RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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A picture came to light of a Crossley 20/25 with an RFC driver at Netheravon. Gradually I have managed to find four pictures of Crossley's stationed at Netheravon and in the service of the RFC/RAF. Two of the pictures show a Motor Transport 10 or 13 bay garage. On checking the plans, maps and air photos I have narrowed it down to four long sheds situated on the East camp. Netheravon a 1913camp designed as a Royal Flying aerodrome for two squadrons. No MT sheds were in the original layout and tents were used if needed. By 1917 the RFC had started a new training scheme and Training Depot Stations were formed all across the country. Most were brand new and had a specific layout, but Netheravon although was included in the scheme but no extra hangarage was built. Although several ancillary buildings were built and up to nine MT sheds. At least three were 13 bay types.

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Twin 13 bay RFC MT sheds at Old Sarum.

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One 13 bay MT shed at Stow Maries still being used.

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RAF Old Sarum 1918 showing the new layout of a TDS.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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This is the area the MT Section would have been.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Where it all started

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This picture is where it all started, I knew there were Motor Transport sheds at Netheravon, but I was unsure where and what they looked like.
Netheravon was destined in piece time as an R.F.C. aerodrome . The architect was Major B. H. O. Armstrong of the War Office Directorate of Fortifications and Works. He also designed Chiseldon (South of Swindon) army camp (also a pre WW1 camp) using the same design of hutting. Later he designed the Armstrong huts used at Larkhill camp in 1916 for the New Army.

At the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914 Crossley Motors moved almost totally to war production. The only model made was the 20/25 which was supplied to the forces in huge numbers with production running at up to 45 a week. The first had been supplied to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in 1913 and at the outbreak of war they had 56. By the time of the armistice this had risen to over 6000. The 20/25, known to Crossley as the WO and the War Office as Type J, came with a tourer body, one of the standard staff cars but most of the chassis were used to carry ambulances, mobile workshops, light trucks and, most importantly, the RFC Light Tenders. Every squadron in the RFC was supposed to be equipped with nine Tenders and one Staff Touring Car but it seems likely that most never had the full complement. Vehicles went to France, Belgium, Mesopotamia, Salonica, Egypt, Russia, India and several parts of Africa. From Crossley Motors in World War I.

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Armstrong Hut BD85A/14. The type at Larkhill.

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Chiseldon Camp, Wiltshire showing the black and white style of construction.

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Chimney for the hut can be seen in the old picture.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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11 January 2018

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Barrack Block

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This is the same barrack block taken in January 2018, chimneys now gone.

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The same barrack block.

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C Lines Chiseldon Camp with the same designs of buildings.

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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Face book Jim F

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Salisbury

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A Colonel's touring car in New Canal Square, Salisbury. "Slight differences, but very similar". Thank you Jim F.

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New Canal Salisbury today.

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WAAC driver.

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Be2.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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Internet

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Crossley 20/25

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This is the first picture I had seen of Netheravon's MT garage behind this picture of a Crossley 20/25. These sheds were usually 13 bays but could be anything from three, ten to thirteen. Some used one of the bays, as an office or an office would be built close by. Netheravon having three training squadrons and part of Upavon's Central Flying School needed at least four MT garages, but the TDS details state nine.

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At Netheravon.

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Hair cut at Netheravon.

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Night out in Salisbury.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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Internet

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
MT shed

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And here a very proud chauffeur standing outside one of the four MT garages. Each bay held one vehicle and the floor was trampled earth with two concrete strips for the vehicles wheels.

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The concrete strips for the lorries wheels. In-between the concrete would have been earth or ash/clinker from the many coal fires around the camp.

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Later on a pit may have been dug for vehicle maintenance. (this picture is of RAF Long Newnton WW2 MT shed)

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RFC MT shed 13 bay Old Sarum (extant).

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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00-00-00

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Maudslay

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A close up of a Maudslay inside a shed at Netheravon.

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Maudslay radiator.

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Sopwith Camel over flying.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Inside one of the MT sheds

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Inside one of the Netheravon MT sheds. Each bay has a work bench and a vice. A shovel too clear up a mess on the floor and even electric lighting for each bench. There is running water from a high level tank in the roof, above the benches..

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Stow Maries MT shed.

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RAF Stonehenge 1919 MT section.

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RAF Stonehenge 1919 MT section.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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Plan

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
T.D.S. Plan

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A plan of Netheravon as a T.D.S. (Training Depót Station), showing the four MT sheds in red in the East camp.

Netheravon: -
Nos. 8 & 12 T.D.S. (S.W.Area; No. 7 Group, 4the Wing). (Later 24 T.D.S. was added).
Function: -
(a) At this station there are 2 T.D.S.s, each of Three Units, both for Handley-Page training.
(b) Also Headquarters of 4th Wing.
Personnel: -
Officers -- (a) 102. (b) 10.
Officers under instruction -- 360.
W.O.'s and N.C.O.'s above rank of Corporal -- (a)102. (b) 6.
Corporals -- (
a) 54. (b) 1.
Rank and File -- (a) 842. (b) 8.
Forewoman -- (a) 14. (b) -.
Women -- (a) 164. (b) 13.
Women (Household) -- (a) 106. (b) 9.
Total (exclusive of Hostel Staff) -- 1791.

Machines: -
Handley-Page -- 20.
F.E. --36.
Avros -- 60
Total -- 116.

