An Airman of the First World War

Alan Herbert Reffell (1895-1979) Pilot 759 Royal Flying Corps

RFC posterAlan Herbert Reffell was born on 14 March 1895 at Shere Surrey to parents William Joseph Reffell and Kate Maria Boorer. He was the second of three sons and also had four sisters. One of his brothers was Maurice Victor Reffell.

Alan Herbert joined the Royal Flying Corps before the outbreak of the war in 1913 aged 18. When he took his Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate in 1915, he was listed as having flown on a Maurice Farman biplane. An outline of his service history is shown below.

He was awarded the 1914 (Mons) Star, the Victory Medal & the British War Medal. Medal information can be found on the World War 1 medals page. He was also awarded the French Medaille Militaire.

After the Great War, Alan Herbert ran a motor business in Gomshall Surrey as well as working on a number of intresting projects, including Eric Robot. He died on 26 October 1979 at Crawley Sussex aged 84.

World War 1 Service History of Alan Herbert Reffell:

30/6/1913 Attested Farnborough

2/8/1914 Posted

15/9/1914 To France

2/6/1915 Posted Air Mechanic

30/11/1915 Flyer 2nd class

17/5/1915 Awarded Royal Aero Flying Club certificate, British Flying School, Le Crotoy, France

18/5/1915 To UK

1/3/1916 Promoted to corporal

30/5/1916 Flyer 1st class

1/5/1916 Promoted to sergeant

7/6/1916 To France

8/7/1916 To UK

1/4/1918 Transferred to the Royal Air Force

16/8/1918 Delivery pilot

18/11/1918 Test pilot No2 AAP Hendon

1/1/1919 Reclassified Sergeant (Pilot)

3/7/1919 Transferred to reserve

29/6/1921 Discharged

Service details taken from RFC service file AIR78/132 held in the National Archives at Kew and the Medal Rolls Index WO329, better known as the Medal Index Cards. Other information from his Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate.