General Warner was D.A.P.S. (Director of Air Personnel Services. R.F.C.) I called on him at Adastral House (R.F.C. HQ) and he said he would apply to the Australian Authorities for my release from the A.I.F. That was in June 1916. It sounded simple enough, but they refused to let me go.
After a lot of argument, the matter was referred to the High Commissioner for Australia and it was agreed that 200 men from the A.I.F. should be allowed to transfer to the Royal Flying Corps, which was in the process of expansion. Vacancies were allotted to each unit and men wishing to join were requested to put in applications. Five vacancies were allotted to A.I.F. H.Q. and over a dozen applied. I didn’t fancy my chances of being selected were too rosy (but Billy Warner had seen to that!).
One morning in November 1916 an Officer from Adastral House arrived, lined us up, put us through some perfunctory Drill-exercises, and read out the names of the five he had selected. I was one of them! From then on I became an Officer Cadet in the Royal Flying Corps, but that is another story…
To me there seem to be two questions, and a subsidiary one. They are:
FIRST. Why was the Gallipoli campaign a failure?
SECOND. Could it have been a success?