Forged in the crucible of the First World War, the Royal Air Force commemorated its Centenary on 1 April, 2018.The story of the RAF has shaped the modern world. By inspiring technological development, pioneering cultural change and pushing the boundaries of human achievement, the RAF has touched the lives of millions around the globe.


This new anthology produced by Extraordinary Editions in association with the RAF Museum commemorates a hundred years of service and sacrifice, courage and honour, whilst celebrating the spirit and values of the people who have contributed to the RAF story.


A donation from all sales will be made to the RAF100 Appeal supporting the RAF Association, Charitable Trust, Benevolent Fund, Museum and the Royal Air Force.

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The RAF Commemorative Anthology consists of over 650 pages of documents, orders, operational reports, maps, air diagrams, diaries, letters and ephemera, recording RAF life over its first 100 years. It measures an impressive 39 x 27 cm, in order that original documentation can be reproduced full size.


A team based at the RAF Museum spent over two years identifying and assessing material and photographs from the RAF Museum archives and the Air Historical Branch in order to create the ultimate documentary history of the service. There is a specially written introduction to each chapter and extensive footnotes throughout to guide the reader.


From General Smut’s memorandum on the need for an air force to the latest air actions, the book presents both a history of the Service and a series of fascinating glimpses into RAF life, operations and policy. Among the many extraordinary documents included in the book are the leaflet dropped over German lines telling them of Von Richthofen’s death, the tragic last written note from Arthur Aaron VC and the secret clandestine letters from an imprisoned Douglas Bader.


 All the documents and images were scanned at ultra-high resolution to ensure the best possible reproduction and the book is printed on a specially made, acid free, archival quality paper at our award-winning printers in the UK.




is hand bound on nickel posts in dark blue quarter leather over reinforced boards, with a library buckram book cloth in RAF blue for the cover.


The cover itself is embossed and blocked with the roundel and a pattern of rivets reminiscent of a wing section, which extends over the binding.

Each copy is then embossed on the spine and cover in silver and presented in a bespoke, die cut slipcase revealing the roundel.


The Centenary Edition is strictly limited to just 1250 copies worldwide and will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis, they cost £975.


In addition to the 1250 Centenary Editions there are 250 Signed Editions in five different versions. Each representing an iconic aircraft and signed by three pilots or crew from that aircraft, respectively: the Spitfire, the Lancaster, the Vulcan, the Harrier and the Tornado.


Each of the different signed editions is hand bound in full leather in dark and RAF blue over reinforced boards using brass posts. The cover has the roundel inlaid in red, white and blue leathers and the cover and spine are embossed in gold. Each book is presented in a specially made solander box.

Each signature edition carries a signature page featuring the biographies and an in-service photograph of each of the three pilots or crewmembers that have signed the book.


In addition there are some 20 extra pages featuring unique material on the featured aircraft including, air diagrams, cockpit layouts, sectional drawings, handling notes and iconic images from the museum’s art and photography collections.


The signature editions are limited to a total of just 250 copies worldwide and will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis, they cost £1995.


Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum


Geoffrey Wellum joined the RAF in August 1939.  After training, he joined No. 92 Squadron at RAF Northolt, flying Supermarine Spitfires.  The squadron saw heavy fighting during the Battle of Britain, and Wellum would claim one enemy aircraft destroyed, two damaged, one shared destroyed and one shared damaged.  After the Battle he remained with No. 92 Squadron, and went on to claim one enemy aircraft destroyed, one damaged, and one probably destroyed before being posted as an instructor.  In August 1941 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.


In February 1942 Wellum was posted to No. 65 Squadron as a Flight Commander, then in July embarked for Malta on HMS Furious.  In August 1942 he led a detachment of replacements into Malta, but fell ill and was evacuated back to the UK soon afterwards.  After a long period in recovery, Wellum became a test pilot at Gloster Aircraft, testing the Hawker Typhoon, and later became a gunnery instructor.  After the war he served as a staff officer in Germany, and then returned to flying with No. 192 Squadron.  He retired in 1961.

Wing Commander Thomas Neil

Thomas Neil entered the RAFVR in 1938, and after training joined No. 249 Squadron in May 1940.  Initially flying Supermarine Spitfires, his squadron re-equipped with Hawker Hurricanes in June 1940, and flew them throughout the Battle of Britain.  In the intense fighting during and after the Battle, Neil would claim ten enemy aircraft destroyed, shared in destroying four more, claimed three ‘probably’ destroyed and one damaged.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in October 1940, and awarded a Bar to it in November. 


