Ringway

https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/no-1-pts-raf-ringway

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 11.54.27
First OC PTS: 24.6.1940 – 12.5. 1941. Wg. Cdr. Louis Strange DSO MC DFC
Strange as WW1 pilot. Frontispiece to Louis Strange autobiography, published by John Hamilton Ltd, London 1933
As civilian Instructor at Hendon 1913. Louis Strange autobiography, as above p.20

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DFC Investiture 1922. Photograph courtesy Peter Hearn
TIMES 2 ss
The Times 1 August 2019. Article courtesy Graham Hand
MEDALS
Decorations
ORIGINAL HEADSTONE
Original Headstone
HEADSTONE 2
Headstone restored
MEMORIAL CROSS
Photographs courtesy the Bournemouth Echo

https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/17811431.lost-grave-heroic-war-pilot-cheated-death-twice-discovered-purbeck/

REBEL 2ss
Biography 1994 courtesy Peter Hearn

SECOND OC PTS
Second OC PTS. 12 .5. 1941 – 3.8. 1941. Sqn. Ldr. Jack Benham. Picture Courtesy Darren Cookson
ACCIDENT REPORT
Entry from Aviation Safety Network. Wg. Cdr. Benham lost his life in this aircraft crash on 24.1. 1942. Information courtesy Darren Cookson
Historic period watercolour
Water colour courtesy Stuart Sherman
Rear of watercolour
Numbers
Key to numbers
PTS Establishment 1941
RINGWAY STAFF E ss
WG.CDR MAURICE NEWNHAM OBE DFC
Wg. Cdr. Maurice Newnham OBE DFC. OC PTS Ringway 4.8.41 – 20.5.44
Maurice Newnham Parachuting Logbook – note exit heights
N LOGBOOK 1 ss E
NEWNHAM LOGBOOK 2 ss E
NB Jump number 10 dated 19.2.42 – see excerpt from Fatality Stats below. Newnham was also injured, hence made only water jumps thereafter
FATALITY STATS SEPT '41 - MARCH '42
Ringway Annex – STATIC LINE FATALITIES UNDER TRAINING (excerpt)
N LOGBOOK 3 E ss
N LOGBOOK 4 E ss
N LOGBOOK 5 E ss
N LOGBOOK 6E ss
VE DAY NEWNHAM ss
VE Day 8 May 1945, jump number 28. Newnham 3rd from left
N LOGBOOK 7 E ss
Final entry
Staff history and awards
WO JOE SUNDERLANDFLT.LT HARRY WARD E ss
WO Joe Sunderland (i/c Packing Section) and Flt.Lt. Harry Ward (i/c Parachute Training)
SOSABOWSKI ss
Harry Ward with General Sosabowski. Note Polish parachutist wings
WARD WINGS ss
Harry Ward – pre-war Birdman.
WARDCOVER ss
Biography 1990 courtesy Peter Hearn 
SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE (SOE)

PJI s not only trained SOE agents to parachute but despatched them more often than not behind enemy lines. Agents were despatched at night and at low altitudes all over the world on covert operations. SOE as an organisation carried more operational descents than the British Army but they only jumped in small numbers due to the nature of their work.

PJIs were involved in the training of Odette Churchill.

Having left the relative safety of Britain behind, Odette Churchill (nee Sansom) landed in occupied France near Cannes by parachute in 1942 before heading to the rendezvous point to meet her supervisor, Peter Churchill. Churchill had entered the country some months earlier to co-ordinate the activities of the SOE’s “F” Section Spindle network in Montpellier. Odette was based in this area and tasked with assisting the French Resistance.

On the 16th April 1943, however Odette’s luck ran out. Betrayed by a double agent, they were arrested and tortured by the Gestapo. She was condemned to death in June 1943 but not given a specific execution date. Odette’s cover story was that Peter Churchill was Sir Winston Churchill’s nephew and she was his wife. She subsequently spent the rest of the war in a concentration camp and survived to testify against her captors.

(Extract courtesy Howard Marsh)

Free French SF Course undated, circa 1942. Section instructor was PJI Sgt. Richard Lucas. Photograph by courtesy of his son Robert
Course signatures.
Free French troops of No. 4 SAS, Ringway Course 97 from 28 December 1943- 10 January 1944. Photograph courtesy David Portier FFLSAS website
RAF Ringway XV. Photograph courtesy Martin Whitcombe
RINGWAY RUGBY XV 1944 ss
Jimmy Blyth in the door with the ball. Photograph courtesy John Cole