RAF Centenary


Royal Air Force Centenary 1918-2018


Royal Air Force One Hundred

'Commerate, Celebrate, Inspire'

Royal Air Force One Hundred is the collective banner under which all RAF Centenary events will fall.  Under the leadership of the then Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Edward Stringer, RAF 100 was formally launched at RAF Northolt on Friday 28th February 2014.  


For full details on RAF 100 events, visit the website: www.raf.mod.uk/raf100


Commerative Countdown to the Centenary:

2014 - 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and the Arrival of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) at St-Omer.

2015 - 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.  100th Anniversary of the award of the First Air VC (Lt William Rhodes-Moorhouse, RFC).

2016 - 100th Anniversary of the first VC won on British soil (Lt William Leefe Robinson, RFC).

2017 - 100th Anniversary of the 'Bloody April' air campaign during the battle of Arras, Northern France.

2018 - 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One and Centenary Year of the RAF.

2019 - 100th Anniversary of the formation of the RAF Benevolent Fund.


In the Beginning...

The Royal Air Force can trace its beginnings to the summer of 1917, when German bombers mounted a series of air raids over London. As a result, General Jan Smuts, a distinguished South African soldier and statesman, was invited to examine the air defence of Great Britain. An Air Council came into being on 2 January 1918 and the formation of the RAF took effect on 1 April 1918 when the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service were absorbed into its structure. Thus, the RAF became the first truly independent air force of any major power free to fully develop all the applications of aerial warfare.

Major General Hugh Trenchard became Chief of the Air Staff in March 1919 and drew up a paper, setting out his thoughts on the necessary proportions of the RAF, which led in December 1919 to a White Paper of immense importance to the future of the Air Force.

Trenchard placed great emphasis on creating a fierce loyalty through the comradeship of a backbone of regular officers and men, trained at the RAF Cadet College Cranwell, Lincolnshire; the Apprentice School at RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire, and at a new RAF Staff College. This quality of character was particularly necessary for the post-war personnel of the RAF, not only because of their task in shaping the new service, but also in ensuring its survival and expansion in the hostile environment created by the Royal Navy and the Army...

An extract from 'A Short History of the RAF' by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork

For more on the history of the RAF follow this Link: http://www.raf.mod.uk/history