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News > Berkhamsted Archive > Forgotten Sentinel by Peter McGee

Forgotten Sentinel by Peter McGee

A research project started in 2015 has culminated in the publication of the book Forgotten Sentinel by Peter McGee.

It tells the story of the Royal Flying Corps and a field in Suffolk, which became part of Britain’s first line of defence against the aerial threat from German Zeppelins and Gotha bombers. A project was set in motion to discover the truth behind local stories that suggested the RFC had once flown from a farm near the villages of Elmswell and Great Ashfield. Extensive archival research and archaeological exploration of this First World War aerodrome enabled the real story to emerge.

A piece of history has now been salvaged from obscurity and the men and women of this Home Defence squadron are duly recognised and commemorated. A wireless operator for No.75 squadron, who was to become Technical Officer in charge of communications at Elmswell and would be involved in the practical development of the wireless revolution that would change military communications, was 2/Lt.Hyman Cohen. Cohen left the service in 1919, changed his name to Harry Tucker Curwen and returned to teaching. He was mathematics Master at Berkhamsted School for thirty-two years from 1925-1957.

Chapters 11 & 13 contain details about his RFC story.

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