The Archives’ collections on the World War I flying camps have been hugely boosted recently by the acquisition of a series of photographs taken by a flight instructor in Camp Mohawk. Sergeant Christopher Paulus Devos (pictured here as a cadet in 1916) was an Englishman who was in No. 84 Canadian Training Squadron throughout its period of operation, in Camp Mohawk and in Camp Taliaferro in Fort Worth, Texas. He was one of only two English airmen of the original squadron to survive and return to England after the war. He compiled two photograph albums recording life in the camps.
Sergeant Devos’s son, Denzil Devos, has kindly scanned in the pages of the Camp Mohawk album and donated them to the Archives. He has also copied some of the Fort Worth album, including photographs of Captain Vernon Castle and some aerial shots of Toronto. We have been able to share all these images through our Flickr account. There are many images of crashed aircraft in the group, but a few show the lighter side of Royal Flying Corps life, such as this group shot of airmen “poshed up” for a night out in Belleville on a bus from the Hotel Quinte: