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The University of Sussex

 9 May 2002 

Student uncovers history of magnificient men in their flying machines

Glyn Elliot, a second year history student at the University of Sussex, has been investigating the history of the Royal Navy Air Service, using some fascinating sources.

"My wife's family nursed a gentleman through an illness," says Glyn. "When he died he passed on a big trunk containing photographic plates, a diary and his flight log."

These items belonged to Royce Gustaff Andre Baudry, an engineering student at Imperial College of Science and Technology in London who joined the Royal Navy Air Service in March 1915.

Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, home of the Short Brothers aircraft manufacturers, was Royce's training base. One of Royce's colleagues was John Alcock, who along with Arthur Whitten-Brown made the first flight across the Atlantic in June 1919.

The Photographic and Design Unit at the University of Sussex printed the photos for Glyn from the original glass negatives. Glyn has used Royce's diary to identify the subject of the photos.

Glyn has had help from the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton in Somerset with his research, and has offered the material to them for their collection. "They were fantastically helpful with identifying the photos, and it seems like the most appropriate place for this material to go," says Glyn.

The average life expectancy for a pilot in France in the First World War was just two weeks, and on 2nd August 1916, Royce was shot down while escorting Royal Flying Corp bombers back from a raid on an airfield in Ghent. He was 22. The flight log of a colleague reads that he 'saw him being heavily fired on and then dive out of sight.'

 Notes for editors 

A photo of Royce Baudry with his Bleriot Parasol monoplane is available.

For further information, please contact Peter Simmons or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email or

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