JOHN ARTHUR "Jack" Yonge (T67) was born on the 18th May 1893. He was the fourth and last child of the Rev George Yonge and Anne nee Norgate (S26). he lived with his parents at Wanborough Lane, Cranleigh, Surrrey.
Nothing is known about his childhood. The first l reference we have to him is that on the 22nd August 1915, he received his Aviators Certificate from the Royal Aero Club. His membership number was 1664. Up to the outbreak of the First World War, 862 Royal Aero Cub certificates were awarded. The Royal Aero Club had been established shortly after the World's first manned flight, to promote ballooning as a sport.
He took his test at Hendon in a Hall biplane. The Hall biplane was a one off plane which was an adaptation of Caudron biplane. A Caudron, possibly the same one had been acquired by J. Lawrence Hall, a pre war exhibition pilot and aerial racing enthusiast, who opened a flying school at Hendon, north London in 1912.
Hendon was then the leading centre for British aviation. Planes were tested there, built there, pilots were trained there and there was a Royal Navy Air Service flight based there, for the defence of London. At the outbreak of war in 1914, no less than eight flying schools were established at Hendon. The official training school for naval pilots was at Eastchurch but with the passing of the Defence of the Realm Act 1914, all of Hendons's civilian flying schools were contracted to train pilots for the services.
The last reference to the use of the Hall was in 1915, the year he qualified, by which time thirty five pilots had gained their "wings" on it.
His service record states that he was qualified to fly aircraft and sea planes. He probably gained his seaplane experience "on the job".
The Royal Flying Corps with its army and navy wings was established in 1912 in response to a perception that we were lagging behind other countries in the development of air power. It was reported that Britain had eleven pilots in the army and eight in the navy. France reputedly had over 260. The main if not the only role seen for the plane at this time was reconnaissance and the emphasis was very much on the needs of the army.
In July 1914 the Royal Navy Air Service was established as a force separate from the Royal Flying Corps. It remained a separate service until the establishment of the Royal Air Force in 1918.
On the 24th December 1915, together with five other officers, he was given the temporary wartime rank of Temporary Probationary Flight Sub Lieutenant and appointed to H.M.S. President. H.M.S. President was moored in London and it was the ship to which all London based naval officers were notionally attached. With this paper is a copy of a page from "The Aeroplane" of December 29th 1915, reporting this event. The same page also refers to R.H. Mulock – see below.