This little book is charmingly bound as a facsimile of an old notebook, with the script being presen..
The Ideals and Training of a Flying Officer
The son of a Canadian lawyer, Roderick Ward Maclennan joined the Officer’s Training Corps connected with the University of Toronto in 1915. Enlisting in Kingston he crossed the Atlantic in 1916 with the Medical Service on work which was ‘congenial and necessary’. Commissioned to the Royal Flying Corps, he trained in Oxford on the BE 2b.
Learning to fly was an adventure…
‘We have to be at the sheds at 4.10pm. In front of them runs a strip of tarred road surface fifty feet wide. On this the machines stand while waiting to go up; it is called the “Tarmac”. We have a roll call at 4.15pm and then sit in the sun on the tarmac with our “funny hat” and goggles.’
and learning the art of reconnaissance was pure joy..
‘I get in my machine, put on my leather cap and tie a pencil on the end of a string to my belt. Then I fold my map so that the spot I have to cover is visible, and then secure my map to my left leg above the knee with one of my garters. I do the same with my notebook on my right knee, and after a final polish of my goggles I am ready… The machine is left in the care of the mechanics and I am off to the mess to eat a huge dinner, and then roll into bed, rather tired after two hours in the air.’
Eventually posted to France with 60 Squadron, Maclennan was killed in a flying accident less than a week after his first patrol whilst flying the notorious SE 5.
With a new concluding chapter and photographs, renowned author and historian Chris Goss places this life in context of both the overall war and his Squadron.
Maclennan’s beautifully naïve writing vividly brings to life the spirit of the times when the world was opening up to these ‘gentlemen’ pilots, and reveals another aspect of the golden age of aviation and the glorious language of the times.
Hidden in the archives of his Canadian University, these extracts from the letters of 2nd Lieutenant Maclennan, can finally be revealed in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the end of that Great War.
Dimensions: 210mm x 145mm
Photos/Illus: 8 pages of b&w photographs