The King’s message to the Royal Air Force

It's 90 years to the day since the guns fell silent, and the bombs stopped falling. I don't feel that I have anything particularly insightful to say, so here's how Flight marked the occasion, by publishing the King's message to the RAF on its front page, 14 November 1918, p. 1270 (source):

Flight, 14 November 1918, p. 1270


To the Right Hon. LORD WEIR, Secretary of State and President of the Air Council.

In this supreme hour of victory I send greetings and heartfelt congratulations to all ranks of the Royal Air Force. Our aircraft have been ever in the forefront of the battle; pilots and observers have consistently maintained the offensive throughout the ever-changing fortunes of the day, and in the war zones our gallant dead have lain always beyond the enemies' lines or far out to sea.

Our far-flung squadrons have flown over home waters and foreign seas, the Western and Italian battle lines, Rhineland, the Mountains of Macedonia, Gallipoli, Palestine, the plains of Mesopotamia, the forests and swamps of East Africa, the North-West frontier of India, and the deserts of Arabia, Sinai and Darfur.

The birth of the Royal Air Force, with its wonderful expansion and development, will ever remain one of the most remarkable achievements of the Great War.

Everywhere, by God's help, officers, men and women of the Royal Air Force have splendidly maintained our just cause, and the value of their assistance to the Navy, the Army, and to Home Defence has been incalculable. For all their magnificent work, self-sacrifice, and devotion to duty, I ask you on behalf of the Empire to thank them.

November 11, 1918.

In a follow-up post, I'll look at Flight's message to the politicians.

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11 thoughts on “The King’s message to the Royal Air Force

  1. Erik Lund

    ...And it's Lord Weir who takes the call. Just think if the man had a publicity machine like Northcliffe, Rothermere, Beaverbrook or even Londonderry and Hoare. We might even have heard of him!

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  3. I think I'd rather be in the Air than back in the trenchs somehow, despite the losses in the Royal Flying Corps being roughly comparable to those in the trenchs at about 1 in 4. What a price for victory.


  4. M O'Sullivan

    What value woulb be on a framed signed copyf of the King's letter to the Royal Air Force. Dated November 11th 1918

  5. Steve greb

    I have the same except it's not frammed. Found it in an attic in northern Ontario

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