Southampton played an important role in both World Wars, with one of its most well known contributions being the Supamarine Spitfire. But well before the Spitfire first rolled off the production line in 1938, factories in Southampton and across England were responsible for producing and supplying air crafts to the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. 20,000 Feet Above the Western Front looks at the role that these planes and their pilots played during the Great War. Presented by Professor Adrian Smith from the University of Southampton, the lecture will be held at the University of Southampton's Avenue Campus on Thursday 22nd February from 5pm to 7pm.
Professor Smith's lecture will be focussing on the pilots that helped change Britain's approach to aerial warfare by embracing newer technologies and utilising more combative tactics. These pilots include Albert Ball, James McCudden and 'Mick' Mannock. These flying aces have record numbers of aerial victories to their names, but sadly all share similar faits of dying in their planes either during or shortly after the First World War. 20,000 Feet Above the Western Front will explore both the men who helped lead Britain's aerial advantage as well as the innovation that made it possible.
The Last Fight of Captain Ball, VC, DSO and 2 Bars, MC, 7th May 1917
The Lecture is part of the University's The Great War: The Unknown War, a programme of exhibitions, concerts, lectures and more in honour of 100 years since the end of the First World War. These events have been running since June 2017 and will officially continue until the end of the month. There are still a handful of other events on throughout the year, and more information can be found on the University's The Great War: The Unknown War website.
20,000 Feet Above the Western Front is a free event, and spaces can be booked online through Eventbrite. For more information about the event contact Mary Andrew at M.J.Andrew@soton.ac.uk.