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Thread: 1920s Meteorological Section photo

  1. #51
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    Thank you gentlemen.

    As Dave summarised earlier, between October 1921 and May 1923 Browning was F/O Technical Duties (Met) at HQ Iraq. My theory is that the photo shows an informal Met Section group celebrating his promotion during the winter of 1022-23 at HQ Iraq. (Winter temperatures in Iraq are similar to more temperate climates, hence the heavy clothing rather than tropical kit.)

    The promotion date you give of 1.1.23, Ross, fits my ideas pefectly. Unfortunately it's still circumstantial.

    Brian

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    Hi Brian,

    "promotion during the winter of 1022-23 at HQ Iraq"

    Well that puts a new slant...

    We need to abandon the RAF List and look at the Army List for before the Battle of Hastings!

    Wonder if he was on King Harold's staff?

    Sorry could not resist it.
    Regards
    Ross

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    Touche!

    Brian

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    Default Browning

    Hi all,

    From the LG, 8th August 1917:

    2nd Lt. L. H. Browning, R.A., from a
    Flying Officer (Observer). 27th June 1917,
    with seniority from 17th May 1916.

    Regards,

    Ann

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    Ann,

    I think we should be careful in the interpretation of Flying Officer at this time. The RAF rank of F/O was not introduced until the RAF's formation on 1 April 1918. Prior to that the term 'Flying Officer' was used to indicate an officer qualified to fly.

    So far as Observers were concerned once they had completed their training, such as it was, they were graded as 'Observer on probation', whilst still retaining their Army rank. They could only be graded as 'Qualified observer' once they had completed a minimum number of operational flights 'in the field'.

    This was not abolished until Nov 1916 when any observer in the field, provided he'd completed the necessary training, was gazetted as Flying Officer (Observer) - but it was not a rank.

    (Summarised from Jefford's "Observers and Navigators".)

    In fact Dave's summary of his career is misleading as it implies he became a Flying Officer on 15.8.17, whereas he should have been graded 'Flying Officer (Observer)' in November 1916. I think the entry you've found means he reliquished his Flying Officer status to become an ordinary 2nd Lt when he reported to RFC HQ Egypt for pilot training - only when that was completed would he have regained his Flying Officer status.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 11th March 2008 at 17:10.

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    Default LG entry

    HI Brian,

    I found that entry on a page of the LG on someone's family history information (Browning was nothing to do with him, just on the same page as his ancestor). There wasn't the page prior to that one which would I think have more info as to what was what.
    I have no success at all with the LG search engine, it drives me to drink almost, so I haven't tried finding the other page.

    Regards,

    Ann

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    Brian,

    "I think we should be careful in the interpretation of Flying Officer at this time. The RAF rank of F/O was not introduced until the RAF's formation on 1 April 1918. Prior to that the term 'Flying Officer' was used to indicate an officer qualified to fly...

    ...I think the entry you've found means he reliquished his Flying Officer status to become an ordinary 2nd Lt when he reported to RFC HQ Egypt for pilot training - only when that was completed would he have regained his Flying Officer status."

    Actually, Flying Officer as a rank was not introduced until August 1919 (when the regular RAF was established).

    I think it unlikely that he would have had to relinquish his Flying Officer (Branch) status when training as a pilot. As a qualified observer he was still entitled to remain there, even if in due course he failed his pilots course.

    Errol

  8. #58
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    There's a fair amount of work on this thread going on behind the scenes, and my colleague and I have good reason to think the location is either Abu Sueir in Egypt (probably the stronger contender) or Baghdad or Basra in Iraq. Without meaning to state the obvious, both countries experience very high temperatures for much of the year, but the winters are relatively cold. The fact that the group in the photo is wearing clothing that is unsuitable for tropical temperatures suggests the photo was taken during the winter.

    Can anyone tell me during which months tropical kit would have been worn? I'm guessing at Mar or April to November.

    Brian

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    Default Lancelot Harold Browning

    HI all,

    Found 2 entries on family trees with this man in them (both on Rootsweb). I have e mailed the posters of the trees, one e mail bounced back and I haven't heard anything as yet from the second. However, these may not prove to be of any use as the posters had an awful lot of names on their trees and the relation to Browning may be very distant.
    I'll let you know if any useful information appears. It appears that his father's name was (Bertie - have found that he seems to have been referred to as B. Percy Browning) Percy and the mother's name was Amy Isabelle (Isobel) Allom:
    They were living at Whitchurch, Herefordshire at the time of Amy's death in 1933. It might be worth while looking for an obit for Lancelot in a Whitchurch local paper (it could contain a better photograph).

    Regards,

    Ann

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    Have just returned from Kew and have notes to type up and submit in the next few days. We can certainly confirm Browning as on Met postings in the early 1920's in Iraq, but time was too short foir me to persue AIR 5 into Egypt for Abu Sueir.
    Like you, Ann, I have pursued the family angle with the same results from Rootsweb.
    Brownings father was a schoolteacher, and Browning Jnr attended his father's school. Grandfather Browning was a solicitor.
    The Alloms are interesting, Lancelot's grandfather Thomas was an architect (a founder of RIBA) and also an accomplished artist.
    Alas for Lance, his engaement to Nancy Trollope was abortive, she went on to marry another in 1925, but alas died young in 1933.
    Lance was buried back home at Whitchurch. The local press angle is an excellent one to have a go at.
    Dave

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