Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore C E H Rathborne

Charles Edward Henry RathborneCharles Edward Henry       b: 17 Feb 1886          r: 13 Oct 1935             d: 21 Dec 1943

CB - 1 Jan 1935, DSO xx xxx 1917, Bar - 16 Dec 1919.

(RMLI): - 2 Lt: 1 Sep 1903, Lt: 1 Jul 1904, Flt Cdr: 1 Jul 1914, Capt: 1 Sep 1914, (T) Maj/Sqn Cdr: 31 Dec 1914, (T) Lt Col/Wg Cdr: 31 Dec 1916.

(RAF): - (T) Lt Col [Maj]: 1 Apr 1918, Wg Cdr: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1925, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1931.

Charles Edward Henry Rathborne

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate glass negative, 18 November 1930
NPG x150229

National Portrait Gallery, London

 1 Sep 1903:               Officer, Royal Marine Light Infantry

xx xxx xxxx:              RM Officer, HMS Black Prince (Channel Fleet) (1908)

15 Aug 1912:              Flight Commander, Felixstowe NAS.

17 Aug 1912:              Attended Central Flying School.

17 Apr 1913:              Flight Commander, Felixstowe NAS

31 Dec 1914:              Squadron Commander, RNAS.  

1915                           Officer Commanding, RNAS Redcar

1915                           Officer Commanding, ? Sqn, No 1 Wing, Dunkirk

 2 Jul 1916:               Supernumerary Captain, absorbed into establishment of RMLI

30 Jan 1917:               Officer Commanding - Flying Operations, No 3 Wing RNAS.?

xx Apr 1917:               Prisoner of War.

xx xxx 1918:                ?, France

18 Dec 1918:              Officer Commanding, No 68 (Operations) Wing.

xx xxx xxxx:                 Officer Commanding, RAF Isle of Grain.

 1 Aug 1919:               Commission in the RMLI terminated

 1 Aug 1919:               Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant Colonel

1920                           Officer Commanding - Flying, HMS Argus.

 1 Apr 1920:               Air Staff, HQ Coastal Area.

10 Sep 1923:              Commandant (Designate), M.A.E.E.  

24 Sep 1923:              Commandant, M.A.E.E.

22 Sep 1925:              Officer Commanding, RAF Basrah.

13 May 1927:             Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

xx xxx - 10 Oct 1927:    Placed on half pay

25 Oct 1927:              Officer Commanding, RAF Upper Heyford.

22 Sep 1930:              Senior Air Staff Officer, HQ Inland Area.

22 Jan 1932:               AOC, RAF Mediterranean.

 1 Mar 1932:              Appointment confirmed as a Member of the Nominated Council of Malta.

 1 - 13 Oct 1935:       Placed on half pay list, scale A.

xx xxx 1936:             Deputy Commandant, Southern Area, Observer Corps.

xx xxx 1943:             London Industrial Alarm Controller (Central and East London Area)

He was a graduate of the first course held at the CFS in April 1913, having gained his RAeC Certificate, No 437 on 4 March 1913.  Flying back to Felixstowe in Maurice Farman, '115' on 22 July 1914, he was compelled by engine problems to alight off Worthing.  Unfortunately the aircraft overturned on landing and was wrecked and he and Telegraphist Stirling had to be rescued by boat.  On 16 May 1915, he attacked a U-boat five miles off Middelkerke, dropping two 20lb bombs without effect.

Having been promoted to Lt Colonel he was awarded the DSO for a bombing attack against Freiburg on 14 April 1917.  Unfortunately he was shot down during this mission and captured.  However in July 1918, he managed to escape from the camp at Holzminden and returned to the British lines, for which he was awarded a Bar to his DSO.

This page was last updated on 24/07/18

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