Rees VC - The First of the Original Few, by W. Alister Williams

Rees VC - The First of the Original Few, by W. Alister Williams

Book published by Bridge Books in 2017, 339 pages. Paperback (N7366X1)

Brand New Book

From the rear side cover: Group Captain Lionel Wilmot Brabazon Rees, a fascinating and very unusual man, was described in 1916 by a fellow pilot as ' ... the bravest man in the world,' and survived the Great War as one of the most decorated Welsh servicemen.

Born in Caernarfon in 1884, he was a professional soldier when, in 1914, he became a member of the infant Royal Flying Corps and saw active service over the Western Front in France. Now recognized as the first official fighter pilot, he became the highest ranking' ace' of the early 'pusher' biplanes that were in use during 1915-16 and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his action on 1 July 1916 when he single-handedly took on and defeated ten German two-seater aircraft in combat.

After recovering from a serious wound, Rees was sent to the USA as the British air member of the Balfour War Mission of 1917, and went on to create a reputation as one of the foremost experts in the field of flying training. Remaining in the RAF after the war, Rees became the Assistant Commandant of RAF College, Cranwell and later commanded British forces in Palestine and Trans­jordan before retiring in 1931, having made a major contribution to the field of aerial and biblical archaeology.

In retirement, Rees became a noted single­handed yachtsman, becoming the first person to embark on a successful solo crossing of the Atlantic from Britain to the Bahamas. He returned to the RAF during the Second World War before settling in the Bahamas, where he died in 1955