World War 2 and civilian instructors

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Hello: Looking to see if someone can help me. Does anyone know where I can find information on civilian instructors who were employed by the RAF during World War 2? thankyou
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Profile picture for user Richard gray

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Hi Gail. Are you looking for information on civilian instructors who taught Flying or any other trades? I think most of the Pilot trainers in the US and Canada were civilians. Other Trades, for example Rolls Royce engine manufactures, their engineers would instruct ground crew how to look after the engines.

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4 years 7 months

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Hello Richard: I'm trying to find out more on my Grandfather. His trade was Engineer/ mechanic and I believe the RAF utilized his skilled background. He is shown on a Muster Roll of 1941 as an Instructor under RAF. I was told he was responsible for the barrage balloons. and that he was stationed in Blackpool which in my research was a large training centre.Thats all I know. I'm not giving up as if he is shown in an n almanac in his hometown library in Brechin Angus Scotland. Thankyou
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13 years 8 months

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Hi Gail. I really have no idea of where the records of your grandfather would be, but have had a quick trawl around the web. And have seen how far you have got. As you say his home town was Brechin. (By the middle of the 19th Century, Brechin had a paper mill, two flax mills, five linen factories, two bleachfields, two distilleries, a brewery and two saw mills,) It might be possible to find out where he worked before the war. And if you are lucky might find the factory where he worked and might get some leads from there. I'm thinking Linen = Ballons poss same process of manufacturing. Will have another look around, when I have a moment.

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Hello Richard: He was a Motor mechanic at a garage in -Brechin. Thankyou Gail
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Hi Gail I have had a trawl around this file. http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4005934 and found 12 Frank Smarts (pages 969 970) but there is no Lawson or the initial L on the cards, in fact there is very little detail. However 2 might be a possibility that its your grandfather. 1. Frank Smart 1510027 Militia id 2. Frank Smart 2268746 Militia Now if RAF numbers are like Army numbers, we might be able to determine, when these chaps joined. Might take a while but I'm working on it. :D
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Answered my own question yes they do. 1. Frank Smart 1510027 Militia id 1475000 to 1550000 Apr 1941 Padgate 2. Frank Smart 2268746 Militia 2265175 to 2275000 Oct 1945 Padgate Non ATC So It looks as if no 1 is favourite. Padgate Camp Padgate Camp was national training centre for RAF recruits No. 3 RAF Depot Padgate opened in April 1939 (before Britain was officially at war.) Its role was to provide basic training to raw recruits to the Royal Air Force. By 1943 the camp’s weekly intake was 1,500 as the RAF steeped up its bombing campaign on Germany. (Padgate Camp closed in 1957 and the site was later redeveloped by Warrington New Town, who named the nearby Insall Road after a former camp commander.)

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Hello Richard: Thank you so much for doing all this research. Much appreciated. May I asked how you narrowed down the 2 Frank Smarts? What do the numbers stand for? Being he was an Instructor I presume he was a civilian instructor. I thought maybe a RAFVR, see you might be thinking militia? All the best Gail

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Hello Richard: If you would like me to forward the Muster Roll just so you can view I'd be glad to do so. I was looking at the National Archives Balloon Command but seem to get lost following. Thank you
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Hi Gail. Yes would like to see the muster roll, Did you read my PM? The National Archives files, lists the names who have served with the RAF. (No guarantee all names are there). The lists only show the name and numbers of the persons and the odd bit of info. I found 12 Frank or F smarts and these two stood out. Frank Smart 1510027 Militia id Frank Smart 2268746 Militia What did the word Militia mean, Maybe a term used by the RAF to donate those who protected Airfields and not sent for Aircrew or admin duties. Then looked up Militia. A militia /mɨˈlɪʃə/[1] generally is an army or other fighting force that is composed of non-professional fighters; citizens of a nation or subjects of a state or government that can be called upon to enter a combat situation, as opposed to a professional force of regular, full-time military personnel, or historically, members of the fighting nobility class (e.g., knights or samurai). It was common for militias to engage guerrilla warfare or defense instead of attacking. id what did that mean. Usually means identification. But what if it meant Instructional duties or dept. Then with my list of names and numbers I checked the list of numbers against the RAF list of allocated numbers. Here. http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf As the blocks of numbers are only issued to a place and date (not all numbers are issued). Frank Smart 1510027 Militia id would fall into this block of numbers issued 1475000 to 1550000 in Apr 1941 at Padgate Frank Smart 2268746 Militia block of numbers 2265175 to 2275000 issued Oct 1945 at Padgate Non ATC (Air Training Corps) This would rule out your grandfather as war was over at this time. As all other numbers for Frank Smarts, fall outside of the wartime time frame, it leaves Frank Smart 1510027 Militia id Apr 1941 at Padgate the most likely candidate. As your grandfather was 38, married with two children and running a garage, 1941 would seem to be about the time he was called up. Of course this could be a completely different Frank Smart. Then it’s back to square one.

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Hello Richard: My apology- no I didn't read your pm. Not sure where to get this. Can I sent Muster Roll to you here or would I have to email you? Thankyou

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Hello Richard: Yes, I just found your pm. My your going to great lengths to help me. He was a Brechin Motor hirer. I believed he owned the garage. I will try and find out the name today. Thankyou

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HELLO RICHARD SIMPSON ANDSON ON CLERK STREET, BRECHIN. THANKYOU

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Hello Richard Please disregard the name of the garage above.My Mum is elderly and memory not that good.She was very young when he worked as a motor hirer. I have some articles from Dundee Courier that was published on him. I was shocked when I read this.I would have to email them to you as well as Muster Roll. Thankyou

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Hello Richard: As you see I'm not very good with computer unfortunately. I don't know how to send pictures or newspaper articles on this site. If it not an inconvenience I could email them to you. Thank you Gail
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Hi Gail Yes, would be great to see the articles. Have Pm my email address. Richard

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Hello Richard: Did you receive my emails ok? Gail

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Hello Richard: As you see I'm not very good with computer unfortunately. I don't know how to send pictures or newspaper articles on this site. If it not an inconvenience I could email them to you. Thank you Gail
Don't appologise Gail, you are not the only one who is less than literate where computers are concerned. The others on here seem to be quite willing to make allowances for us and those whose first language is something other than English.