Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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RAF College

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1920 Hugh Trenchard established the RAF College at RAF Cranwell on 5 February 1920. This assisted with the consolidation of the RAF’s position as a single and independent Service.

1926 Frank Whittle became a Flight Cadet in 1926

1925-6 T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was stationed at Cranwell as Aircraftman Second Class TE Shaw.

1929 The foundation stone was laid on 29 April 1929 by Lady Maud Hoare, wife of Secretary of State for Air.

During the 1930s the College Hall Officers' Mess was completed (1933) and College Hall was opened in 1934 by the then Prince of Wales, Prince Edward. Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader was also a Flight Cadet at Cranwell during the 1930s.

During World War Two, Hermann Goering ordered the Luftwaffe not to bomb the College as he wanted it as his headquarters when Germany won the War.

In the 1950s the peal of bells were added to College Hall. The bells were given by Shell Petroleum Company and play the retreat each evening as the ensign is lowered, in honour of the 477 former Cadets who were killed in action during World War Two.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] RAF College Cranwell