Between May and December 1941, Neil flew with his squadron in the Battle of Malta, before returning to the UK and series of staff and instructing posts until receiving command of No. 41 Squadron in September 1942.  In July 1943 he relinquished command and returned to instructing until posted as a liaison officer with the USAAF in January 1944.  In January 1945 he returned to the RAF and, after a brief spell in Burma, became a test pilot.  He filled a number of flying and staff posts after the war, receiving with US Bronze Star in 1949 and the Air Force Cross in 1956.  He retired as a Wing Commander in 1964.

Squadron Leader Paul Farnes

Paul Farnes entered the RAFVR in 1938, and in September 1939 joined No. 501 Squadron, flying Hawker Hurricanes at RAF Filton.  This squadron deployed to France in May 1940, and in the subsequent fighting Farnes claimed one enemy bomber destroyed, two as ‘shared’, and a fourth as ‘possibly destroyed’.   The squadron returned to Britain in June 1940.


Farnes continued to fly with No. 501 Squadron in the Battle of Britain, claiming six enemy aircraft destroyed, six damaged and two ‘probably’ destroyed.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal in October 1940, and commissioned in November.  After the Battle, Farnes spent time as an instructor in the UK and Aden, before joining No. 229 Squadron in the Battle of Malta in March 1942.  In two months he damaged five enemy aircraft, and became squadron commander.  Afterwards he was posted to a staff post in Iraq.


Farnes returned to flying duties in 1945, commanding No. 164 and then No. 63 Squadrons, operating Supermarine Spitfires, between August 1945 and January 1947.  These commands were followed by a series of staff and instructing posts until he retired as an Acting Wing Commander in 1958.



Flt. Lt. Russell R Waughman DFC AFC Ld’H


Russell “Rusty” Waughman volunteered at 17 and trained as aircrew in Canada before returning to upgrade to Lancasters. By November 1943 he was posted to 101 [Special Duties] Squadron. These specialised craft carried radio counter measures [ABC] jamming German night fighter transmissions and were especially vulnerable to counter attack. The squadron had the highest casualty rate in the command. 
On the notorious raid on Nuremberg of 20 March 1944 over 96 aircraft were lost. 101 sent 26 aircraft and lost seven – nearly a quarter of the squadron.


On an earlier raid to Mailly-le-Camp an aircraft blew up under Rusty’s Lancaster and effectively turned his aircraft upside down, making Rusty the first, and perhaps the only, man to barrel roll a Lancaster in combat.


Rusty flew 30 sorties and after his final operation on the eve of D-Day he was told by his CO that his was the first crew to finish a tour for almost six months.

Flt. Lt. Reg Barker


Reg Barker volunteered on his 19th birthday and at the start of the war was sent to the USA to train pilots.


‘When they told me my heart sank, I thought – I’m going to miss the war – I wanted to get back home and fight the Germans’.


Eventually Reg returned to fly Lancasters with 635 Pathfinder Squadron. He had completed 21 sorties when, on the night of 26 August 26 1944, his aircraft was hit and he found himself pinned against the cockpit roof as his aircraft plunged earthward, engines racing, at 1000 feet per second. He regained consciousness to see his blazing aircraft coming down beside him and just in time to pull his ripcord.  Amazingly five of his seven crew survived. Of the 16 Lancasters dispatched by 635 Squadron that night, three were shot down with a loss of 21 crew, 12 were killed and nine became POWs.


After the war the Irwin Parachute Company presented Reg with a golden caterpillar he wears it to this day, ‘with gratitude and humility’.

Air Commodore C. Clarke OBE


Charles joined the RAF straight out of school as a 17-year-old and went to 619 Squadron, at Woodhall Spa, Lincs, flying Lancasters. He flew 19 trips as a bomb aimer, six to Berlin.


‘The losses were so high. The night I was shot down, 40 other aircraft were also shot down. That is roughly 300 men. I had never thought it would happen to me. You are young and just don’t think that way. On my last operation, in February 1944, we were hit by a fighter. It all happened so quickly. Suddenly, the aircraft was on fire and the wing was dropping off. Along with three others I parachuted out. The three others were killed. There was deep snow where I landed and I didn’t think I would get out. Eventually, I was picked up by the Germans and ended up at the notorious Stalag Luft III of “Great Escape” fame.’


Among his many post war appointments Charles has been President and Chairman of the RAF Ex-Prisoner of War Association and was Chairman of the Bomber Command Association which succeeded in delivering a memorial to Bomber Command in London’s Green Park in 2012.


