Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Vice-Marshal Sir Tom Webb-Bowen


T I Webb-Bowen - 1912Tom Ince                          b: 17 Jan 1879             r: 26 Sep 1933                        d: 29 Oct 1956

KCB - 3 Jun 1932 (CB - 3 Jun 1919), CMG –xx xxx 1918, MiD - 18 Apr 1918, MiD - 30 May 1918, MiD - 31 Dec 1918, SA3S - 25 Aug 1915, Leo O - 15 Apr 1918,  CdeG (F): 17 Aug 1918, LoH O - 21 Sep 1918, SO - 21 Sep 1918, DL (Pembrokeshire) – 1949, High Sheriff (Pembrokeshire) – 18 Nov 1947.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Militia): - 2 Lt: xx xxx xxxx, Lt: xx xxx xxxx

(Army): - 2 Lt:  20 May 1899, Lt: 28 Feb 1900, Capt: 6 Dec 1906, (T) Maj (RFC): 7 Aug 1914, (T) Lt Col: 1  Dec 1914 - 3 Feb 1915, Maj: 1 Mar 1915, (T) Lt Col: 27 May 1915, (T) Brig-Gen: 1 Feb 1916, (B) Lt Col: 1 Jan 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Brig-Gen [Lt Col]: 1 Apr 1918, Col: 1 Apr 1918, Bt Col: 3 Jun 1918, Act Maj-Gen: 1 Feb 1919, Act Brig-Gen [graded as Maj-Gen]: 1 May 1919, Gp Capt: 1 Aug 1919, A/Cdre: 5 Aug 1919, AVM: 1 Jul 1925, A/Cdre: 2 Oct 1939

xx xxx xxxx:   Officer, 4th Battalion, the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment).

20 May 1899:   Officer, The Bedfordshire Regiment.

 2 Nov 1906:   Adjutant, Madras Volunteer Corps.

xx xxx 1908:   Supernumerary Captain, The Bedfordshire Regiment.

10 Feb 1909:   Reinstated to the establishment of The Bedfordshire Regiment.

18 Apr 1909:    Adjutant, The Bedfordshire Regiment.

 5 Dec 1912:    Flight Commander, No ? Sqn RFC.

24 Jun 1913:    Instructor, Central Flying School.

 7 Aug 1914:     Assistant Commandant, CFS. (graded as a Squadron Commander)

 1 Dec 1914:     Assistant Commandant, CFS. (graded as a Wing Commander)

 8 Mar 1915:    Officer Commanding, No 2 Sqn RFC. (Various types – Western Front)

27 May 1915:  Officer Commanding, No 3 Wing RFC.

 1 Feb 1916:   Brigadier-General Commanding, II Brigade RFC.

16 Nov 1917:   Brigadier-General Commanding, VII Brigade RFC. (Italy)

 3 Apr 1918:    Brigadier-General Commanding, II Brigade.

 1 Feb 1919:    GOC/AOC, South Eastern Area.

 1 Aug 1919:    Awarded Permanent Commission as a Colonel

 1 Aug 1919:    Resigned his commission in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment.

20 Sep 1919:   AOC, India Group?.

27 Jan 1920:    AOC, RAF India.

27 Jan 1923:    Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

16 Apr 1923:   AOC, No 3 Group.

13 Mar 1924:   AOC, Inland Area.

 5 Nov 1926:    AOC, RAF Middle East.

22 Oct 1929:    Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 1 Jan 1930:     Air Member for Personnel.

26 Sep 1931:   AOC, Wessex Bombing Area.

xx xxx 1933 -  2 Oct 1939:      Retired.  

xx xxx 1938:       Commandant, Cambridge District, RAFVR

2 Oct 1939:        Relinquished rank of AVM whilst re-employed.

2 Oct 1939:        Duty Air Commodore, Operations Room, HQ Fighter Command.

[2 Oct 1939:      Commandant, No 1 E & RFTS]

 7 Sep 1941:

Unsuited to regimental life, he returned home and learnt to fly, gaining RAeC Certificate No 242 on 2 July 1912, after which he transferred to the RFC.  Whilst visiting No 45 Squadron in 1917, he overheard a flight commander talking about the Sopwith 2-seaters say "some say that they are a bloody fine aircraft, well I say they're more bloody than fine".   Webb-Bowen immediately had the flight commander posted to Home Establishment.  In 1919, he chaired the Reconstruction Committee, which looked into the entry conditions for commissioning candidates.    

He married Violet Louise Hadley at Christ Church, Chelsea on 27 November 1919.  Retiring in 1933 at his own request, he joined Imperial Airways and was the Staff Manager for four years before returning to live in retirement in his native Pembrokeshire.

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