Glasgow University to honour 'forgotten father' of RAF

Sir David Henderson. Picture: submitted
Sir David Henderson. Picture: submitted
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An exhibition highlighting the role of the 'forgotten father' of the RAF is opening as part of centenary commemorations for the service.

The University of Glasgow is holding the exhibition to commemorate the foundation of the Royal Air Force on April 1 1918.
It highlights the story of Lieutenant General Sir David Henderson, one of the university's former students who learned to fly at 49 and played a vital role in establishing the RAF.
The exhibition in the university chapel traces the history of the RAF through the stories of those who served, and looks at Glasgow's connections with the service.
Reverend Stuart D MacQuarrie, chaplain to the university, said: "The University lost 761 members of its community in the First World War. During the four years of the centenary commemorations, we have helped to remember and tell the stories of those from our ranks who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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"The University Chapel has the names of all of those who died inscribed on its walls. And over the centenary it has been at the heart of the many University First World War events.
"We are honoured to host this centenary exhibition and remember those alumni who played such a vital role in the development and history of the RAF."
Lt General Henderson was appointed director-general of Military Aeronautics in 1913 and assumed command of the Royal Flying Corps in the field at the outset of war in 1914.
In 1917 he was seconded to work with General Jan Smuts who had been authorised to conduct a review of the British Air Services.
Sir David largely wrote the Smuts report and his view that there should be a single aviation service was said to be key to the foundation of the RAF.
The Royal Air Force was established on April 1 1918 by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, while the Women's Royal Air Force came into being on the same day.
The exhibition also features paintings by Professor Dugald Cameron OBE, one of the UK's leading aviation artists.
Jesper Ericsson of the Hunterian Museum, who curated the exhibition, said: "Visitors will be able to explore fascinating stories of individuals from the University of Glasgow who served with the RAF, from its beginnings through to the present day.
"Former students and alumni played key roles in the history of military aviation in this country, and helped make the RAF the most famous air force in the world. This very special connection is something Glasgow should be justifiably proud of."
The exhibition - Wings to War: Glasgow and the Centenary of the Royal Air Force - opens to the public on Wednesday.

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