He was awarded the following medals:
There are four studio portraits of Jack and his colleagues. They were probably all taken in France. Some are dated, others are not. Click on a picture to see a larger version.
Most of the remaining pictures were probably taken by Jack himself (except for the two in which he appears!). Some of the pictures had writing on the back. Most of the pictures were probably taken at the RFC base at Fienvillers in northern France between June 1917 and April 1918, although after the Armistice, 70 squadron moved to Cologne, where some of the pictures were taken. Various huts, tents, and a corrugated iron nissen hut are in evidence. Some of the pictures have notes written on the reverse. Where this is the case, the relevant area of the back of the print is shown.
Two of the pictures have hand-written captions on the front. The lettering is white, which suggests that it was applied to the negative before printing. One is labelled "A bunch of Sprites, Cologne '18". The other is illegible, but appears to have been taken at the same location.
70 Squadron was formed at Jersey Brow, Farnborough, on April 22nd 1916. It was the first RFC unit to operate the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. It was unusual in that it moved to France for operations by flights, rather than as a full unit. Most of its original machines were ex Royal Naval Air service (RNAS) and had a variety of armament arrangements. The forward firing Vickers guns had either Sopwith-Kauper or Vickers Challenger synchronising gears. Both were mechanical rather than hydraulic devices, and were prone to problems caused by the inertia of the moving parts. The observers' Lewis guns could be carried on either a Strange mounting (a cranked pillar), an Eteve ring mount, or the Scarff ring.
Such was the hurry to get 70 Squadron operational in time for the opening of the Somme offensive that the observers of 'A' flight carried their Lewis guns, still in greased wrappings, on their laps for Channel crossing to Fienvillers on May 31st 1916. 'B' and 'C' flights arrived in France on 3rd July and 1st August respectively.
As before, you can click on a picture to see a larger version, along with more detailed information where available.
After being discharged from the RAF in 1920, Jack Hollyhead resumed his career with the Worcestershire Constabulary, rising to the rank of Superintendent. He retired from the police in 1947 and for many years he and Annie lived in one half of the Lodge at Queenhill where Annie's father, Harry Roberts, lived with his second wife in the other half of the house.
Acknowledgements and further information.
Grateful thanks are due to Jack's daughter, Mrs. C. Callow, who supplied three additional photographs, and to Mick Davis of Co. Durham for supplying much additional information about these pictures. Also to Ed Stephens for correcting an error with a picture caption.
For more information about the Royal Flying Corps, see the Cross and Cockade website. This contains a wealth of information and many useful links to other relevant sites. Another interesting site is being developed by Hylton Routledge at http://www.routledgeh.freeserve.co.uk/index.htm.
You can also see some postcards that Jack Hollyhead sent home from the front here.
If you can supply any more information about the people, places, and planes shown on this web site, or can correct any errors, please contact me via e-mail to: rfc. Thank you.
(Last revised 07-Mar-2014)