The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom’s aerial warfare force. It was formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, becoming the first independent air force in the world, by regrouping the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS).
The Royal Flying Corps had initially been founded by royal decree in April 1912. Its strength was 133 officers, and by the end of that year it had 12 manned balloons and 36 aeroplanes.
The Royal Naval Air Service was formed in July 1914 and had 93 aircraft, six airships, two balloons and 727 personnel. Initially an independent military service, the RNAS came under the remit of the Royal Navy in August 1915.
On 1 April 1918, the RNAS was merged with the RFC to form the Royal Air Force. This new organisation, which came under the remit of the newly-formed Air Ministry, had 4,000 combat aircraft and 114,000 personnel.
Commonwealth War Graves – RFC
Bourne, Air Mechanic Eustace (d1917, aged 20, accidental drowning)
Bracey, Second Lieutenant Victor (d1917, aged 19, flying accident)
Liardet, Lieutenant Frederick (d1917, aged 29, wounded in action)
Manning, Air Mechanic William (d1916, aged 25, flying accident)
Marshall, Lieutenant Herbert (d1917, aged 27, flying accident)
McIntosh, Air Mechanic Edward (d1918, aged 18, illness)
Naish, Air Mechanic Walter (d1917, aged 20, cause of death unknown)
Pullen, Second Lieutenant Frederick (d1918, aged 18, flying accident)
Commonwealth War Graves – RNAS
Knight, Flight Lieutenant Ronald (d1917, aged 22, flying accident)
Commonwealth War Graves – RAF
Barclay, Captain Fergusson (d1918, aged 40, flying accident)
Chinn, Air Mechanic Hedley (d1921, aged 20, illness)
Cole, Lieutenant William (d1918, aged 21, flying accident)
Hadlow, Air Mechanic Reuben (d1919, aged 21, illness)
Hatcher, Second Lieutenant Harold (d1918, aged 23, flying accident)
Holdstock, Air Mechanic Herbert (d1919, aged 21, illness)
Jackson-Barstow, Captain John (d1919, aged 23, flying accident)
Leadbetter, Serjeant Nicholas (d1919, aged 42, illness)
Lloyd, Lieutenant Alan (d1918, aged 19, flying accident)
Payne, Major Stanley (d1919, aged 36, illness)
Perkins, Boy Leslie (d1918, aged 17, illness)
Pragnell, Second Lieutenant Sidney (d1918, aged 19, flying accident)
Richards, Corporal Ossian (d1919, aged 21, illness)
Rowell, Captain William (d1919, aged 26, illness)
Scrace, Lieutenant John (d1918, aged 26, flying accident)
Woodland, Second Lieutenant George (d1918, aged 19, flying accident)