Letter 7 - Oliver gets trained on Scouts

A note from the Editors:

A rather confusing letter, as Oliver describes the canoes they have been using as 'single seater scouts'. He must obviously have fighters on the brain as he has just received the news that at the Central Flying School he will be taught to fly the famous Sopwith Camel, regarded by many as one of the best fighter aircraft produced during the Great War. A reputation for being very difficult to fly, it was also incredibaly manouverble and well armed with two Vickers guns firing through the propeller. It started service in the RFC about the same time as this letter, with 70 Squadron. The Avroes Oliver refers to are the venerable Avro 504 the RFC used as trainer aircraft.

34 RS RFC Ternhill (‘Royal Flying Corps, Market Drayton‘ on headed paper)

Franked 14 JY 17
Mrs Chas E Pearson
5 Madeira park
Tonbridge Wells

Central Flying School, Uphaven, Wilts.


Dear Mother
I am writing to announce a change of address. I came here today starting yesterday at 1 o’clock with 2 hours notice. We spent (9 of us make the party) last night in Reading & after dinner spent the remainder of the time on the river in Rob Roy canoes which are topping little single seater scouts.

We have been sent down here for a course on single seater scouts. We are to fly Sopwith Camels a peculiar bus to look at as its name implies but it has a grand performance. The rumour about the defence of London gets more substantial. We are in great spirits as they have put us back onto Avroes as if we had never in our lives seen a bus before. We’ll show ‘em is our determination. Much love from Oliver.

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