Saturday, April 18, 2015


Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 


One Mans War - A bit about the RAF
John Robert Laws 1921-2008

Part 2

It was only a few weeks before I was posted to the EFTS at Peterborough to get my feet off the ground. It was an intensive course of lectures and flying and we had half a day a week of free time. Flying was exhilarating but learning was not easy and it took a few hours in the air to get over the problem of airsickness. There was no time to spare as unless one went solo in seven or eight hours one was out of flying training. 

Fortunately the Tiger Moths which were the standard trainer of the day were a very safe aircraft and stood up to much abuse. Even so I saw one pilot foolish enough to pull the wings off one, and have to join the Caterpillar Club. 

(The Caterpillar Club is an informal association of people who have successfully used a parachute to bail out of a disabled aircraft. After authentication by the parachute maker, applicants receive a membership certificate and a distinctive lapel pin. The nationality of the person saving his life by parachute and ownership of the aircraft are not factors in determining qualification for membership; anybody who has saved his life by using a parachute after bailing out of a disabled aircraft is eligible).

I think the second solo flight was the most difficult, perhaps the lessons have been forgotten or perhaps they had never been really learnt. In all we did about fifty hours at the EFTS. The system was overloaded of course. There weren’t even enough flying log books to go round and loose sheets had to be used. My elementary training lasted from 4th August 1941 till 12 September 1941. How lucky it was summer.

Ten days later I was at the little airfield at Scone near Perth in Scotland doing my first flight on a course to become a flying instructor. One’s feet had hardly had time to touch the ground so to speak. Now we flew Magisters as well as Tiger Moths.

These were a more modern low wing monoplane but still quite well behaved though perhaps just a little less forgiving. We learnt the beginnings of aerobatics, though it was distinctly not encouraged to come into land from an inverted approach as one instructor I flew with did.

The Tiger had a gravity feed fuel system so the engine cut out if you stayed inverted. One of the more amusing exercises was restarting the engine in flight. Having stopped the prop by cutting off the fuel and going nose up to a stall one had to put the fuel on again and go into a vertical dive till the slipstream made the prop spin again and started the engine. Methods of instruction had been wholly standardised and one learned the standard ‘patter’ and suited actions to words.

Scone was pleasant airfield for this course. It was not too close to the mountains and there were plenty of easily recognisable natural features to help you find your way. Although it was approaching winter, it was not too cold and the main hazard was fog which could slide in quickly and cover the field. It was sometimes quite shallow with the trees sticking up through it would give you the shape of the field so that you knew where to go down through it to land. 

There was of course no radio in those aircraft and only a limited instrument panel, not the standard blind flying panel. We didn’t do any instrument flying on this course, We had however done half a dozen hours on the Link trainer on the ab initio course and did a further eight hours at Scone. The link was elementary flight simulator fir instrument flying training, we did not do any night flying but we did the standard aerobatics of loops and rolls and became reasonably competent on the elementary aircraft with just another hundred hours of flying time done to finish the course just before Christmas 1941.        

Continues Tomorrow

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Family Events from our database for today April 18

1626 - Marriage: Simon BRICKENBURY-2183 and Mary LAWES-2184, Brenzett,
           Romney Marsh KEN UK
1705 - Birth: Elizabeth LAWS-7018, Trunch NFK UK
1797 - Death: James LAWS (Innkeeper & Agent for London Trades) -3616, Great Yarmouth NFK

                                                         Great Yarmouth NFK UK

1802 - Marriage: William LAWES-616 and Leah SAUNDERS-617, St.Brides MDX
1806 - Birth: Sally LAWS-3901, Plymouth, Windsor Co VT USA
1824 - Baptism: Ann LAWES-46836, Overton WIL UK
1833 - Birth: Sarah Ann LAWS-119620, Sullivan NH USA
1836 - Birth: William George LAWS (Civil Engineer) -40144, Tynemouth NBL UK
1849 - Birth: Nancy Ann LAWS-41247, Praire City, Rush Co, IN USA
1854 - Marriage: Thomas Valentine RESTON-58433 and Mary Ann LAWS (Dairy Maid/Spr)-6639,            Stratton Strawless NFK UK

                                                       Stratton Strawless NFK UK

1873 - Birth: Mary Ada LAWS-125494,
1875 - Burial: Roger LAWS (Ag Lab & Widower) -35894,
1893 - Confirmation: Caroline Goodacre LAWS (General Servant) -125135, Kensal Green MDX UK
1894 - Miscellaneous: Mary Jane Heath LAWS-8786,
1894 - Will Proved: Benjamin Wilson LAWS (Commercial Traveller) -4745,
1894 - Miscellaneous: Albert Heath LAWS (Commercial Clerk & Photographer) -4744,
1900 - Death: Henry LAWS-115132, Pelham Twp., Welland Co., ONT CANADA
1902 - Miscellaneous: Charles Bennett  LAWES (Sculptor) -226,
1903 - Birth: Elsie Esther LAWS-5143, Grays ESS UK
1904 - Birth: Hilda Janet LAWS (Teacher) -3970, Grafton, NSW AUSTRALIA
1905 - Birth: Thomas LAWES (RN L14411) -47678, Tilshead WIL UK

                                                          Tilshead Wiltshire

1908 - Birth: Hannah LAWS-54517,
1908 - Death: Stephen  LAWES
1912 - Death: Ernest Frederick Robert LAWES (Newspaper Manager)-1715, "Mansfield",
           Westcliff  Gardens, Bournmouth HAM UK

                                                    Bournemouth Hampshire/Dorset

1917 - Miscellaneous: James Robert LAWS (Slater & Roof Tiler) -43211,
1918 - Death: Thomas George LAWS (ARMY Lance Corporal 21507) -45144,
1928 - Will Proved: Sarah Ann LAWES-2445,
1932 - Marriage: John Bailey Jr LAWS-45940 and Zada KINCADE-45941,
1937 - Death: Frederick LAWS (Relieving Officer) -6105, East Dereham NFK UK

                                                          East Dereham Norfolk

1942 - Marriage: Edward Royal LAWES (Australian Army) -32390 and Phyllis Mary O'BRIAN-                47051, Cowra NSW AUSTRALIA
1948 - Birth: William Alleyn LAWS (Journalist & Writer) -122733, Bournemouth HAM
1951 - Birth: Rebecca Ann LAWS-29737, TX USA
1955 - Birth: Graham Albert LAWS-51552, Stratford ESS UK
1955 - Death: Geoffrey Gary LAWES (ARMY Lt 407940 RTR) -50832,
1956 - Birth: Janice Irene LAWS-56058, Kensington MDX UK
1957 - Burial: Thomas John LAWS (Grocer) -38409, Park Grove Cemetery, Broken Arrow, Tulsa                OK USA
1962 - Estate to: Charles Albert LAWES-124206,
1962 - Burial: Louis V LAWS-45648, Salt Lake City UT United States
1968 - Burial: Horace William LAWS-57189, Chadwell Heath Cemetery ESS UK
1972 - Birth: Andre LAWS-40552, TX USA
1977 - Birth: Julia Maria LAWS-43339,
1985 - Birth: Jonathan Vanden LAWS-40742, TX USA
1999 - Death: Leslie LAWS-31852, NSW AUSTRALIA

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