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Canadian Recruits

Printed From: Cross & Cockade
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: General
Forum Discription: General Discussion
Printed Date: 03 Jun 2020 at 20:03
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.03 -

Topic: Canadian Recruits
Posted By: NickForder
Subject: Canadian Recruits
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2016 at 16:58
According to 'Canadian Airmen and the First World War', in March, 1917, the Admiralty stopped shipments of RNAS recruits to the UK as the training schools there could not cope with the. A draft of 62 cadets had just been sent, and which 40 were accepted by the RNAS and 22 were commissioned in to the RFC (General List ?), and posted to Reading.
The RNAS cadets who remained  in Canada were given a choice of waiting until there were vacancies or join the RFC. 52 decided to join the RFC. They travelled to the UK as Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenants, and were then commissioned in to the RFC.
Can anyone name any of these Canadians ? 

Posted By: Benpeculiar
Date Posted: 05 Sep 2016 at 20:21
Lt Donald Gordon Maclean, 45 sqn seems to fit that description. KIA Italy 2 Feb 18. Originally from Ontario and an OTC cadet at Univ of Toronto his obit states that he was commissioned into the RNAS but transferred to the RFC.

I'm attending the unveiling of a statue to commemmorate his death at a local vineyard this Friday. McLean's dogtags were found by workers at the vineyard last year - probably at his crash site - the Owner of the winery is Italian/ Canadian and his family and Company are honouring McLean's sacrifice.

Posted By: AndyK
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 09:42
Can you share the location of the vineyard? Can I assume it's near or on the Montello? A few years ago the remains of a Camel were found by an archaeological dig on the Montello - I don't think it's what they were looking for, but the few scattered remains they found were as definitely a Camel. The research done at the time pointed towards it probably being McLean's ... few Camels were lost, and probably only his in such a way that would create such remains.

Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2016 at 19:05
Stuart Culley just missed out on being one of the RFC transferees.
According to his Staff College autobiography, AIR1/2391/228/11/153, on 9 March 1917 he applied to joined the RNAS and was interviewed in Ottawa. Although accepted as a suitable candidate, it was not clear whether he would actually be appointed to the RNAS. ‘It is perfectly true that the RFC were at that time opening up schools in Canada. But we were lucky in a way as, after a lot of argument between Ottawa and London it was finally agreed that a final batch of 50 Canadians would be accepted for the RNAS and a special school was put up for them under canvas at Manston. There were also another 50 odd applicants on the list for RNAS who were however arbitrarily transferred to the RFC.’

Posted By: Benpeculiar
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2016 at 20:32
Andy, the name of the vineyard is Giusti and it is near Nervesa della Battaglia, just under 2 miles west of the Piave River which marked the front line at that time. The Company own several tracts of land in the area and I can't confirm exactly where the dogtags were found until a week Thursday at the event.

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