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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Another "Trying to identify these men" photo


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My Grandfather, 2Lt AGS Blake, stands on the right in the attached photo. I do not know when or where it was taken, nor the names of any of the other men in the photo and am posting it here in hopes that someone will recognize their own ancestor and appreciate a "new" photo and/or shed light on where and when it was taken. My grandfather's first solo flight was 4 Apr 1918 while assigned to 36 Training Squadron at RFC Montrose, so I assume since he is wearing wings that the photo was taken sometime after 4 Apr. He joined the 209th Squadron early in July 1918 and was shot down on the July 25th near Geluveld, Belgium, while piloting Sopwith Camel 40 # D.9621, so it was sometime earlier than 25 July. Thanks in advance for your help!

AGS Blake standing on right.JPG

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Hi Andy and welcome to the forum.

Not an expert but isn't that snow on the ground? Not sure if that fits with the dates you are thinking of.

Also quite a mix of uniforms to my untrained eye.

Experts will be along shortly....

David

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Looks like a group of RFC/RAF types to me. No foreign Johnnies. Not likely to be a POW: probably in Scotlandshire in the winter of 1917/18, though as he wears his 'wings' it must post-date April. Was it a tough Spring that year?

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Historical weather reports can be found here:

 

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/library/archive-hidden-treasures/monthly-weather-report-1910s

 

That for April 1918 says "In Scotland much cold weather, with a good deal of gloom and some fog and mist, was experienced, but during the fourth week there was a considerable rise in temperature, especially in the western and southern districts. Snow and sleet occurred, except in the western districts, towards the end of the third week, a fairly heavy fall being experienced on the night of the 19th-20th."

 

According to 2-Lt. Blake's service record he was assigned to 36 Training Squadron on 21st February 1918 / RFC Montrose 22nd February 1918. He went to 18 Training Squadron (which was also at Montrose) on 27th April, then 1 Fighting School (which was at RAF Turnberry apparently, in South Ayrshire) on 25th June.

 

The snow on the ground would seem to fit with a photograph taken at Montrose on or around 20th April 1918. Perhaps a group of newly qualified pilots ?

 

Bart

 

 

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