View Full Version : Bearded Group Captain at RAF Uxbridge receiving new recruits, 1937

21st November 2015, 21:23
Hello all. This is my first posting on the forum.

I have over the past few days been interviewing my uncle, Stanley R Chambers (546221), who is 99 today, with a view to writing his biography.

We have covered his career from his swearing in on 21st November 1937 (also his birthday) until his retirement in 1958.

One of the colourful characters he spoke of was the Group Captain who received him and his group of new recruits on his first day at RAF Uxbridge.

He had been granted licence by the Air Ministry to wear a beard, and was apparently unique in the RAF on this account.

He had been a pilot in WWI and was captured after being shot down. He was an incorrigible (but obviously unsuccessful) escaper. The Germans therefore decided to tattoo his chin to make it easier to identify him.

Mr Chambers recalled that despite the beard, the purple tattoo could still be seen through it.

Does anyone have a name for this officer?

Thank you

bruce dennis
21st November 2015, 22:19
Hello and welcome to the forum. Have you looked at the Uxbridge ORB for that date?


Steve Brew
21st November 2015, 22:30
Hi d165w3ll (digswell?)

Welcome to the forum.

According to the Air Force List of April 1938, there was one Group Captain on the staff: one Charles Henry Nicholas DFC AFC psa, who had been in the role since 14 July 1936. I wonder if this is your man?

According to the 1960 retired list, this man was born 28 Dec 1894, and was commissioned in the RAF on 1 April 1918, so he certainly fits circumstantially. He can also be seen on Malcolm Barrass' site here: http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Nicholas_CH.htm, though it does not mention him having been a POW.

Hope this helps and I am not barking up the wrong tree, though I am sure someone else will put me right if there is another man that better fits.