Air Vice-Marshal Eric H Macey OBE


Eric Macey joined the Royal Air Force in October 1954 as a Direct Entrant. He trained on Provost and Vampire aircraft, then served on Nos. 263 and 1(F) Squadrons where he flew Hunters in the Day Fighter role.  He transferred to the Medium Bomber Force in 1958 and, following a co-pilot tour with No. 214 Valiant Squadron, predominantly in the Air-to-Air Refuelling role, he converted to Vulcans in 1961, joining No. 101 Squadron at Waddington.


He returned to Lincolnshire as a Wing Commander in 1970 where he first commanded No.101 Squadron {at Waddington} before becoming the Chief Instructor of No. 230 (Vulcan) Operational Conversion Unit at Scampton.


From 1977 to 1979 he served on the personal staff of the Chief of Defence Staff, after which he was promoted to Air Commodore and appointed Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ RAF Germany. 


He moved to Cranwell in January 1985, on assuming the post of Air Officer Commanding and Commandant of the Royal Air Force College.  Air Vice-Marshal Macey took up his final Service appointment as Director General of Training (RAF) in February 1989 and retired from the Royal Air Force on his 55th birthday in April 1991.

Squadron Leader Martin Withers DFC LLB


Having flown as a member of Birmingham UAS, Martin joined the RAF in 1968 and after completing his multi-engine training was posted onto the Vulcan.

He spent 5 years at RAF Waddington as a co-pilot on 44 Sqn and then as a captain on 50 Sqn, training in Britain, Cyprus, Canada and the USA in the low-level Strike role as part of  NATO’s  Nuclear Deterrent.


 On 5th April 1982 when back at Waddington as Pilot Leader on 101 Sqn he was told that his crew had been selected to learn air to air refuelling and to prepare for a conventional bombing attack on the runway on East Falkland . Just over 3 weeks later, the first ‘Black Buck’ mission took off from Ascension Island.


Martin’s Vulcan refuelled 7 times, 6 of these at night on this flight lasting 15 hours and 45 minutes.  This successful mission, which led to Argentina being denied the use of the runway to attack our Fleet, was the longest bombing raid in history. For which Martin was awarded the DFC; his crew were all Mentioned in Dispatches.


Martin retired in 1991 to pursue a career in civil aviation, but also flew the Vulcan again (XH 558) as a display pilot, from the second test flight in 2008 until its last flight on 28 Oct 2015.


Air Vice-Marshal N B Baldwin CB CBE


Air Vice-Marshal Nigel Baldwin retired from the RAF in 1996. An Old-Cranwellian, he was a Vulcan pilot for most of his flying career culminating in commanding No 50 Sqn at RAF Waddington in 1977, and station commander of RAF Wyton in 1983 when it was a Canberra, Nimrod R and Bloodhound base; his last job was in the Defence Staff in MOD Whitehall as the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Overseas). He had been Air Commodore Plans at HQ Strike Command during the first Gulf War immediately before that.


From 1996, he has been the Chairman of the RAF Historical Society and from 1996 to 2007 he was the Chairman of ‘Combat Stress’ – the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society.  He is also the President of the RAF Voluntary Band Association and President of the No 50 & 61 Squadrons’ Association.


Air Marshal Stuart AthaCB DSO MA BSc RAF

Deputy Commander Operations


Stuart Atha joined the RAF in 1984, following a tour as an instructor on the Hawk, he flew the Harrier GR7 from 1990 to 2003 serving in Germany and the UK as a front-line pilot, flight commander and squadron commander of No 3 (Fighter) Squadron. Between 2006 and 2008 he commanded Royal Air Force Coningsby, serving as the inaugural Typhoon Force Commander and displaying the Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. He commanded No 83 Expeditionary Air Group in the Gulf in 2009/10 and No 1 Group between 2011 and 2014. His staff tours have included posts in the Air Warfare Centre, the Directorate of Operational Capability, Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff, Head of Joint Capability in the Ministry of Defence and most recently Chief of Staff (Operations) in the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters.


 He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 2003, a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in 2010 and he was appointed as a Companion to the Order of the Bath in 2015.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns GCB, KCVO, CBE


Richard Johns served in the Royal Air Force from January 1957 to August 2000. As a fighter pilot he was stationed in the UK, Aden, Oman and Germany. As a flying instructor he counted amongst his pupils HRH The Prince of Wales. In senior appointments he commanded the RAF Germany Harrier Force and was Director of Operations in the Joint Headquarters for the first Gulf War.


After three years as Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces North West Europe in NATO, he was appointed Chief of the Air Staff in 1997. Sir


Richard was fortunate to fly as captain a variety of Service aircraft including Meteors, Javelins, Hunters, Gnats, Harriers, Tornados and Hercules. He also qualified as captain on Puma and Chinook helicopters.


 On his retirement in April 2000 HM The Queen appointed Sir Richard as the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle where he served as the official representative of The Queen. Her Majesty also approved his appointment as the first Honorary Air Commodore of the RAF Regiment.

Air Commodore Malcolm White OBE


Malcolm White joined the Royal Air Force in 1971.  Following initial training and a spell on the Hunter, the majority of his career was devoted to flying the RAF Harrier, which included 2-years with the United States Marine Corps.


He commanded 1453 Flight in the Falkland Islands (twice); IV (AC) Squadron at RAF Gutersloh and the air base at RAF Laarbruch, where he was also the UK Harrier Force Commander.


Beyond his commitments to NATO, he deployed on operations to Belize and the Falkland Islands.  On the ground he held staff appointments in the UK Ministry of Defence; and at the RAF’s Air Command Headquarters in High Wycombe and Rheindahlen in Germany.


During his final 4-years in the RAF he was Commandant (Air) at the Joint Services and Command Staff College, and the Director of Training and Standards of the UK’s Joint Rapid Reaction Force.


Malcolm has been a Trustee at the RAF Museum since 2004.


Sir Stephen Hillier, Air Chief Marshal, Chief of the Air Staff KCB CBE DFC ADC


After gaining a Flying Scholarship with the Air Training Corps, Air Chief Marshal Hillier started flying jet aircraft in the RAF at the age of 18 and by the age of 20 was a Qualified Flying Instructor on his first-tour on the Jet Provost.  He chose then to convert to the Tornado GR1 and flew from bases in Germany and the UK, latterly as the Tornado GR1 Air Display Pilot, before deploying to the Persian Gulf and flying 16 missions in the 1991 Gulf War.  He subsequently deployed on No Fly Zone enforcement operations over Iraq on a further seven occasions over the following 12 years, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross whilst commanding Number II (Army Co-operation) Squadron on operations in 1999.  He commanded RAF Lossiemouth in 2002-03 and returned there in 2016 to re-qualify as a Tornado GR4 captain after a 13 year absence.  He remains qualified on Tornado, but as Chief of the Air Staff he also has the opportunity to fly all of the RAF’s aircraft and especially enjoys broadening his experience of the RAF’s wide range of air mobility, ISTAR, rotary-wing and training aircraft.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant KCB CBE


Simon Bryant was commissioned as a University Cadet in 1974. Trained as a fast jet navigator, he completed two tours on the F-4 Phantom in the Air Defence role before an exchange tour with the US Navy, instructing on the F-14 Tomcat. Promoted to squadron leader in 1985, Bryant then flew the Tornado F3 as a squadron executive at RAF Leeming.


Bryant served as a Senior Operations Officer at the Combined Air Operations Centre at Vicenza in 1996, before being appointed Commanding Officer of 43(F) Squadron at RAF Leuchars. Promoted to Group Captain in 1999, Bryant served as the Personal Staff Officer to the Deputy Supreme Commander at SHAPE before being appointed Commander of British Forces in Oman for which he was subsequently awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service and promoted to be Air Officer Scotland and Commanding Officer RAF Leuchars.


After a further tour in the Middle East as Director of the Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid in Qatar he returned to the UK as Head of Joint Capability at the Ministry of Defence. Tours as Air Secretary and Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel (and Air Member for Personnel) followed before his appointment as Commander-in-Chief in 2010.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy GCB CBE DSO BSc(Eng) FRAeS FCGI


Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy joined the RAF in 1974 after achieving a First in Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College, London.  He completed two tours flying the Jaguar in the reconnaissance and attack roles, and a tour as a Qualified Weapons Instructor on the Hawk, before commanding No 13 Squadron, a Tornado GR1A tactical reconnaissance squadron.  During his time on No 13 Squadron he saw active service in the First Gulf War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.  In 1994 he assumed command of RAF Bruggen in Germany, which at the time was the largest Tornado base in the RAF.  He subsequently completed a number of staff appointments in the MOD and PJHQ, before becoming Chief of the Air Staff in 2006.  During his flying career Sir Glenn amassed some 4300 hours of fast-jet flying, predominately on Jaguar, Hawk and Tornado, but also on Typhoon. 



The museum holds the RAF archives and is currently running an appeal for materials from the period 1970 – 2015.

if you are interested in donating artefacts, photographs, memories or ephemera you can find out more here.


The RAF Commemorative Anthology costs £975

The five different signed editions cost £1995


Shipping packing courier costs:

UK £35 Channel Islands £50 EU £60 USA/CAN £110 AUS/NZ £135

For all other destinations please contact us


The entire edition is limited to just 1500 copies worldwide and books will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis.

We offer a calligraphy service to inscribe your book and we can produce bespoke presentation copies to order, please email us for details.