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TOPIC: RAF Works Services

RAF Works Services 10 Mar 2016 13:50 #1

  • Harboda77
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During the airfield construction and subsequent maintance phases the civilan contractors could be supported by the RAF Works Services about 1941 or 1942 that would have preceded the Ministry of Works which may have been initiated some time in 1943 ?

I've never seen RAFWS refered to any threads on ARG ?

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Last Edit: by netcompsys. Reason: Moved to RAF units, etc

RAF Works Services 10 Mar 2016 16:28 #2

  • Peter Kirk
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I believe it was the Air Ministry Works Department during the war but have no idea about when it was created and if it was later renamed. It would be interesting to know how it was structured as I have often wondered if Moorings branch was part of them. There is a volume called "Works - How the RAF Prepares for War (1956)" that covers their work although I don't think it was specifically about AMWD. Perhaps I should dig my copy out!

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RAF Works Services 10 Mar 2016 18:41 #3

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My understanding was that the REFWS worked under the direction of AMWD.

I believe that the ' D ' stood for ' Directorate '

My Father started building our local OTU in 41/42 as an agrigate lorry driver and then trained as an electrician becoming the MOW in 43/44.

A friend of his sisters was involved in compolsory purchase up of land up to 45 and my recollections are based on their discussions during the late 80's.

The MOW name was updated some time in the early 60's to include the word ' Buildings '

My recollection is that the RAFWS were soursed from RAF personal who had a building skill before they joined up and were then used as a skill shortage solution during 41.

The only other thing that I can recall was that the importer of caterpiller vehicles into the UK also ran a RAFWS school some where in the Hatfield area.

The RAFWS could be used to build Airplane Sheds ( Hangars ) along side the civilian contractors when there was a man power shortage.

The RAFWS had a trade structure and may have been listed as ' squadrons '

My Aunts husband who worked for the AM always maintained they were never fully recognised for the work they completed not only building & maintaining new airfields but in assisting in the repair of a bomb damaged station.

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RAF Works Services 10 Mar 2016 20:12 #4

  • ted angus
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A very complex organisation. The Air Ministry Works Directorate was the the Whitehall level organisation. Subordinate to it was the RAF work services. Later the Airfield construction branch was formed and it too was tasked by AMWD and overseas by the theatre HQ.

The Office of Works was renamed the Ministry of Works in 1940, in 1962 it was renamed Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. In 1963 AMWD was subsumed by MPBW and at this point all members of the ACB were declared redundant and their responsibilities transferred to the RE. Prior to 1963 the MoW ( MPBW) Had little or no involvement in RAF Works or projects.
I have a copy of AP 3236- entitled The Second World War 1939-1945 WORKS issued by the AHB in 1956 , it runs to 740+ pages, facinating reading but I still cannot getr my head around the exact wiring diagram of the organisation.
TED
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RAF Works Services 10 Mar 2016 21:28 #5

  • WJT
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And then MPBW became the Property Services Agency (PSA) - perhaps by the mid-70s?

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RAF Works Services 11 Mar 2016 22:59 #6

  • Harboda77
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Tracked the Hatfield training connection to Jack Olding & Co Ltd as per the write up in the attached link.

www.hatfield-herts.co.uk/features/olding.html

In the process of identifying the training link above came across the following link on MOW.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Works_%28United_Kingdom%29

This in turn lead me to the following link.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airfield_Construction_Branch_RAF

My latest lead is that any one who uses the ' Flight Magazine War Time Archives ' can read two articles on this subject that I'm lead to believe were printed in the October 41 & May 42 editions.

This may be it but have yet to search ?

www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/

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Last Edit: by Harboda77. Reason: Flightglobal link added

RAF Works Services 12 Mar 2016 19:16 #7

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Located the articles in Flight October 9th 1941 on Aerodrome Leveling and Jack Olding & Co Ltd. ( 1941 - 2360 PDF & 1941 - 2361 PDF )

The article on RAF Works Services was in Flight May 7th 1942 ( 1942 - 0978 PDF; 1942 - 0980 PDF & 1942 - 0981 PDF )

Their magazine front page indicated that they were the first Aeronautical Weekly in the World established in 1909.

For those of a certain age who will remember G Geoffrey Smith of Autocar & The Motorcycle.

GGS was the Managing Editor of Flight and the Aircraft Engineer who was in control when the above articles were published.

C.M. Poulsen had been the editor of Flight who authored the pre conflict books on airships.

John Yoxall was chief photographer of Flight from 1918 to 1939.

He joined the staff of Flight in 1913. During the 1914-18 war he served in the Army, the RFC and the RAF, in the latter Services as a photographer.

Maurice A. Smith, editor of Flight from 1949 to 1957 said. "With the sudden death of John Yoxall, Flight loses its last direct link with the early, if not the earliest, days of flying. He knew the pioneers personally, and the great names when they were ordinary people, and he flew in very many of their aircraft as one of the first aerial press photographers.

Through the years he built up with his colleagues a photographic library which is unique—a pictorial history of aviation. Practically every one of his sets of pictures had a story, and because he could tell it so entertainingly he was soon called upon to write as well as take photographs.

His illustrated squadron histories are treasured by many who served in the RAF and Fleet Air Arm.

Hands up any one who owns their works, publications or photograph compilations.

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RAF Works Services 12 Mar 2016 21:01 #8

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Wing Commander Maurice A Smith DFC & Bar.

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