5 July 1917 – Royal Visit

As part of their tour of the armed forces in France, the King and Queen paid a visit to RFC stations in France. They visited 52 Squadron at their Base at Bray-Dunes. They then visited RFC Headquarters at St Omer. Aware of the propaganda value, official photographers recorded the visit. Copies of photographs are retained by the Imperial War Museum and reproduced below.

THE ROYAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

King George V receiving officers of No. 52 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps near Bray-Dunes. On the left are seen Brigadier General John Harold Whitworth Becke, commanding the 4th Brigade RFC, and General Sir Henry Rawlinson.© IWM (Q 5590)

THE OFFICIAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

King George V with Brigadier General John Becke at the Bray-Dunes aerodrome. Edward, the Prince of Wales, is looking at a Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 biplane.© IWM (Q 11891)

THE OFFICIAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

Queen Mary of Teck’s visit to the Royal Flying Corps Headquarters at Saint-Omer, 5 July 1917. Mabell Ogilvy, the Countess of Airlie; Brigadier-General Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the Earl of Shaftesbury (extreme left); and other members of the suite watching a flight. The aeroplane on the left is a Bristol Fighter and that on the right an R. E. 8. Other identified members of the suite are: Lieutenant-General Arthur Sloggett (second left); Major Maurice Baring (wearing a monocle); General Hugh Trenchard (second from the right).© IWM (Q 11850)

THE OFFICIAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

General Hugh Trenchard and Queen Mary of Teck during her visit to an aerodrome at the Royal Flying Corps Headquarters at Saint-Omer, 5 July 1917. Brigadier-General Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the Earl of Shaftesbury, is also present (far right).© IWM (Q 11847)

THE OFFICIAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

General Hugh Trenchard (right) and Queen Mary of Teck inspecting a Bristol Fighter biplane.© IWM (Q 11849)

THE OFFICIAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

Queen Mary of Teck’s visit to the Royal Flying Corps Headquarters at Saint-Omer, 5 July 1917. Lieutenant-General Arthur Sloggett, Brigadier-General Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the Earl of Shaftesbury, and another officer watching a flight. Bristol Fighter biplane can be seen in the background.© IWM (Q 11852)

THE OFFICIAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

General Hugh Trenchard (right) and Queen Mary of Teck inspecting Bristol Fighter biplanes during her visit to an aerodrome at the Royal Flying Corps Headquarters at Saint-Omer, 5 July 1917. Her female companion, visible in the right background, is Mabell Ogilvy, the Countess of Airlie.© IWM (Q 11848)

THE OFFICIAL VISITS TO THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918

Queen Mary of Teck and her suite, including General Hugh Trenchard, Brigadier-General Anthony Ashley Cooper, the Earl of Shaftesbury; Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Sloggett; and General Charles Foulkes, watching an airman “looping the loop”.© IWM (Q 2536)

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