About the product

AGS Somaliland 1920 Batman RAF With Photo

AGS, GV, bar Somaliland 1920, 332433 AC2 Batman Christopher Riley, Royal Air Force, Officer’s Batman with Z Unit RAF in Somaliland. With Photograph of him.

Out of stock

SKU: J7921 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
Nearly Extremely Fine


Africa General Service Medal, GV, bar Somaliland 1920, 332433 Aircraftsman 2nd Class, Christopher Riley, Royal Air Force, Young man from Liverpool, Z Unit RAF in Somaliland.


Officially impressed: “332433 A.C.2. C. Riley. R.A.F.”


With copy RAF service records, Merchant Navy Records, which include a good official photograph of him aged about 18.


Born on 1st May 1901 in Liverpool, Lancashire. He grew up in Everton, being baptised there on 11th Dec 1901, the son of John and Florence Riley.


As he was a little too young to fight in World War 1, he joined up as soon as he turned 18 with the Merchant Navy being trained as a Steward, joining S.S. Metagama on 24th May 1919.


Shortly afterwards on 23rd July 1919, he instead joined the Royal Air Force at “M” Section, being posted to the Uxbridge Depot on 7th August 1919, then on to Halton CP on 21st October 1919.


As he had been a trained Steward already, he was classified in the R.A.F. as an Aircraftsman 2nd Class and Batman.


He enlisted as an AC II on 23rd July 1919.
Remustered as a Aircraftsman 2nd Class Aircraftshand and Batman from 1st August 1919 until 11th Jan 1921.
From 11th Jan 1921 – 1st April 1922, he was a Aircraftsman 2nd Class Aircraftshand and Driver Petrol.
1st April 1922 until discharge, he was remustered as a Rigger Aero.


On 12th November 1919 he joined the famous “Z” Squadron aka “Z Unit” or the “Z Force”.
He embarked with the small squadron on board HMS Ark Royal on 21st December 1919, destined for Somaliland.


He served throughout the campaign in the rank of Batman & Aircraftman’s Hand 2nd Class.


After the end of the campaign he returned on the Ark Royal, transferring to 208 Squadron on 27th April 1920.


Transferred to 8 Squadron “Palestine Group” on 13th January 1921.
Joined 8 Squadron “Mesopotamia Group” on 23rd February 1921.
Admitted to the 23rd B.S. Hospital on 22nd June 1922.
He returned to 8 Squadron until early 1923, when he joined M Squadron on 15th Feb 1923, transferring over to 41 Squadron, on 11th April 1923, and back to M Squadron on 26th June 1923.


Having done his 4 years of Active Service, he joined the RAF reserve on 22nd July 1923, his papers note that at this point he was given: “Permission to lead a Seafaring Life from 26th August 1924.”


He was officially terminated from the RAF Reserve after 12 years on 22nd July 1931.


Meanwhile, as an RAF Reservist, in case he was needed, he joined back with the Merchant Navy, as an Assistant Steward, being signed on at the Merchant Marine Office in Garson, on 26th August 1924, to join the S.S. Greenbriar.


In his personal life, he married Mrs Margaret Riley (Shawcross) on 12th June 1926 in West Derby, Liverpool, they lived at 11 Albion Street in Everton, Liverpool.


He had 2 children, Christopher on 16th Nov 1926 and Frank on 31st March 1928.