Valuable RAF scroll is discovered in an attic

Commissioning Scroll Presented to RAF Halton 16-01-12
Commissioning Scroll Presented to RAF Halton 16-01-12

A HOMEOWNER was clearing out her attic when she discovered an historic Royal Air Force document that dates back to the day the RAF was founded.

Lesley Holloway, who works at John Colet School in Wendover, said: “I was cleaning out the loft space with my husband Jim and we found the scroll in a cardboard tube addressed to our house.

“Thinking it was just old rubbish, Jim was about to burn it, but I said to him that the history department at John Colet School might be interested.”

The 94-year-old document formalises the commissioning into the Royal Air Force by Lieutenant Frederick Aubrey Lane Sear on the very day that the RAF was founded.

Mr Sear was born in Thame in 1891 and joined the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during the First World War before he went on to join the Royal Flying Corps after gaining his Aviators Certificate in 1917.

On April 1, 1918, the Royal Flying Corps was amalgamated with the Royal Naval Air Service to form the Royal Air Force so he became one of the first pilots to be commissioned into the service.

The scroll is dated and signed by King George V and Air Vice-Marshal Sir Sefton Brancker, who was a pioneer in British military aviation, making it very valuable in terms of RAF history.

Restored and framed, the scroll now hangs in the historic Halton House Officers Mess at RAF Halton.

Frederick Sear died in 1951 but his name will live on in RAF history.