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James Preston


James Preston was my Grandfather who served on HMS Repulse 1915-1919 or thereabouts. I have inherited a collection of photos from those early times including a couple which show the first launching of a plane from a British Naval Ship. I have never seen any other photos like these and thought they may be of great interest to some. My Grandfather told me the exercises were "Top Secret" and these photos were not supposed to have been taken!!! I would also like to hear from anyone who might remember my Grandfather. 

Please contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Chris Brown 

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

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HMS Repulse around 1917

These 3 photos show an Avro Biplane loaded onto the gun turrets of the Repulse. The pictures were taken around 1917 or thereabouts. The photos show the planks across the guns as a makeshift runway. When the plane was launched the ship headed full steam into the wind while 6-8 men with ropes held the plane back. The first attempt to launch used nets instead of planks and was a failure, the second using the planks was a success and the plane then circled the ship twice before ditching. I'm sure valuable information was acquired at this test.

To view our section about HMS Repulse and her aircraft launching facilities Click here

Information provided by
Chris Brown