Dear Association Members,

Next week’s Friends lecture is about the formation and early years of The Royal Flying Corps (RFC). Hugh Rose touched on the subject in his lecture last month on the battle of Arras. I was staggered at Hugh’s description of these early flying expeditions so I think this promises to be an extremely illuminating and interesting lecture. What those brave pilots and crew undertook with incredibly primitive machines and equipment is unbelievable 100 years on. I hope you will be able to join us for this lecture next Monday.


Sarah Riddell-Webster
The Friends of The Black Watch Castle and Museum

Formation and Early Roles of The Royal Flying Corps (RFC)
Monday 8th May 2017
6:30pm drinks reception (drink included in ticket price), 7:00pm lecture commences
£9 non-Friends members | £7 Friends
Reservation 01738 638152 Option 1
Dr Paton will outline the early developments in air flight leading up to the formation of the Royal Flying Corps in 1912. He will describe the first military aeroplanes, pilot recruiting and training, formation of the early squadrons and the tactical experience learned from pre-war exercises which led to six Squadrons being ready for war in 1914. He will use the history of No 2 Squadron RFC which was the first squadron to be deployed to France from its base in Montrose to illustrate typical problems and achievements. He will also touch upon other air warfare assets and technical developments such as radio and bombing to illustrate how the air roles changed as the war progressed. His account will close in 1916 but will look ahead towards the great air battles of 1917-18 and formation of the Royal Air Force which will be addressed in a later lecture.
Dr Daniel Paton | Curator of the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre
Dr Paton was born at Ferryden near Montrose and educated at Montrose Academy. After school, he worked in a foundry and engineering firm in Arbroath before becoming the first economic history graduate from Edinburgh University in 1967. In 1977 he was awarded a PhD - his thesis being on “Drink and the Scots”. During his career, he taught mainly in the Engineering Department of Birmingham City University but also at Edinburgh, Sussex and the Open Universities. In 2001 he retired to the same house in Ferryden in which he had been born and became active in the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre - a small but significant museum set up by local aviation enthusiasts on the site of the former RFC/RAF airfield.