THE ROYAL FLYING CORPS 1912
In some anxiety, the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, asked the Committee of Imperial Defence to examine the entire question of naval and military aviation and to suggest how Britain could have an efficient air force. When the government realised in 1912 that a large organised Corps was required to develop the use of aviation, it was a sub-committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence, led by General David Henderson, that developed the master-plan for the Royal Flying Corps which came into being on the 13 March 1912. Henderson was originally a Sandhurst trained infantry officer in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In his career he had survived a brush with death in the form of an accidentally discharged bullet during the Zulu war, and had held a number of low-level positions as a staff officer. The situation changed for Henderson after 1911 when, at the age of 49, he enrolled in a flying course with the Bristol Flying School at Brooklands. Under his command and over the next 6 years, Henderson developed some of the central roles that would be carried on by the RAF; aerial reconnaissance, fighter interception and tactical support. Lord Trenchard, when later described as the ‘Father of the RAF’, would always state that this was not the case; in his opinion, the true Father of the RAF was Lieutenant General Sir David Henderson"