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JPAE

Sywell Aerodrome.

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JPAE

I've been looking at Roland Holloway's Northamptonshire for an unrelated thread, and come across a photograph of 'Air-ace Tommy Rose, at one time chief instructor and manager at sywell.' The article states he was a Flt. Lt. in the RAF and accounted for more than a dozen enemy aircraft during WW1 and was awarded the DFC. I cannot get any information on the search engine, and wondered if anybody had a little more of a story to tell about this chap.

Phil.

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centurion
I've been looking at Roland Holloway's Northamptonshire for an unrelated thread, and come across a photograph of 'Air-ace Tommy Rose, at one time chief instructor and manager at sywell.' The article states he was a Flt. Lt. in the RAF and accounted for more than a dozen enemy aircraft during WW1 and was awarded the DFC. I cannot get any information on the search engine, and wondered if anybody had a little more of a story to tell about this chap.

Phil.

Not a lot

Captain T Rose DFC is listed in the British aces as having 10 confirmed victories but no more details so far

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JPAE

Thank you, Centurion.

I quote Northampton libraries; 'He became a national hero after breaking the outward and inward Cape record, the former beating Amy Johnson's solo flight by 13 hours. At the age of 53 he won the Manx Air Derby, and was also the winner of a King's Cup race. He is pictured taking stage and film actress Faith Bennett up for a spin. Perks of the job, I guess.

I just thought I should have known a bit about him, especially as his career probably kept going after WW2. I wonder if he rejoined?

Phil.

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centurion
Thank you, Centurion.

I quote Northampton libraries; 'He became a national hero after breaking the outward and inward Cape record, the former beating Amy Johnson's solo flight by 13 hours. At the age of 53 he won the Manx Air Derby, and was also the winner of a King's Cup race. He is pictured taking stage and film actress Faith Bennett up for a spin. Perks of the job, I guess.

I just thought I should have known a bit about him, especially as his career probably kept going after WW2. I wonder if he rejoined?

Phil.

Yes he did

He didn't leave the RAF until 1927 being with no 47 sqn. He then worked for a number of companies including Supermarine but really made his name air racing being particularly connected with the Kings Cup. He also did aerobatic displays at many airfield openings etc sometimes putting on dog fights with German ex air aces (a mite like Waldo Pepper).He did a record flight to South Africa from England taking 3 days 17 hours 38 minutes but the following year crashed when landing at one of the stages in another England South Africa air race. He was involved with some well known names (de Haviland,Penrose etc) in a number of airline startups (not all successful)

In 1939 back in the RAF he had the doubtful distinction of being one of the first to British pilots to be shot down in WW2 when his Hurricane was bounced by a Spitfire in a friendly fire incident at the 'Battle of Barking Creek' The other Hurricane pilot was killed but Rose parachuted down in his pyjamas which he had been wearing when scrambled. He became a Squadron Leader in WW2

He died in 1968 in the Channel Islands where he had retired to.

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JPAE

Another picture shows the Chairman of Sywell during Tommy's managership. John Verney, 20th Baron Willoughby de Broke, MC AFC., who also served in WW1.

The founder members of Northamptonshire Aero Club, Geoffrey and Jack Linnell, are shown too, but dressed as Zulus. I believe these post WW1 club types knew how to party.

Phil.

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Stebie9173

There is an air museum at Sywell that I am sure will have some more details on him.

Well worth a visit if you are nearby. If you are lucky you might be buzzed by a Fokker Triplane that reputedly haunts the area :D

http://www.sywellaerodrome.co.uk/museum.php

Steve.

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JPAE

Thank you so much again, Centurion. Just the story I was looking for, but no idea of the link. Just two months ago I referred to that 'Battle of Barking creek' in a piece from the One Show where the young lady had spoken to the surviving Spitfire pilot about his lifelong guilt about what happened, even though he had a distinguished RAF career in the rest of WW2. Both Spitfire pilots had been arrested and Court marshalled.

Phil

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JPAE

Stebie,

Thanks for the info. I shall have to return, having visited a few years ago but failed to escape the excellent Bar.

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NigelS

A search using 'Tommy Rose' in the Flight archive ( http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/index.html ) finds a lot on his post WW1 exploits, and a number of adverts for products linked to them. Similarly, 'Sywell' also gets a lot of results

NigelS

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JPAE

Nigel,

You are so right! That archive will keep me busy for days. Tommy Rose is now firmly established in my grey matter. Thanks all.

Phil.

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Fovant

Here is a picture of Tommy Rose winning the Kings Cup in circa 1935. The aircraft is a Miles M3 Falcon 6.

This picture has an interesting history. My uncle worked at Woodley with the Miles brothers in the early 1930s before he moved to Supermarine in 1936.

My brother was working for Link Miles on simulators at Lancing in Sussex when they were taken over by Thomsons and the factory was closed and the workforce moved to Crawley.

This picture was framed and hung in the boardroom and was going to be thrown in the skip. Knowing my uncle had worked for Miles, my brother rescued it. It has now passed into my possession.

