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Flying Corps Headquarters 1914-1918

One of the most unlikely midwives to the fledgling Royal Flying Corps was the literary, fashionable and unsoldierly figure of Maurice Baring.

In 1914, aged 40, he obtained a commission in the Intelligence Corps, bought himself some khaki, got help with the tying of his puttees, and set off for France to be Private Secretary to the RFC’s senior officer, a post held from 1915 by the redoubtable ‘Boom’ Trenchard.

Flying Corps HQ, drawn from Baring’s letters and diaries, describes the momentous and historic war years that forged the flying services, where Trenchard’s resounding ‘Make a note of that, Baring’ became a well worn RFC expression.

The embryo RAF was fortunate in having Baring the staff officer, and also in having so witty and observant a writer to chronicle its early years.

There is much here that is painful, but much too that is enlightening or downright funny. A valuable classic account of the Royal Flying Corp during the First World War.

Wing Commander the Hon. Maurice Baring, OBE (1874-1945), fourth son of Lord Revelstoke, was educated at Eton and Cambridge, before joining the Diplomatic Service, from which he resigned to become a foreign and war correspondent. Remembered as a novelist, poet, critic, linguist, Russian scholar, travel writer and wit, he was also the close friend of many glittering literary, artistic and aristocratic figures of his day, including Belloc, Chesterton, Raymond Asquith, Lady Diana Cooper, and Ronald Knox. He published more than 60 books in his lifetime, verse, parodies, translations, critical essays, biographies, novels and works on and about Russia.

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