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Col James Lethbridge Brooke Templer

James Lethbridge Brooke Templer was an early pioneer of balloons and is often considered the ‘Father of British Military aviation’ and the ‘Godfather of the RAF’

Much has been written and could be written about James. I have tried to give just a flavour of this great man. A true hero of mine.

He was not always popular with his official superiors as his disregard of regulations and impatience with official delays and restrictions which stood in the way of frequently led to conflicts with them, but in the end he generally managed to get his way and convince them he was right.


His wonderful enthusiasm, his kindly temperament and dogged determination to push things through in the face of every obstacle, and his refusal to be downcast over any set-back, gave a great example to all those who had the good fortune to be associated with him.

Further articles about James Lethbridge Templer can be found at:










The following books are very interesting

Early Aviation at Farnborough by Percy B Walker  - SBN 356 03520 4

The Balloon Factory by Alexander Frater -  ISBN 978-0-330-43311-2 - Picador

The Aeronauts by L T C Rolt  - Longmans

From Balloon to Boxkite by Malcolm Hall - ISBN 978-1-84868-992-3 - Amberley

The Birth of Military Aviation, Britain 1903-1914 by Hugh Driver - ISBN6193 234 X - The Royal Historical Society


The following are links to interesting websites:








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Balloon Accident War Ballooning Military Aviation The Aldershot Aeronauts The start of the RAF Wiki - James Templer Wiki - School of Ballooning Steam Traction Engines

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