Welcome to my website, designed to promote:
6 Squadron Royal Air Force - The Early Years
The original purpose of my website was to create a record (description and images) of the early years of 6 Squadron, following the writing of my first book, For God, England & Ethel, a factual novel based on the two years my grandfather served with 6 Squadron on the Western Front. I wanted to give the general public access to some of the research as well as images of the artefacts my grandfather passed down to me when he died. As you can see, the website has grown considerably over the past twelve years since my first book was published, not just with regards to 6 Squadron's illustrious history.
My books - (Early Aviation, Factual Novels and ADHD Self Help)
My latest book, Over the Western Front, is in part an expansion of the diary my grandfather kept during the Great War when he served with 6 Squadron in France and Belgium. The second half of the book describes the operations of 6 Squadron Royal Air Force, month by month, for the whole of WW1 when the squadron was in action on the Western Front and includes a complete list of aircraft on and off charge during that time as well as every 6 Squadron casualty between October 1914 and December 1918. A detailed Appendix provides a breakdown of aircraft type and aircraft movements, a casualty analysis and a profile on three of 6 Squadon's officers (pilots and observers) who died in the service of 6 Squadron.
Photographs and Statistics on WW1 Military Aviation
This website contains photographs contemporary with WW1 and the inter-World-War years, in the main associated with 6 Squadron Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force). Details include aerial photographs of the Battle of Messines.
Hinaidi RAF Peace Cemetery (now the Ma'Asker Al Raschid RAF Cemetery)
The project I am currently working on is researching the 299 service personnel and civilians who were buried at the abandoned Ma'Asker Al Raschid RAF Cemetery (formerly known as the Hinaidi RAF Peace Cemetery) and working with the British authorities (CWGC and MoD) as well as the British Embassy in Baghdad so that the cemetery can be secured as a matter of urgency until such time as additional funds can be allocated for the complete restoration of the headstones.
Funding has been approved for the first stage of the project and it is
hoped that construction of a perimeter wall will commence on-site at Hinaidi in mid 2021.
196 of the 299 graves are for Royal Air Force casualties from eight RAF squadrons (1, 6, 8, 30, 45, 55, 70 and 84) as well as a variety of other RAF Units. 48 were pilots who served with a combined total of more than forty Royal Air Force squadrons during their air force career, as half of them were seasoned and decorated WW1 pilots, including 4 'Aces'.
Click HERE to access the Hinaidi section of this website.
Apart from Royal Air Force graves, there are 71 graves for British Army personnel (representing more than 20 Regiments, the RA/RFA and several other British Army entities such as the Royal Signals and Army Services Corps) and 2 for Royal Navy men, a Chief Petty Officer from HMS Hastings and an Able Seaman from HMS Ormonde. Surprisingly, there are also 29 graves for British civilian RAF contractors (24 men and 5 women) who were employed in various capacities in Baghdad and 1 grave for an 8-month-old baby girl, Phoebe Marks. However, the most significant grave at Hinaidi is for Brigadier-General Sir Gilbert Clayton KCMG KBE CB, British High Commissioner for Iraq, who died in September 1929 from a heart attack after a game of Polo.
Researching the WW1 activities of Royal Air Force Personnel
If you need help researching anyone who served in the British Royal Flying Corps and the early years of the Royal Air Force, please contact me via the HELP page on this website. Though my website concentrates on 6 Squadron, I have received dozens of queries over the past few months that were for other Royal Air Force squadrons.
Steve 'Buster' Johnson
New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
Updated 5th May 2021