June 2024 Updates & News

It’s been while since my last post here, but for the last 12 months or so I’ve been busy completing the final batch of compilations. I just have Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft to complete and that’s it for the major British aircraft manufacturers, making it 36 titles in all.

Of course, for the period we’re interested in here (1909-1980) there (was) is more to the aviation industry than just aircraft and aero engine manufacturers and when time permits I’ll give some thought to compiling a number of additional volumes for associated industrial concerns – Castrol, Shell and Dunlop perhaps.

However there is one compilation I was keen to complete, namely Royal Air Force (RAF) Recruitment Adverts. This compilation is now available on Amazon and covers the 50 years from 1933 to 1983 and features over 450 examples from the mainstream aviation press.

RAF Recruitment adverts

Compilation of over 450 RAF Recruitment adverts covering the period 1933 to 1983.

I acknowledge that it takes more than aircrew and engineering teams to build an air force, but it’s primarily these categories to which this volume is concerned.

Why 1933 to 1983?

1933 seemed a good place to start as it was the year that Hitler came to power, and the nation finally woke up to the urgency of building an aerial force capable of meeting any potential threats to our nation and wider interests. Our aircraft were relatively outdated and fewer in number than the potential threats demanded, and it was clear that we would need to recruit and train very large numbers of aircrew and engineering personnel to operate them.

The recruitment process was democratised to a certain extent, and the notion that the inter-war RAF was the ‘best flying club in the world’ needed to change, but whatever the perceptions, it’s always been the case that the RAF is extremely good at recruiting and training its air and ground crews where quality counts more than quantity.

 In these two 1938 adverts the numbers speak for themselves.

1983 corresponds to a half century of massive technological change and the reduction of both airframes and personnel,  but the skill and dedication required to  operate the  aircraft remains much the same as in many respects does the recruitment process.

Since the end of WW2 the personnel and aircraft requirements varied according the geopolitical events ranging here from the Cold War and The Falklands conflict.

Of particular note in this context was the dramatic effect of Duncan Sandys’ 1957 defence review on the potential RAF career prospects for aircrew posts – look for the ‘Flying In The Missile Age adverts making it quite clear the prospects were still good.

Also of note is the legacy of Trenchard’s farsightedness in establishing the RAF College at Cranwell for officers and the apprentice school for engineering ground trades.

A couple of examples from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

There are a multitude of other themes and trends for you to explore beyond the staples of adventure  and teamwork…

…  and finally a couple from the 1980s

How these adverts would fare in today’s more ‘liberal’ environment is for you to decide, but at least they all were all easy to understand and straight to the point!

You can order your copy from Amazon by following this link.


This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.