Outdoor portrait of Captain (Capt) Adrian Trevor Cole, Australian Flying Corps (AFC) from ...

Place Middle East
Accession Number P01034.020
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film copy negative
Date made c 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Outdoor portrait of Captain (Capt) Adrian Trevor Cole, Australian Flying Corps (AFC) from Malvern, Victoria on the left and Capt Ross Macpherson Smith, AFC from Gilberton, South Australia on the right. Capt Cole was a 20 year old student prior to enlisting on 28 January 1916 and embarked for overseas as a Corporal (service number 277) with C Flight, No 1 Squadron, AFC from Melbourne on 16 March 1916 aboard HMAT Orsova. He served with AFC and Royal Flying Corps (RFC) squadrons in the Middle East and on the Western Front earning his pilot's wings and promotions to Captain. He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) and the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) before returning to Australia in March 1919. Capt Smith was a 21 year old warehouseman prior to enlisting on 19 August 1914 and embarked for overseas as a Sergeant (service number 240) with B Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment from Adelaide, South Australia on 22 October 1914 aboard HMAT Port Lincoln. While serving at Gallipoli he was promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) and then appointed a Second Lieutenant. On 1 March 1916 he was appointed Lieutenant and after serving with the Machine Gun Squadron, 1st Light Horse Brigade was transferred to the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) on 15 October 1916. During 1917 he was wounded in action twice and was promoted to Captain on 29 November 1917. During his service he became one of the most decorated Australian airmen being awarded the MC and Bar, the DFC and two bars and the Air Force Cross. On 12 November 1919 he returned to Australia by air with his brother Lt Keith Smith RFC in the first aircraft to successfully fly from England to Australia. On 26 December 1919 he was made a Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire for this history making flight. He was also awarded the Order of the Narda by the King of Hejaz on 1 April 1920. He was killed on 14 April 1922 while testing an aircraft for a possible round the world attempt.