The Turner Novels -

The Aviators

Sefton Branker

Sefton BrankerOnce described as "deceptively foppish", Major W. Sefton Brancker was a career soldier with a keen understanding of the likely role, and needs of the fledgling RFC.

With his monocle, immaculate dress and easy going manners he was frequently underestimated. p>

Fortunately this was not a mistake made by the then commander of the RFC, Henderson, or Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener

He was placed in sole charge of supply and equipment at the Military Aeronautics Directorate. He laid down three main requirements. The design and production of aeroplanes and engines, the recruitment and training of pilots and air mechanics, and the establishment of aerodromes and training establishments.

He worked tirelessly to achieve this. When he suggested in a written memorandum to Kitchener that the army was likely to need fifty squadrons in the field, Kitchener famously noted cryptically on the bottom of the sheet, "Double this - K"

He was right.

Brancker went on after the war to serve in several improtant posts in the developing civil aviation industry, being made Director of Civil Aviation in 1922. He was to lose his life in the tragic loss of the airship R101 in 1930.


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