About the product

1914 Trio Contemptible Little Flying Corps

A special “Contemptible Little Flying Corps” 1914 Star and bar Grouping to Squadron Leader Frederick Charles Whenman, over 30 years service to the RAF since joining the RFC in 1912.

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SKU: J7132 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
Nearly Extremely Fine


1914 Star, with original clasp, British War and Victory Medal, 1935 Jubilee Medal, Royal Air Force Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, GV, Royal Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, GV, 1939-45 War Medal, Defence Medal.
With high quality contemporary struck set of miniatures matching full size medals, BWM, Jubilee, RAF LSGC, RAF MSM all silver.
Also with 2 related RAF Masonic Medals, one a Primo ROAB Medal for RAF Aboukir Lodge 1921, another RAOB Medal commemorating the 1919 Allied Victory, both named and a related bronze token “ADVANCED, Son of Man Mark Well”


A very special and rare grouping to Squadron Leader Frederick Charles Whenman who first attested directly into the brand new Royal Flying Corps which had only just been formed and began recruiting a few months earlier in 1912. His medals represent over 30 years of service to the Royal Air Force since its inception in 1912 up to and including World War 2.


Notably he arrived into WW1 as an original member of the R.F.C. Expeditionary Force on the morning of 13th August 1914, whilst the Army and many of his RFC comrades were shipped in by sea, he had the rare pleasure of hitching a ride as Mechanic to Lt VHN Wadham in Bleriot XI Biplane, number 388 as part of A Flight (Bleriot 388 was later destroyed in a flying accident on 22nd October 1914). These were the very first RFC flights into France, as they readied themselves for their first war.


Each pilot had been instructed to climb to at least 3,000 feet in order to have a good chance of reaching shore in the event of engine failure over the Channel. In the event some climbed as high 8,000 feet. Each crew member had been issued with an inner tube to provide flotation in the event of ditching as life jackets had not been provided in time. The Navy positioned vessels across the Channel to rescue any downed machines.


Most aircraft took a mechanic as passenger to provide assistance in the event of mechanic problems. However some pilots were assigned another officer as passenger, an unpopular decision with some pilots.


Medals are court mounted excluding WW2 medals on old silk ribbons circa late 1930s, the WW2 medals loose as likely not needed to be mounted for wear following his retirement. Full size medals all toned and in good condition, not often worn as he had custom miniatures commissioned, likely made in the 1930s following his commission.


There are only 1426 men on the roll of the Contemptible Little Flying Corps, out of them, only 46 would also be awarded the RAF MSM, 234 awarded the RAF LSGC and only 67 awarded the 1935 Jubilee Medal, altogether forming a very rare group.


His entry in A Contemptible Little Flying Corps, by Ian McInnes and J.V. Webb:


“349, Frederick Charles Whenman


Direct entry into Royal Flying Corps on 10th September 1912.
As Corporal, 3rd Squadron when earned his 1914 Star and Bar in France from 13th August 1914.
Promoted to Technical Sergeant Major (T) on 25th August 1917 and was Chief Master Mechanic (Tech) in 1918 RAF Muster Roll.
Awarded the RAF Meritorious Service Medal for services in France in London Gazette, 3rd June 1919.
Originally from Kingston Upon Thames.
Awarded the RAF Long Service and Good Conduct w.e.f. 10th September 1930 as SM1 (Senioirity 1 April 1918).
Awarded the 1935 Jubilee Medal.
Commissioned as Flying Officer (CEO) w.e.f. 19th September 1935.
On 1st February 1937 was posted to the Packing Depot, Sealand, Queensferry, Cheshire