Aircraft Repair Depot

(c) IWM (Imperial War Museums); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) IWM (Imperial War Museums); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Above is a painting of an Aircraft Repair Depot towards the end of the war. Not No. 3 Western depot in Gloucestershire where my grandfather was stationed, but No.1 Southern Aircraft Repair Depot, South Farnborough. The painting is by Graham Glen, and shows  ‘Women’s Royal Air Force at Work on Aeroplane Salvage’. Click it to see a larger version.

Thanks very much to all who gave answers or suggestions about my grandfather’s Air Ministry file. It makes sense now.

What I’m left wondering is whether my father actually realised that his father had been – briefly, because the RFC became the RAF only shortly before my grandfather was demobbed – a member of the RAF. My father was a sailor (Merchant Navy, then RNR; captain of a minesweeper), and occasionally expressed the senior service’s conventional disdain for the RAF. ‘Brylcreem Boys’, he called them. The nickname came from WWII adverts like this, which used RAF personnel to give the product some patriotic glamour:




  1. Andy McMillan
    Posted November 10, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi George
    My Grandfather also served at 3(W)ARD betweeb 1917 and 1919 – he was a carpenter by trade, obviously employed to repair aircraft wooden structure. He eneded up there after being shot in France and not fit to return.
    Have you managed to find any more info about the ARD?
    3(W)ARD was a big nystery until i stumbled on this link:

    Click to access south-gloucestershire-compendium-1914-1918-by-john-penny.pdf

    Would love to see any photos of the place in this period.

    • Posted November 11, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Andy –
      thanks for this document, which gives very useful background information. I shall study it closely.

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