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Old 06-04-21, 03:21 PM
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Default Very Early Royal Air Force Ranks

Hi

I am looking for some help with very early Royal Air Force ranks, which so far I have not been able to find official explanation or sanction for.

The first is featured in the photo below of two RAF Airmen on a motorcycle circa 1918/19. Both are wearing the first pattern khaki uniform with caps, button fastening belt, brass buttons, shoulder eagles and clearly, the RAF Airmans brass cap badge. But the puzzling thing is that both are wearing a single Lance Corporal chevron, a rank not part of the RAF until a couple of years ago when the rank was introduced for the RAF Regiment. Wearing the RAF cap badge and shoulder eagles they are clearly not Army seconded to RFC or RAF, or even Army jokingly wearing RAF caps for the photo. Any explanation?

The second refers to a Warrant Officer rank, as displayed by Sam Kydd in the film 'Reach For The Sky'. The RAF had two Warrant Officer ranks from its formation - 1st Class, wearing the Royal Coat of Arms, and 2nd Class, wearing the large crown, both badges in brass or cloth form, the latter discontinued in late 1939. This scene from the film relates to about 1930 and shows 'Mr Blake (Sam Kydd as Warrant Officer Blake) wearing the large crown within a wreath, usually worn by an Army CQMS. Yes, I know its a film, but other aspects are very accurate, and it seems strange to show a badge that was 'never' part of RAF uniform. Also, I have seen other references to the badge as being RAF, but I have never seen an official order authorising it, nor period photos etc. Can anyone give an explanation, or details? Many thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Warrant Officer Badge.jpg (46.5 KB, 167 views)
File Type: jpg Royal Air Force 1918 (2).jpg (39.3 KB, 179 views)
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