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: