Wednesday, 8 October 2008

WW1 Photo Album Sargeant R G Macdonald

Here is a photo album I acquired this week.

It was made up by a Sargeant R G Macdonald - an Airforce Pilot trained at Sockburn. It records his journey by ship to Britain and Armistace Day en-route meaning they did not get to fly in WW1.

Names Mentioned:

G Priest

I McGregor [prob I A McGregor of RNZAF Territorial Airforce]


Captain Frame R.N.A.S.

Lt Bull
Webber [poss R J M Webber of RNZAF Territorial Airforce]McKeage
Bri General Richardson
Bishop Sadlier
G Mulligan
Mr Wilson

S S Matatua sailed from New Zealand to UK. He returned on SS Remuera [S S Matatua returned to Australia 17/8/18 to 15/8/18 voyage D13]

Has photos of grave of Allan William Macdonald RAF buried at Stamford son of Donald & Agnes Macdonald of Canterbury NZ. died of injuries flying at Stamford Nov 11 1918 aged 24. UK National No 1 Training Squadron Grave H. N. 18
voyage from New Zealand to UK and back

Beautifully annotated collection of small amateur photos. Shows life on board troopship via NZ, Albany (Auckland), Wellington
troops on ship, Durban,Capetown, Sierra Leone, Canary Islands, England and return via New York, Newport Mews, Jamaica,
Panama Canal, Pitcacairn to Auckland. Noted six photos of Pitcairn & some early fighter aeroplanes.

Sockburn boys. at albany - 14 men (sockburn was aerodrome at chch)"The RNZAF - A potted history. Initially New Zealand's military pilots were trained at the 2 private flying schools situated at Kohimarama in Auckland and
Sockburn in Christchurch. Once trained these pilots invariably left for England to join the RAF.
A review carried out in 1919 by Colonel A. V. Bettington of the RAF at the request of the New Zealand Goverment suggested
that the country should form it's own air arm. The report recommendations were however considered too ambitious by the
Government of the time and were basically shelved as was the offer of 100 military aircraft by the British Government. After
much procrastination 33 aircraft were finally shipped to New Zealand. The total was comprised of twenty Avro 504s, nine DH9s,
two Bristol F2Bs and two DH4s. Refresher courses for military pilots using these machines were held yearly by the Canterbury
Aviation Company at Sockburn under the supervision of Captain Len Isitt."

"The RNZAF Museum is located at the former RNZAF Base Wigram, at Sockburn in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. It is
one of the premier tourist attractions in Christchurch - New Zealand's second largest city - and so is not too hard to find.
Physically, the museum entrance is the old main gate to the former base, and you cannot miss it as it has a grey and orange
Harvard trainer next to the gate. "

In 1916 Sir Henry Wigram established the Canterbury Aviation Company at Sockburn, Christchurch, and purchased Caudron biplanes from Britain for pilot training. He gifted the aerodrome, later Wigram Aerodrome, to the government for defence purposes.
At the end of the war many New Zealand pilots stayed with the new Royal Air Force and several had attained high rank by the outbreak of World War II. Others returned to New Zealand and, serving part-time, provided the nucleus of the NZPAF.
- Wikipedia

On board on Armistice day when war finished - 11/11/1918 [same date as other macdonald grave]

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