAF, but it's early days to pontificate on that! Perhaps Young Officer Routledge may be called upon to pronounce on the possibility - or not - of that occurring!
    Yrs Aye
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter,

    Young Routledge being called upon is reporting, but sad to say has little to pontificate on!. However, these numbers are not direct lifts from the Army and were from a block of airmen numbers - all 503 being taken up. It may well be that they were transposed into commissioned numbers once these were introduced in 1939, and con sequently I would not expect to find any references to their holders in London Gazettes between the wars. As I said, I have litle to say - it is all a mystery to me!

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Dragging this one up from the past, and - basically - to report little, or no, progress but simply to inform.
    I have found only 2 subsequent LG entries for the block 558001-558503.
    1 Is 558016 Cpl Leslie Elliot Fletcher, DoB Q3 1924, Cmd (108092) into A&SD Branch 10 Oct 41 (so that would make him 17?!!!), Transfer to Regt 30 Jun 42. Don't believe it!
    2 Is 558022 Sgt Reginald George Kearsey, DoB Q1 1912, Cmd as Fg Off (177142) into Met Branch 28 Jun 44 (so that would make him 32). This is believeable. Nothing further known.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross_McNeill View Post
    Looking for something else I came across this from Flight dated May 1939 where airmen with previous service are being invited to apply to Officer i/c Records for entry into the Class E Reserve

    So some of your met men could have been enrolled as late as May/June 1939 into Class E

    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1939/1939%20-%201471.html?search=class f reserve

    Regards
    Ross
    Fits with something I found and was looking for more detail on. In his autobiography "High Speed Diary", Reggie Tongue (ex Oxford University Air Squadron) says he was a Class E reservist in 1939 - although he omitted to tell the authorities that he was going to America in August and had to come back in a hurry!

    From the foregoing in the thread, I'm unclear on whether there's a complete list of Class Es? If there is, could somebody point me at it? There are several other bods I'm interested in ...

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