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Air Commodore E R Manning

E R Manning - 1916Edye Rolleston             b: 14 Feb 1889                     r: 10 Aug 1935                     d: 26 Apr 1957

CBE - 1 Jan 1943, DSO - 10 Jun 1924, MC - xx xxx 1917.

(Army):- (T) 2 Lt: 9 Sep 1914, (T) Lt: 22 Feb - 27 Jun 1916, (T) Capt: 1 Feb 1917, (T) Maj: 1 Jan 1918.

(RAF):- (T) Capt [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, Act Maj: 1 Apr 1918, Maj: 1 Aug 1919,  Sqn Ldr: 4 Aug 1919, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1926, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1933, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx 1942, A/Cdre: Retained.

xx xxx 1914:          Trooper, Lothians and Border Horse.

 9 Sep 1914:           Officer, 15th Hussars

22 Feb 1916:         Officer, 14th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry (Temporary Lieutenant)

27 Jun 1916:           Pilot, No 3 Sqn, RFC.

xx xxx 1916:           Pilot, No 11 Sqn RFC.

 1 Feb 1917:           Flight Commander, No 11 Sqn RFC.

 1 Jan 1918:            Officer Commanding, No ? Sqn.

 1 Aug 1919:           Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major

26 Aug 1919:          Officer Commanding, No 6 Stores Depot.

12 Jul 1920:            CFI?, No 2 FTS.

21 Apr 1922:           Officer Commanding, No 6 Sqn. (Bristol F2B)

20 Jan 1924:            Staff, Aircraft Depot, Egypt.

20 Oct 1924:           CFI, No 4 FTS.

 2 Sep 1925:            Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 2 Sep 1925:            Attended London School of Economics.

24 Apr 1926:           PA to CAS.

 3 Aug 1926:            ?

 1 Nov 1926:            Officer Commanding, School of Naval Co-operation

15 Feb 1927:           Officer Commanding, RAF Northolt.

 6 Jan 1928:             Supernumerary, RAF Depot

 1 - 31 Aug 1928:    Placed on half pay list, scale B

 1 Oct 1928:            Supernumerary, No 7 Sqn.

30 Nov 1928:          Officer Commanding, No 7 Sqn.

 2 Nov 1929:           Proceeding to Australia to get married

14 Dec 1929 - 31 Mar 1930:    Placed on half pay list, scale B

 1 Apr 1930:            Supernumerary, RAF Hornchurch.

 4 Apr 1930:            Officer Commanding, RAF Hornchurch.

10-15 Aug 1930:     Officer Commanding, Night Defence Wing, RAF Cranwell  (ADGB Air Exercises)

18 Aug 1933:           Officer Commanding, RAF Manston.

10 Aug 1936 - 1 Sep 1939:            Retired (at his own request).

 1 Sep 1939:            Recalled for service

xx xxx 1940:             Senior Air Force Officer, Ceylon

 1 Jun 1940:             ?

21 Apr 1941:           Officer Commanding, No 221 Group

 2 Jan 1942:             Senior Officer i/c Administration,  No 221 Group.

xx xxx 1942:             Staff, AHQ India

 1 Jun 1942:             Supernumerary, HQ No 223 Group

 7 Jun 1942:             AOC, No 223 Group

 7 Jul 1942:              Transferred from Mobile Field Hospital, Peshawar to British Military Hospital, Muree

21 Jul 1942:             Discharged from hospital

 2 Aug 1942:            ?

20 May 1945:          Reverted to Retired List

An Australian, he was educated at Bedford Modern School and Sydney Institution of Engineering, but was studying Medicine at Edinburgh when war broke out and he immediately joined the Cavalry, serving in France and Belgium with the 15th Hussars.  However, with the stalemate and advent of static trench warfare, in 1915, he decided to transfer to the RFC, gaining RAeC Certificate No 2253 on 9 October 1916.  He was wounded in combat whilst serving in No 3 Squadron in July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.

As CO of No 6 Squadron, he was  in charge of the evacuation of the British High Commissioner , his wife and staff from Suliemanieh in Kurdistan, for which he received the DSO.  In 1928 he voluntarily went on half pay in order that he might attempt a flight from England to Australia.  He set off in a Westland Widgeon and despite a seized engine and a blown cylinder head gasket he reached Tunis, only to suffer further delays before being able to continue.  Eventually he set off again only to crash at Lebda and although uninjured, the aircraft was a write-off and he was forced to give up the attempt.

Retiring in 1935 at his own request, he returned to Australia, joining the Sydney Stock Exchange, but with the prospect of war looming again, he was recalled to service rejoining the RAF in the Far East, where he spent much of WW2.  By the time of the Japanese attack in December 1941 he had been responsible for the establishment of a string of airfields stretching from Lashio to Mingladon.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

MANNING, Edye Rollston, S/L, MC - Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1924 and reported in Aeroplane of 16 July 1924 (which carries a long despatch on operations), for operations in Kurdistan, 15 February to 19 June 1923.  .Public Record Office Air 30/58, provided courtesy of Ann Sadler, has citation.


                During the operations against Rowanduz, this officer was responsible for cooperation between the Royal Air Force and one of the land columns.  Throughout he showed initiative, energy and the highest efficiency in his squadron.


                His personal example in flying in all weathers over most difficult country has to a large measure contributed to the success which crowned the operations of his squadron.  He has continuously set a fine example of personal self-sacrifice to his pilots, and at the same time kept his unit in the highest state of efficiency at a great distance from its base.

This page was last updated on 09/04/23

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