First Commissioned Mannequin arrives at the Museum - 15/04/2009

We have today taken delivery of the first of a series of commissioned mannequins for the museum. It was decided to base the first acquisition on the first Commanding Officer at Stow Maries Aerodrome in 1916, Captain Claude Alward Ridley DSO. MC.
Captain Ridley was born in County Durham and attended St Pauls School, London. He joined the Royal Fusiliers before transfering to the Royal Flying Corps. He obtained his Royal Aero Club Certificate in 1915 and served in a home defence Squadron at Joyce Green just outside of London. Whilst there he assisted in the downing of a Zeppelin and this work in addition to other outstanding work in the field of Home Defence earned him the Distinguished Service Order.
He was then posted to France on an operational Squadron in the front line and his career there included the landing of agents behind the enemy lines. During one such mission he was shot down and captured but managed to escape back to allied lines. During his escape he obtained a great deal odf usefull information and for his exploits was awarded the Military Cross.
Upon his return to the UK he was posted to Stow Maries Aerodrome as the first Commanding Officer of 'B' Flight 37 (Home Defence) Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Upon his arrival at Stow Maries he was just 19 years of age.

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