1917

On 18th January 1917, No 35 Squadron mobilised to France.

Having worked up to operational readiness, it moved to its first front-line aerodrome on 5th April 1917 and operated as a Corps squadron for the remainder of the year

Stationed at:

  • Narborough (Norfolk)
  • 18/01/1917: Mobilised to France
  • 03/02/1917: Reformed at St André-aux-Bois, France
  • 05/04/1917: Moved to Savy, France
  • 13/05/1917: Moved to Villers-Bretonneux, France
  • 23/05/1917: Moved to Mons-en-Chaussee, France
  • 13/07/1917: Moved to Savy, France
  • 19/08/1917: Moved to La Gorgue, France
  • 05/10/1917: Moved to La Lovie (Poperinge), Belgium
  • 17/10/1917: Moved to Bruay, France
  • 07/11/1917: Moved to Estrees-en-Chaussee, France

La Gorgue [Courtesy of White Family]


Role

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

Command

  • 7th Wing, Training Brigade (UK)
  • January 1917: 1st Corps Wing, HQ 1st Brigade, RFC(Attached to the Cavalry Corps [III Army])
  • xx/xx/1917: 12th Corps Wing, 3rd Brigade, RFC (Attached to the Cavalry Corps [III Army])

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer(s)
    • Major BF Vernon-Harcourt
    • 21/02/1917: Handed over to AV Holt

Strength (HQ and 3 Flights)

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


Activities (up to 18/01/1917)

Air Crew

Ground Personnel

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations 
  • Other squadron related technical and administrative duties (such as Logistics, Air Operations Support, Intelligence, Administration and Personnel / Medical support)

Squadron aircraft lined up at Narborough prior to flying to France [Air Pictorial]

Activities (18/01/1917 to 03/02/1917)

Air Crew and Ground Personnel

Activities (03/02/1917 to 05/04/1917)

Air Crew

Ground Personnel

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations 
  • Other squadron related technical and administrative duties (such as Logistics, Air Operations Support, Intelligence, Administration and Personnel / Medical support)

Activities (from 5th April 1917)

Air Crew

  • Ground Training
  • Flying Training
  • Conversion Training
  • Operational Training
  • Operational duties as a “Corps Squadron”

Ground Personnel

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations 
  • Other squadron related technical and administrative duties (such as Logistics, Air Operations Support, Intelligence, Administration and Personnel / Medical support)

Extract from Flying Log Book of Graham Baron Ash [Courtesy of Andrew Pentland]


Aircraft

The squadron was equipped with the following aircraft types:

ARMSTRONG WHITWORTH FK8
(for day to day training and operational use)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY BE2c and BE2d
(for Communication Flights between January and April 1917)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following pages identify the serial numbers of the aircraft that were on charge of No. 35 Squadron whilst stationed at Narborough and whilst mobilised to France, along with details of known losses and incidents: