26 June 1915 – Observers get some recognition at last

Observers remain somewhat unappreciated. This is despite the fact that observation remains the primary role of the air forces, and that they are playing an increasingly important role in artillery spotting, aerial photography and defence of the aircraft.

This has also led most observers to viewing the position as temporary, and as a means to becoming a pilot. This is unfortunate given the increasingly important role that they are playing and has inhibited recognition of their professionalism and the need for proper training.

Nevertheless, the first steps were taken to remedying this today when the Commander-in-Chief Sir John French wrote to the War Office suggesting that “…some confusion is caused by the variety of uniforms And badges worn by officers of the different regiments Who are now attached to the Royal Flying Corps for observation duties, and it is desirable to adopt a distinguishing mark for the qualified observer.”

This followed a suggestion Major-General Sir David Henderson in a letter to French at GHQ on 15 June, with a rough sketch of a suggested badge. French agreed and included a revised sketch with his letter to the War Office.


Henderson’s original suggestion on the left, and French’s revision on the right.


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