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Source 1: Pilot training in Windermere, May 1915

Douglas Hume joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915, aged 18, and started his training as a pilot in the Lake District in north-west England.

You can print the image and transcript below as a Word document (Rich Text Format, 1.86MB, new window).

You can print a transcript of the full letter as a Word document (Rich Text Format, 10KB, new window).

View the timeline for an outline of John Douglas Hume's life.

Letter from John Hume to his mother describing his early training in the Royal Naval Air Service. National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/34


A handwritten letter on Royal Hotel headed notepaper. The headed paper includes a sketch of the Royal Hotel with horse-drawn carriages outside.

Royal Hotel, Bowness-on-Windermere, 16 May 1915

Dear Mother,
Sunday today! the first flight took place this
morning. After getting up about 3.30am we got to the
School & had the Avro out by 5.10am and then Mr
Ding himself came out & took me up for my ‘joy ride’ in the
NAC [National Air Communication] Mono[plane]. I had an awful job getting the machine
started. The propellor is behind the main plane and to
start it one must stand on the float under the plane
& shove at the propellor through the wires. After about
15 min[ute]s puffing I got it off & away we went. I didn’t
notice the lift at all and forgot to look over the side
till we were about 600 ft high. We went up to Bowness
& back again and then took a circle round & came down [15 minutes in all].

(National Records of Scotland reference GD486/34)



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