This Souvenir Number of the Work achieved by Airships in the Portsmouth Command is dedicated to that Band of Brothers who formed the Personnel of Polegate, Upton, and Slindon Royal Naval Airship Stations, and who played such an Important Part in helping to sweep the Enemy Submarines from the Crowded Waterways of the English Channel during the Great War, 1914-1918.Portsmouth: printed by V. V. Sumfield, Printer & Stationer, Station Street, Eastbourne [for the Command], 1919 Stock Code: 143630
First and only edition of this rare illustrated history of the unit's vital work patrolling the English Channel, making them the "busiest" allied airship station of the war. Illustrations encompass individual and group portraits, ships on the ground and in the air, terrestrial and aerial views of the installations; text includes honours and awards. Copies located to IWM and Science Museum only.
RNAS Polegate was the base for Portsmouth Command's airships during WWI. The site was chosen in 1914 and work begun early in 1915, Polegate's first airship being commissioned by July 1915. The station's ships carried out defensive patrols, protecting merchant vessels in the Channel from Dungeness to Portland Bill, covering shipping to and from the Port of London and the ports of England's east coast, as well as the major docks at Portsmouth and Southampton: "flying activity increased as the war progressed, patrolling 1500 square miles in 1916, 2000 in 1917 and 4500 in 1918. Airships from Polegate flew more hours during the last two years of the war than those from any other allied airship station 3000 hours in 1917 and a massive 8140 hours in 1918. A letter of appreciation from Admiral Colville following the Armistice thanks the men for their splendid work done in convoying and safeguarding innumerable Troops, Hospital Supply Ships and Convoys, and continually patrolling the routes, harassing and also destroying enemy submarines" (Polegate, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum website, retrieved 30/09/2020).
Folio (282 x 223 mm). Resewn neatly in original moderate brown linen-textured card wrappers, title printed in black and white within decorative panel to the front panel.
Printed on coated paper and illustrated throughout with half-tones from photographs. Letterpress slip recording the death A. F. "Dick" Brock, following his return home to Canada, loosely inserted,. Brock had been awarded the D. F. M.
The wrappers a little rubbed and creased at the corners, light marginal finger-soiling, overall very good in attractive condition.
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