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Remembered Today:

Royal Flying Corps

David Seymour

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I would be grateful for assistance on a couple of questions relating to recruitment to the RFC in 1917.

Arthur Robert Melbourn, an Old Boy of Thetford Grammar School whom we will feature in our Remembrance Service on 11 November, attested on 4 July 1917, aged 18 years and 1 month, at South Farnborough and seems to have been given the rank of Air Mechanic 3rd Class. On 7 November 1917 he was discharged as 3AM “…his services being no longer required having been appointed to a temporary commission…”. (WO339/114544)

1. Was this the usual procedure for those who wished to become aircrew?

2. As the period in question is after the introduction of conscription how did Arthur manage to find his way to S. Farnborough and his chosen vocation? Is there any way of knowing from his War Office record whether he volunteered or was conscripted? Would he have had the option?

Many thanks for any help you can give.



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