My father, Norman Edwards, started writing these memoirs during his retirement. He typed up the text and included it with photographs in an album. He made photocopies, page by page, which he passed on to me and my sister, Elizabeth Ann. I do not know what his intentions were, whether he hoped to publish them (he was a professional writer, as you will see). The story goes as far as the end of World War II in Burma. I do not know whether he planned to take the story further. However, after a heart attack in 2006 he no longer had the energy to write and he died on 8th January 2008.
The title page of the album originally read 'A brief pictorial history', but the 'brief' has been crossed out - evidently it became longer than anticipated.
In transferring it to web pages, I have tried to remain as close to the original format as possible. I have maintained the pagination and the relative positions of the pictures (though they may not be correct if you are viewing on a small screen). I have added some internal links to references within the text. I have also added some external links (obviously not in the original) to sources of additional information. I have tried to be sparing with these, not marking every possible reference to anything that's on the web; you can use Google as well as I can. All these external links are marked with an icon . I have re-touched some of the photos to a small extent, to remove blemishes.
In January 2012 I found another album, which evidently was an intended continuation. There are further pages of commentary (from 151 Indian OTU Peshawar to the end. There were also several pages of more pictures, some without commentary, evidently incomplete. These merge into more recent photographs, including some of Aircrew Association members and then merging into family pictures. I have included only the ones relating to the airforce service here.
One thing my father taught me was to take care with spelling and grammar. Thus, there were few errors in the original and I have only corrected the most obvious slips. The pictures and text have all been scanned from the originals, but I hope I have corrected all errors in scanning.
If you would like to make contact with me, having read these page, you can email me.
For efficiency I have split the contents into a number of pages organised roughly chronologically.
|1888||4 June||Sarah Spencer Gale born|
|1891||2 May||Joseph Thomas Edwards born|
|1918||30 September||Joseph Edwards and Sarah Spencer married|
|1921||15 May||Thomas William Edwards born|
|1922||16 October||Norman Edwards born|
|1924||26 October||Walter Edwards born|
|1936||Began work as Office Boy at the Manchester Press Exchange|
|1940||December||Started working as a journalist|
|1941||29 May||Volunteered for the RAF|
|12 October||Reported to Aircrew Receiving Centre at Lord's cricket ground|
|27 October||Initial Training at RAF Finningley|
|1942||5 February||Promoted to Leading Aircraftsman. Posted to Brighton.|
|4 March||Posted to 26 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS), Theale|
|6 March||First flight, in a Tiger Moth|
|23 March||First solo|
|17 April||Arrived Halifax, Nova Scotia|
|20 May||Posted to 35 EFTS, Manitoba|
|6 August||Transferred to 14 SFTS, Aymer, Ontario. First flight in a Harvard.|
|17 August||First solo in a Harvard|
|27 November||Commissioned as Pilot Officer|
|18 December||Posted to Harrogate Personnel Dispersal Centre|
|1943||6 January||Posted to Number 7 Elementary Flying School, Braunstone, Leicester|
|20 April||Posted to 5 Advanced Flying Unit at Tern Hill, Shropshire|
|24 May||Posted to 58 Operational Training Unit, Grangemouth|
|31 May||First Spitfire flight|
|17 June||Crashed and baled out|
|11 July||Transferred to Balado Bridge, Kinrosshire|
|11 September||Boarded the Mooltan to India.|
|12 October||Disembarked to Worli Reception Depot.|
|December||Moved to Poona|
|1944||1 January||Joined 155 Squadron in Calcutta.|
|14 January||First flight, in a Spitfire Mark VIII|
|20 September||Squadron moved to Baigachi|
|7 November||Course 20 at Amarda Road Air Fighting Training Unit|
|14 December||Returned to 155 Squadron, Sapam|
|1945||24 February||Last operational flight with 155|
|10 March||Posted to 151 Operational Training Unit (OTU), Peshawar|
|1946||22 May||Last flight in RAF, Bhopal to Ambala, via Agra, in a Harvard.|
|1952||4 January||Birth of Elizabeth Ann Edwards|
|1955||22 September||Birth of Alistair Douglas Norman Edwards|
|1968||September||Death of Joseph Edwards|
|2008||8 January||Death of Norman Edwards RIP|
|2019||25 July||Death of Walter Edwards|
3 April 2010 & 26 January 2012
Updated 23 November 2019