The story of Bill Lawford

Hayden K Lawford relates the experiences of his father, Royal Flying Corps pilot, Lt E H ‘Bill’ Lawford AF, who flew early de Havilland aeroplanes

Bill Lawford learned to fly at the Ewen School at Hendon, gaining his Royal Aero Club Aviator’s Certificate (No.442) on March 18, 1913. Later he was involved in aircraft construction and maintenance at Brooklands and became joint proprietor of the Ducrocq and Lawford Flying School, where he instructed on the school’s 50hp (37.3kW) Henri Farman ‘boxkite’. Following the outbreak of the Great War, Bill volunteered for service in the Royal Flying Corps. Men with experience of airframes and engines were urgently needed and he transferred from the Territorial Army, reporting to Farnborough in Hampshire as an Airman 2nd Class on October 23, 1914. At 30, he was older than many of his comrades, and was posted to France on November 25 to serve with 5 Squadron at St Omer and Ballieul.

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