Transport: -
Touring Cars -- 2.
Light Tenders -- 20.
Heavy Tenders -- 20.
Motor Cycles -- 16.
Side Cars -- 16.
Trailers --10.
Caterpillar Tractors -- 2.
Total -- 86.

Technical buildings: -
Aeroplane Sheds -- 21.
Plane Stores -- 4.
A.R.S Sheds. (Aircraft Repair Sheds) -- 2.
M.T. Sheds -- 9.

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F.E.

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Avro.

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Handley-Page.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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1917

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Air photo of East Camp

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The four MT sheds, picture dated around 1917. The bell tents were for Mens accommodation. The WAAC would have lived in a barracks back down on the West camp.

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Row of the hangars.

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November 4th/5th 1918, a terrific gale completely destroyed: -
Bessoneau hangars --2.
Avro 504K's -- 12.
Bristol Fighters -- 2
Martinsyde -- 1.
Handley-Page 0/400's -- 2.
The two HP aircraft became airborne and landed half a mile away from their moorings.

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Gale damage.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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1918

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Motor Transport

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An air photo of three of the sheds and I have counted 13 has bays.

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Lt. T.M. Kerruish 8T.S. Netheravon April 1918.

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Three airmen on their Douglas's.

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Godfrey and McGuiness Overhauling bikes.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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1918

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Roller

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The sheds now have doors on here and it shows how important the covering of military vehicles was.
A petrol road roller used to level the landing ground of an aerodrome. This one at Netheravon with three Women s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).

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Advert for the WAAC.

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RFC Women.

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4th Wing RAF WAAC rider on a motor cycle and side car. I think it is Margaret Goode.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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1918

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Crossley Tender

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Another picture showing the angle iron framed, corrugated iron covered doors.

A ´Light Tender´ was required. In February 1913 the Manchester-based company of Crossley Motors received an order for six 20/25bhp Crossley cars. These machines were built to a very high standard and their powerful 4,531cc engine allowed them to travel at speeds of up to 55mph. The RFC bought almost all of the 6,000 Crossley chassis that were built for military service, the majority of which were fitted with a truck-type body (becoming known as the Crossley tender) which could carry a crew of three in the front and a further eight on bench seats in the back.

In 1916 each squadron was equipped (sometimes only on paper) with 11 Crossley tenders and two Crossley cars for transporting officers. The Crossley was also adopted as an ambulance but not in any great numbers. From Motorising an Air Force.

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The Crossley was also adopted as an ambulance but not in any great numbers

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Margaret Goode a WAAC driver.

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A group f WAAC drivers outside an MT shed.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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June 1916

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
At the time of the RFC Concentration

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The MT section of 2 Sqn RFC with their lorries and trailers with a wooden railway carriage, (photo sections). Also three two wheeled trailers. These were used for collecting and carrying damaged aircraft after a crash. A tender and a trailer could go out and tow back the remains.

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Captured Albatros DII, previously flown by Ltn Max Bohme, of Jasta 5 being recovered by an RFC trailer. Ltn Max Bohme f Jasta 5, Flying Albatros D.II D910/16 when shot down and taken prisoner by Lt Pearson of 29 Sqn RFC and Lt Graham & Lt A.V. Boddy of 11 Squadron RFC, in Bouchavesnes-Somme - March 4, 1917.

 

 

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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Fuller June 1916

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
At the time of the RFC Concentration

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MT at the RFC Concentration in June 1914.

In 1912 the War Office bought a batch of 30cwt ‘S3’ model lorries for the RFC from the Lancashire-based company of Leyland. These attractive looking machines were the first trucks of the RFC but they would not be around long as their replacement was already under development. In the previous year the War Office had invited manufacturers to design a lorry meeting certain specifications, the purchase of which would be subsidised by the government on the understanding that in times of national emergency it could be impressed by the War Department.

Using the ‘S3’ Type engine Leyland designed and built ‘subsidy’ lorries within the three ton (type ‘A’) and 30 cwt (type ‘B’) categories. Both lorries were trialled by the War Department in August 1912 and were accepted into the subsidy scheme with 88 examples having been purchased by April 1913. Shortly after the declaration of war on August 4, 1914 army officers descended on the Leyland factory impressing every vehicle that could be found and directing that all production capacity should now be used for the construction of the three ton subsidy lorry, or as it would become known later, the ‘RAF Leyland‘. The 30cwt type B was not found to be as useful as the type A, so its production was discontinued.

By the end of the war 23,260 vehicles were then in service with the RAF.
From Motorising an Air Force.

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The workhorse of the RAF was the Leyland Subsidy lorry or heavy tender, seen here with a trailer for transporting the wooden and canvas Bessoneau hangars.
From Motorising an Air Force.

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Four well equipped workshops lorries were issued to each Sqn,
From Motorising an Air Force.

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Photographic lorry.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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Fuller

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT
Clayton and Shuttleworth Caterpillar Tractor at Netheravon

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A Clayton and Shuttleworth Caterpillar Tractor for towing large aeroplanes. Behind the tractor on the left is the machine gun range and Fifield Folly, the woodland.

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Handley Page 0/400 being towed by a Clayton tractor

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Machine gun butts.

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Clayton and Shuttleworth of Stamp End Works, Lincoln were manufacturers of traction engines, agricultural machinery and locomotives.

RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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RFC/RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire MT

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