Hugh Montague Trenchard (1873 - 1956)

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About Hugh Montague Trenchard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Trenchard

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard GCB OM GCVO DSO (3 February 1873 – 10 February 1956) was a British officer who was instrumental in establishing the Royal Air Force. He has been described as the Father of the Royal Air Force.

During his formative years Trenchard struggled academically, failing many examinations and only just succeeding in meeting the minimum standard for commissioned service in the British Army. As a young infantry officer, Trenchard served in India and with the outbreak of the Boer War, he volunteered for service in South Africa. Whilst fighting the Boers, Trenchard was critically wounded and as a result of his injury, he lost a lung, was partially paralysed and returned to Great Britain. On medical advice Trenchard travelled to Switzerland to recuperate and boredom saw him taking up bobsleighing. After a heavy crash, Trenchard found that his paralysis was gone and that he could walk unaided. Following further recuperation, Trenchard returned to active service in South Africa.

After the end of the Boer War, Trenchard saw service in Nigeria where he was involved in efforts to bring the interior under settled British rule and quell inter-tribal violence. During his time in West Africa, Trenchard commanded the Southern Nigeria Regiment for several years.

In 1912, Trenchard learned to fly and he was subsequently appointed as second in command of the Central Flying School. He held several senior positions in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, serving as the commander of Royal Flying Corps in France from 1915 to 1917. In 1918, he briefly served as the first Chief of the Air Staff before taking up command of the Independent Air Force in France. Returning as Chief of the Air Staff under Winston Churchill in 1919, Trenchard spent the following decade securing the future of the Royal Air Force. He was Metropolitan Police Commissioner in the 1930s and a defender of the RAF in his later years. Trenchard is recognized today as one of the early advocates of strategic bombing.

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