Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game

Sir Philip Woolcott GamePhilip Woolcott      b: 30 Mar 1876                         r: 1 Jan 1929                        d: 4 Feb 1961

GCB - 2 May 1945 (KCB - 3 Jun 1924, CB - 1 Jan 1919), GCVO -11 May 1937, GBE - 1 Jan 1929, KCMG - 3 Jun 1935, DSO - 23 Jun 1915,  MiD - 31 Dec 1918, Cwn, Off - 26 May 1917, LoH, O - 17 Dec 1917.  RUSI Essay Gold Medallist - 1910

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army): - 2 Lt:  2 Nov 1895, Lt: 2 Nov 1898, Capt: 3 Jun 1901, Maj: 15 Feb 1912, (T) Lt Col: 18 Jul 1915, (B) Col: xx xxx 1917, (T) Brig-Gen: 16 Oct 1916

(RAF): - (T) Brig-Gen [Col]: 1 Apr 1918, Act Maj-Gen:14 Oct 1918, Act Brig-Gen: 31 Mar 1919, A/Cdre: 1 Aug 1919, AVM: 1 Jan 1922 [1 Aug 1919].

Photograph © Crown Copyright

Sir Philip Woolcott Game

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, December 1935
NPG x167732

© National Portrait Gallery, London

28 Sep 1893:               Gentleman Cadet (5281), RMA Woolwich.

 2 Nov 1895:               Officer, Royal Artillery.

xx Oct 1897:              Served in India

 1 Jul 1902:                Adjutant, Royal Artillery (Supernumerary Captain)

12 Sep 1905:               Reverted to the establishment of the Royal Artillery.

22 Jan 1908:               Attended Army Staff College.

 8 Oct 1908:                Staff Captain Royal Artillery, 4th Division, Eastern Command

22 Jan 1910:               Reverted to the establishment of the Royal Artillery.

31 Dec 1910:              GSO III, War Office .

 7 Sep 1913:                GSO II, Directorate of Military Training

30 Nov 1914:              GSO II, HQ 4th Army Corps

18 Jul 1915:                GSO I, HQ 46th Division.

19 Mar 1916:               GSO I, HQ RFC in the Field.  

16 Oct 1916:                GSO I, General Staff

25 Oct 1916:                Senior Staff Officer (GSO I), HQ RFC in the Field.

 8-10 Jan 1918:           Temporary duty in UK

12-13 Jan 1918:          Temporary duty in Paris

 1 Apr 1918:                 Senior Staff Officer, HQ RAF in the Field

13-15 May 1918:         Temporary duty in UK

 2 Oct 1918:                 Returned to Home Establishment

14 Oct 1918:                GOC, South Western Area.

31 Mar 1919:                Director of Training and Organisation.

 1 Aug 1919:                 Awarded Permanent Commission as a Colonel

 1 Aug 1919:                 Appointed Director

 7 Dec 1922:                 Supernumerary, RAF India (pending appointment as AOC)

31 Dec 1922:                AOC, RAF India.

27 Nov 1923:                Air Member for Personnel.

In early 1916 he transferred to the RFC when Trenchard requested  an experienced Staff Officer to improve the staff function in his HQ.  He was initially very dissatisfied with this move and he found himself at unease with the technical nature of the post.  However, his early doubts soon disappeared and he eventually became Trenchard's right hand, being able to convert his rambling thoughts into cohesive minutes and memorandum, even going to the extreme of taking flying lessons.  Following retirement from the RAF, at his own request, he spent five years as Governor of New South Wales in Australia becoming involved in some controversy with the state government and suffering some severe criticism of his handling of the situation before returning to Britain in 1935 to take up the post of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, a post recently vacated by his old 'boss' Trenchard, remaining at itís head until 1945.  One of his earliest tasks as Commissioner was the organisation of the crowd control measures for the funeral of King George V.  This must have brought back memories as he had been the officer in charge of the gun carriage, which had borne the coffin of Queen Victoria at her funeral in 1901.  

Recommendation for the award of Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

"GAME, Philip Woolcott, AVM, CB,

In recognition of distinguished service, first as Director of Training and Organisation at the Air Ministry, and later as Air Officer Commanding the Royal Air Force in India, and as Air Member for Personnel on the Air Council."

(Source - Air 30/58)

Citation for the award of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire

"GAME, Philip Woolcott, AVM, KCB

In recognition of services of outstanding distinction in connection with the organisation, development and administration of the Royal Air Force since its inception."

(Source - Air 30/72)

This page was last updated on 11/08/23

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