Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Marshal Sir Bertine Sutton

B E Sutton - 1916Sir Bertine Entwisle SuttonBertine Entwisle             b: 17 Dec 1886                        r: 7 Jun 1945              d: 28 Sep 1946

KBE - 11 Jun 1942 (OBE -1 Jan  1919), CB - 8 Jun 1939, DSO - 26 Sep 1917, MC - 1 Jan 1917, MiD - 11 Dec 1917, MiD - 20 May 1918, MiD - 31 Dec 1918, MiD - 3 Jul 1934, CdeG (B) - 15 Jul 1919, BA (University College, Oxford) - 1908.  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army): - 2 Lt:  19 Oct 1914, Lt: 1 Jun 1916,  (T) Capt: 6 May 1916,  (T) Maj: 18 Oct 1917.

(RAF): -  (T) Major [Capt]: 1 Apr 1918, Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918],  Wg Cdr:1 Jan 1924,  Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1931,  A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1934,  AVM: 1 Jul 1937,  (T) AM:  4 May 1942,  AM: 1 Jan 1944.

Photo (Far left) - taken from his RAeC Certificate

Photo (left) - Sir Bertine Entwisle Sutton

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, January 1944
NPG x169425

National Portrait Gallery, London

xx xxx 1914:   Soldier, Inns of Court OTC.

19 Oct 1914:   Officer, Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry.

3 Nov 1915:      Attached (Observer), No 5 Sqn RFC

 2 Feb 1916:     Appointed Flying Officer (Observer), No 5 Sqn.

 6 May 1916:    Adjutant, 9th Wing, RFC.

21 Jun 1916:     Posted to HQ Reserve Army Wing

27 Sep 1916:    Returned to Home Establishment

xx xxx 1916:     U/T Pilot, ?  

22 Feb 1917:    Appointed Flying Officer, RFC (seniority from 2 Feb 1916)

 4 May 1917:    Re-embarked for France

 5 May 1917:    Pilot, No 9 Sqn. (RE8 Western Front)  

 6 May 1917:    Flight Commander, No 9 Sqn. (RE8 Western Front)

18 Oct 1917:    Officer Commanding, No 7 Sqn. (RE8 Western Front)

 6-20 Aug 1918:    To 2nd Wing on duty

17 Nov 1919:   To 2nd Wing on duty

31 Jul 1919:      Staff Officer 2nd Class (Head of T.2A), Directorate of Training and Organisation.

 1 Aug 1919:     Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major 

 1 Aug 1919:     Relinquishes Commission in Westmorland and Cumberland Territorial Force (retaining rank of Captain)

21 Jan 1921:    Attended Army Staff College, Camberley.

xx xxx 1921:    Holding post?, Air Pilotage School (cadre) - pending formation of RAF Staff College

 1 Apr 1922:    Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.  

xx xxx 1926:    Attended Refresher Flying Course, CFS.

15 Jul 1926:     Officer Commanding, No 1 (Apprentices) Wing, No 1 SoTT (Apprentices).

11 Nov 1929:  Directing Staff, Imperial Defence College.

 2 Sep 1932:    Officer Commanding, No 1 (Indian) Group.

 4 Oct 1934:    SASO, HQ RAF India.  

 1 Jun 1936:     AOC, No 2 (Bomber) Group. (Does not appear to have actually taken up the post)

 1 Jul 1936:      AOC, No 22 Group.

17 Jul 1939:     AOC, No 21 (Training) Group.

23 Nov 1940:  AOC, No 24 (Training) Group.

xx Jun 1940:    Attached to staff of C in C, Home Forces.

xx xxx 1941:    Commandant, RAF Staff College.

17 Aug 1942:   Air Member for Personnel.

Born in Kensington, he was educated at Eton and University College, Oxford, and gained his RAeC Certificate, No 4403 on 16 February 1916, and originally planned to become a lawyer but at the end of WW1  he decided to remain in the RAF.  Whilst he was at Andover a series of parachuting trials were being carried out and one day whilst he was watching one of the parachutes failed to open.  Then CO of the station immediately ordered trials to cease, but Sutton was able to convince him to allow one aircraft to fly and he himself strapped on a parachute and made a successful descent.   Retiring shortly after the end of WW2, and suffering from the strain of  his war service, he unfortunately, was not to enjoy a long retirement, dying at his home in Newbury just over a year later after a long illness.  

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Order

"2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Bertine Entwisle Sutton, M.C., Yeo. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On very many occasions he carried out extensive and valuable reconnaissances and contact patrols at low altitudes, attacking infantry and transport with his machine gun and taking photographs which proved of the greatest value in subsequent operations.  By his energy, skill, and courage he set a magnificent example to his squadron."

(London Gazette - 9 January 1918)

This page was last updated on 18/10/22

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