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Thread: 1920s Meteorological Section photo

  1. #21
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    Sorry to come back to this one, but in addition to the Times reference to Harris dated 20 May 1930 (thanks Ken), there was a later one dated 18 April 1933 (thanks Peter for your off-board message). Taking the two together it seems unlikely that the photo, if indeed the Flt Lt is Harris, can be dated to 1928. Harris, a specialist in meteorology, as well as being a pilot, had two 5-year tours in India; the first 1921-26, and the second 1928-33. He started the second tour as PA to the AOC, which means it is unlikely he would have appeared as the rather scruffy (look at his shoes) individual in a met section photo in 1928.

    He was promoted Flt Lt at the end of June 1923, and awarded the DFC in May the following year. This means the photo must have been taken between May 1924 and whichever month he left India to return to the UK in 1926 - I wonder, given the informality, if it was taken just before the end of this tour.

    I've asked the Met Office Library to look at the Annual Reports that include the years 1924, 1925 and 1926, to see what Met Office presence there was in India at this time.

    Watch this space.

    Brian

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    Hi Brian,

    I concur that if it is Harris then the photo is earlier than 1928 due to the medal ribbons.

    I've been looking at his early branch listings and in the April 1918 list he is a Lieutenant in the Dirigible Officers listing.

    In the June 1926 Air Force List he is listed with a Met qualification and as a Supernumerary to HQ Royal Air Force India from 10 Feb 1925 whilst attending course at Staff Ciollege Quetta.

    I'll see if I can find my 1922 list tomorrow.

    Regards
    Ross

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    Thank you Ross. It's always fatal to assume, but the circumstantial evidence certainly points to Harris. Leading on from your last post (and this is another assumption) I wonder if we can date the photo to the winter of 1924-5? Two reasons:

    1. All the men are wearing quite heavy clothing, not what would be expected in a country where it becomes extremely hot in summer. The winter of 1925-6 is discounted as he appears to have been at the Staff College in Quetta.

    2. I suggest he is 'wearing' what appears to be a lamp to indicate he was a 'bright spark' - something that would fit with the grins on most of the faces. He's a 'bright spark; because he's just been selected for the Staff College.

    All right, too many assumptions, but it will give someone a chance to shoot me down.

    Brian

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    Found another Times entry for Harris:

    9 February, 1927 - To RAF Depot, Uxbridge, on transfer to Home Establishment (Jan 10.)

    This should put him in the U.K . from mid-January 1927 until his posting to HQ India, which was effective August 31, 1928 (Times, 8 September 1928).
    Last edited by Ken MacLean; 25th February 2008 at 22:45.

  5. #25
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    Gentleman,
    I certainly hope that it turns out to be Harris (scruffy shoes and all) given the effort you have put in to this.
    I hope that I have made a postive contact with a represntative of his family.
    Too many assumptions? Let them fly high - just like a weather balloon.
    Cheers
    Dave

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    Gentlemen,
    A reply has been received from the daughter of F/Lt Stafford Harris. She has viewed the photo and states that her father is NOT present on it.
    Ah well, collapse of stout party. It was a tempting trail to follow - a Flt Lt AFC/DFC Met specialist - and so much was being found about him.
    Lyffe is exploring the civilian in the hope that he is a meteorologist.
    I plan to try an exhaustive search of interwar years Air Force Lists (and have posted a new thread on this point).
    One more piece of equipment indentification comes from Lyffe that The object on the CO's head is a thermionic valve and part of the W/T apparatus; the flex from the valve seems to be connected to something like a microphone (in his hands).
    So onwards and upwards - nought feet and nothing on the clock.
    Please do watch this thread for future developments, I'm determined to crack it.
    Thank you all so much for your kind inputs.
    Dave

  7. #27
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    Just to add to Dave's post; I'm copying the photo to Hendon in the (faint) hope some help might be forthcoming from that source. As you will appreciate that will probably take some time - so don't hold your breath, you might not be around when an answer comes.

    Ross,

    As this thread is out of the normal time frame of RAFC, thank you for allowing this thread to continue.

    Brian

  8. #28
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    Well,

    At least we have a useful case file in the forum archive to Stafford Berkley Harris , should he ever become the subject of a future thread :)
    Last edited by Ken MacLean; 28th February 2008 at 21:43.

  9. #29
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    Default Photo and medals

    Hi,

    Looking at the Documents Online site, could he be one of these:

    Medal card of Geddes, Alex Ebeneger McLean
    Corps: Attached Royal Flying Corps Meteorological Section General List
    Rank: Lieutenant...
    1914-1920 WO 372/7
    Medal card of Gold, E
    Corps: Meteorological Section/Special List
    Rank: Temporary Captain
    1914-1920 WO 372/24
    Medal card of Cotton, Arthur
    Corps: Meteorological Section Royal Engineers
    Regiment No: 303729
    Rank: Corporal
    1914-1920 WO 372/24
    Medal card of Carter, William
    Corps: Meteorological Section Royal Engineers
    Regiment No: 358530
    Rank: Corporal
    1914-1920 WO 372/24
    Medal card of Brunt, D
    Corps: Meteorological Section attached Independent Force Royal Air Force
    Rank: Temporary Lieutenant /Acting Captain...
    1914-1920 WO 372/24
    Medal card of Read, Ralph Sidney
    Corps: Royal Engineers Meteorological Section
    Rank: Second Lieutenant
    1914-1920 WO 372/16
    Medal card of Absalom, Henry William Lyon
    Corps: Royal Engineers Meteorological Science
    Regiment No: 242458
    Rank: Corporal...
    1914-1920 WO 372/1

    Regards,

    Ann

  10. #30
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    And there I was planning a weekend in my deckchair with Snickers and Martini.
    Thank you Brian for contacting RAFM
    Ken, yes every cloud has that silver lining.
    Ann, thank you for kindly providing the listing from Documents On Line. Lots to chew over there. Thank you.
    On the associated thread 'Air Force List availability' Ross has provided a Met filter from his Inter War Database and Amrit has already lept in to kick off a couple of updates.
    Thanks you to you all
    Dave

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