TommyRoseKingsCup.jpg

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JPAE

Wonderful picture, TJJ. Thank you for posting. Seems Tommy Rose is stirring several stories and memories. Not a lot from WW1 though.

Cheers,

Phil.

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centurion

He appears to have formed the basis of one of the characters in 'Turn Killer' a thriller with an aviation background written by Brian Lecomber. Wing Co Jebedee (no he didn't have a spring up his bum)

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JPAE

Thanks again, Centurion.

I seem to have missed out on this very special character for whatever reason and will do my best to rectify. Perhaps one needed to branch out from WW1 flying to gain notoriety, vis-a-vie Capt.Marandez with his motor-cars and Ivor Novello with Songs!! Simply being a 'middling' ACE, performing stunts, and setting records

60 odd years ago was not original enough for lasting fame. He survived too, and so no controversial 'whodunnit' myths are still doing the rounds. I hope that some more tales from his past are forthcoming.

Phil.

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centurion
Thanks again, Centurion.

I seem to have missed out on this very special character for whatever reason and will do my best to rectify. Perhaps one needed to branch out from WW1 flying to gain notoriety, vis-a-vie Capt.Marandez with his motor-cars and Ivor Novello with Songs!!

Not to mention Billy Cotton with his racing cars and his band - Wakey Wakey

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RobL

A couple of the Sywell chaps post on here, they're rebuilding the replica BE2 used in 'Wings'. I know a couple of guys from the Sywell museum, give us a shout if you want me to put you in touch

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per ardua per mare per terram
In 1939 back in the RAF he had the doubtful distinction of being one of the first to British pilots to be shot down in WW2 when his Hurricane was bounced by a Spitfire in a friendly fire incident at the 'Battle of Barking Creek' The other Hurricane pilot was killed but Rose parachuted down in his pyjamas which he had been wearing when scrambled. He became a Squadron Leader in WW2

Pilot Officer FC Rose (nick named Tommy) was shot down on 6th September 1939, but I doubt if he is the same man as Thomas "Tommy" Rose DFC the WWI ace. Firstly for him to be a frontline Hurricane pilot 3 days after the declaration of war indicates that he was a pre WW2 regular. Secondly FC Rose was photograph with his flight on 3rd September 1939, but he was not wearing the ribbon of the DFC.

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centurion

The reference I found refers to a Flt Lt Tommy Rose DFC and he was a pre war regular having seved until 1927 in the RAF. He would have been familiar with high speed mono planes probably more so than most 'new' RAF pilots

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Name: HULTON-HARROP, MONTAGU LESLIE

Initials: M L

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Pilot Officer (Pilot)

Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force

Unit Text: 56 Sqdn.

Age: 26

Date of Death: 06/09/1939

Service No: 40116

Additional information: Son of Cyril Charles Montagu and Edith Priscilla Hulton-Harrop of Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Row 1. Grave 1.

Cemetery: NORTH WEALD BASSETT (ST. ANDREW) CHURCHYARD

Rest in Peace.

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centurion

I understand that Tommy Rose was in the Royal Auxillary Airforce before the outbreak of war.

"One pilot was killed, but the other (Flight-Lieutenant Tommy Rose) hitch-hiked back in the early morning in his pyjamas in which he had been flying." S African Historical Society

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The incident is extensively covered in The Blitz Then and Now, research by Andy Saunders. This includes the 3rd September 1939 picture of 'B' Flight 56 Squadron including both Pilot Officers ML Hulton-Harrop and FC Rose (as opposed to Flight-Lieutenant Thomas Rose).

Norman LR Franks in Vol. 1 of his RAF Fighter Command Losses of the Second World War (Midland Publishing, Leicester, 1997) also identifies the other pilot as Pilot Officer FC Rose with no reference to a DFC.

When I have the opportunity I may follow up the incident in primary sources, but if anyone has an Air Force List for September 1939 it should show both FC Rose and T Rose.

Edited by per ardua per mare per terram

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Name: ROSE, FRANK CHARLES

Initials: F C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Flying Officer (Pilot)

Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force

Unit Text: 56 Sqdn.

Age: 24

Date of Death: 18/05/1940

Service No: 39901

Additional information: Son of Charles Thomas Rose, and of Ethel Louisa Rose, of Sidcup, Kent.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 8. Row B. Grave 33.

Cemetery: LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY

Rest in Peace.

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JPAE

Thanks RobL, will do. Down at Flore in February for M-in-Law's 80th. Birthday, so Sywell should be on the cards.

Some difficulty over verification of the WW2 Rose, but so far, even without this incident, is not diminishing my interest and admiration for this larger than life man.

Thanks again all, and heres hoping I can quit the Bar in February and give the museum my attention.

Phil.

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per ardua per mare per terram

Unfortunately, the WWI 64 squadron records don't appear on the UK National Archives catalogue and there are several matches for Rose, T in the army officer's service records.

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