A.P. Ellis Road

Section from the book RAF Little Rissington.

RAF Little Rissington first RAF Commanding Officer was Gp Capt Augustine A.P. Ellis CBE was Station Commander and Commandant of 6 FTS/SFTS at Little Rissington from when the airfield opened in August 1938 until sometime in 1940. He was a very popular man locally, as he took a keen interest in the Station during the latter stages of its construction and was able to have a few extras installed, including an attractive Cotswold stone wall along the roadway beside the Sergeants Mess (currently boarded up) and the Married Quarters (now Siskin Road). He also ensured as many trees as possible were retained in the domestic and technical areas (Victory Fields) and was even successful in getting a gardener established by ensuring that the area which had been staked out for a garden by AMWD mysteriously became enlarged one dark night to just over an acre – the minimum size required to qualify for a gardener. And so it remained until the station closed.

NB: Work began to construct the airfield in 1936 and was opened in 1938, operating on grass initially, concrete runways were laid in the war years.

From the WWW:: http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?18581-Gp-Capt-Augustine-ap-Ellis-CBE

ELLIS, Augustine ap, W/C – Commander, Order of the British Empire – awarded as per London Gazette dated 3 June 1925 in King’s Birthday Honours List; reported in Aeroplane of 17 June 1925.

Invested with award, 4 February 1926. Squadron Leader A. ap Ellis posted to command No.208 Squadron, Middle East, 17 February 1922, and was part of Constantinople Wing, 30 September 1922 to 23 September 1923 (Bristol Fighters, San Stefano).

Promoted to Wing Commander, 30 June 1923. To Headquarters, Iraq Command, for Personnel Staff duties, 9 January 1924. To Headquarters, Air Defence of Great Britain, 1 January 1926 for Personnel Staff duties.

As of 1 September 1932 Group Captain A. ap Ellis, CBE had been posted to command No.4 Flying Training School, Abu Sueir, Egypt, which appointment he held until succeeded 9 February 1935 by Group Captain K.C. Buss.

To No.6 Flying Training School, Netheravon, 1 April 1935, to command.

Gp Capt Augustine AP Ellis CBE was Station Commander and Commandant of 6 FTS/SFTS at Little Rissington from when the airfield opened in August 1938 until sometime in 1940.

Later awarded Belgian Military Cross, First Class for services at No.34 Service Flying Training School, Medicine Hat, Alberta (24 September 1943). Public Record Office Air 30/62, provided courtesy of Ann Sadler, has citation:

For distinguished service on Personnel Staff duties, Iraq Command.

This officer whose work has been invaluable, is tactful and intelligent and has shown untiring zeal. His services in the work of reorganisation have resulted in a real increase in efficiency combined with economy.

From notes compiled re No.34 SFTS, Medicine Hat:

Unit formed at Wilmslow, 26 February 1941 under command of Group Captian A. Ap Ellis. Sailed 27 February 1941 on SS Batory, docking Halifax, 9 March 1941. First echelon arrived Medicine Hat 14 March 1941. Flying began 24 March 1941.

School deactivated 3 November 1944; disbanded 17 November 1944. At the time of disbandment it was estimated that school aircraft had flown 354,782 hours 50 minutes.

The diary entry for 17 November 1944 stated that No.34 SFTS had processed 39 courses. Total intake was 2,593 pupils of whom 2,188 graduated. The “ceased training” figure was 226 while 169 described as “transferred”. By air forces and nationalities, the graduates were as follows: RAF (1,591); RAAF (two); RCAF (124); RNZAF (24); Argentinian (one); Belgian (74); Singalese (four); Czech (94); Dane (three); Dutch (48); French (44); Lithuanian (one); Norwegian (146) and Pole (31). It was estimated that graduates had been awarded at least 61 decorations including 27 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Distinguished Flying Medals and one Distinguished Service Order.

At the time of disbandment, an RAF Ensign was laid up in St. Barnabas Church, along with a Memorial Panel commemorating those killed.

Wing Commander D.A Gibson commanded, 10 March 1941 pending arrival of Group Captain  Ellis. who was hospitalized in Regina and did not assume command until 15 May 1941. Ellis commanded until disbandment. It may be noted that during extended absences owing to illness of Group Captain ap Ellis, the school was commanded by Wing Commander H.A.C. Stratton.

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