No. 35 Squadron formed at Thetford Aerodrome (Norfolk) [from a nucleus of No. 9 Squadron] on 1st February 1916. It spent the rest of the year working up to operational strength, in readiness for mobilisation to France

Stationed at:

  • 01/02/1916: Thetford (Norfolk)
  • 16/06/1916: Moved to Narborough (Norfolk)
Thetford 1916.jpg


As a Corps Squadron, No. 35 Squadron was tasked with providing medium and short distance aerial reconnaissance for one of the British Army Corps Commands. The role included:

  • Location of Hostile Batteries
  • Observation of Artillery Fire
  • Contact Patrol Work
  • Close Reconnaissance and Photography
  • Offensive action against vulnerable points in the Army reconnaissance area


  • 01/02/1916: 6th Wing, VI Brigade RFC
  • 01/05/1916: Transferred to 7th Wing, VI Brigade RFC (i)
  • 20/07/1916: 7th Wing, Training Brigade RFC (ii)

(i) when the UK Wings were reconfigured on a regional basis
(ii) when VI Brigade RFC was renamed Training Brigade

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer
    • Major BF Vernon-Harcourt

BF Vernon-Harcourt

Strength (Working up to Headquarters and Three Flights)

(*) Pilots were also “on attachment to the squadron” for Higher Instruction in Aviation, with Observers “on attachment” for Instruction in Aerial Observation


Personnel at Narborough (possibly the five men sent from Cavalry Corps to assist with training) [Source: Narborough History Association]


Air Crew (*)

Ground Personnel

  • Daily servicing, ongoing maintenance and scheduled servicing of squadron aircraft and equipment
  • Other squadron related technical and administrative duties (such as Logistics, Air Operations Support, Intelligence, Administration and Personnel / Medical support)

(*) Training was carried out at Thetford and Narborough and offsite at RFC Schools and Manufacturers

Extract from C Williams’ Flying Log Book (Receiving “Instruction in Aerial Observation”)
[Courtesy of Cyril Williams]

Routine October 1916.JPG

The daily routine for the winter months (issued 28th October 1916)



The squadron utilised a wide variety of training aircraft whilst it worked up to operational readiness at Thetford and Narborough

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


In October 1916, the squadron took delivery of the first of its designated service aircraft, the Armstrong-Whitworth FK8, which it would utilise whilst mobilised to France

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following links provide more details about the aircraft that were on charge of the squadron, along with information on known losses and incidents: