Conceived by Lord Hugh Trenchard, the RAF College was formed on 1 November 1919 and commenced training on 5 February 1920.

To mark the College's 100th anniversary, the CHS was set up to pay tribute to the RAF College's unrivalled heritage, inviting you to explore and enjoy its achievements and those of some of its legendary graduates. Please feel free to feedback comments or contributions to Ian at:


College Journal Extracts

College 100 Memories

College Personalities

Special Features

Training Assets

Cadet Entries by Decade

Multi-media Presentations


Cranwellian Historical Society Web Site v 3.4 6 Dec 2020


The Oldest Military Air Academy in the World



History of

in Brief

Whilst still under development, a "Top Down" Review of the College's 100 year history from February 1920 is available by clicking on this graphic.Info
Click on one of the seven coloured topic headings to take a short cut to that topic.Info
As a temporary measure, we scanned and reproduced main articles and events that were printed in the College Journal between 1920 and 1987; the remainder till the last issue in 2016 were still being scanned, but work was suspended when Cranwellian Mike Smith managed to scan many Journals in their entirety and to reproduce them using electronic FlipBook technology. Our Journal Extracts Page includes a link to his Journal FlipBooks.Info
From the College Journal extracts we had scanned, we have rearranged them into six chapters and 100 different themes that recurred throughout the College's History. The Chapters include: College Life; College People; College Fabric; College Training; College Flying; a College perspective on the Evolution of Flight.Info
12 Albums covering Cranwellians who have contributed in their own way to the heritage of the College. Some went on to win gallantry awards and/or honours for their achievements when in the service of our country. The albums collate some memorabilia of varying quality held within the College archive. These are officers whose association with the College and achievements in the RAF epitomise the true Cranwellian.Info
15 Tribute and Reference Albums that cover a diverse range of topics associated with the College, including training statistics, medal winners and College prize winners. Each album is unique. In time, they will be updated as we receive more accurate data than currently held in the College archive. Info
12 Albums that address features that are part of the College training fabric, such as the iconic College Hall Officers' Mess, the Commandant's Lodge, the Hangar Church, silver trophies and prizes awarded at the College and the training aircraft at Cranwell through the ages.Info
Best we can, we have captured all the squadron intake, sports, graduation and prize winner photos from 1920 to 2020, currently displayed in the College. Owing to reflections and the location of some displayed photos, some of our reproductions are of poor quality; they will be replaced in time as we receive better quality alternatives. If you have any please feel free to offer us copies by contacting us at the email address on our Home Page. Albums are assembled by decade.Info
We are putting together presentations, videos and VR items of interest, including Guided Tour Presentations of the College (with separate video clips) and old newsreels. They will be cycled through on a rotational basis as the site evolves. Look out for new features throughout the year on the College History Page whose graphic is at the top right hand side of our Home Page.Info

MVS Centenary Virtual Library

Enter the Cranwellian Association's website by clicking their logo hereInfo
Clicking on this graphic will take you to a unique virtual library of primary source material - i.e. "originals" - relatng to the RAF College Cranwell. The site is the brainchild of Michael (Mike) Victor Smith, who graduated as a pilot from C Squadron of 91 Entry on 4 October 1964. Whereas our CHS Library delivers some primary source data, its focus is on the results of thorough verified analyses to deliver bespoke albums on chosen topics. In our opinion, the MVS site will become the definitive virtual library of primary source material relating to the Cranwellian and the start point for any enthusiast who wishes to complete their own analysis of Cranwellian History over the past 100 years.Info



Clicking on this 'laptop' graphic will take you to the CHS Virtual Library's Navigation Page which in turn will navigate you to: College Journal Extracts; College 100 Memories; College Personalities; Special Features; Training Assets; Cadet Entries by Decade; Multi-media Presentations. Shortcuts to these topics are on the opposite side of this web page.Info
There are a number of Virtual Libraries under development, mostly inspired by members and former members of the Cranwellian Associatoion. Below are just three: the CHS Library; the MVS Centenary Virtual Library and the Cranwellian Assocation official website. The information buttons alongside the graphics below give more details.Info

Cranwellian Historical Society

Happy Retirement on Friday to

Tim Pie