Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Distribution of Duties - Air Ministry (1944 - 1945)

[DGMS | MA 1 | MA 2 | MA 3 | MA 4 | MA 6 | MA 7 | MA 8 | WMLO | NSB]

Department of the Air Member for Personnel


Name Status/Rank Role/Duties/Notes
  1. Medical, dental and hospital services for the RAF.

  2. Administration and organisation of the Medical and Dental branches and the Princess Mary's RAF Nursing Service.

  3. Medical examinations.

  4. Hygiene and sanitation.

  5. Medical questions relating to civil aviation.

  6. Medical research and flying personnel research.

  7. Medical statistics and accidents statistical investigations.

Sir Harold E Whittingham AVM Director-General of Medical Services (DGMS).

Chairman: -

  • Medical Advisory Board
  • Nursing Service Advisory Board

Member: -

  • Joint Medical Services Committee
  • British Red Cross Society Council
  • Incorporated  Soldiers and Sailors Help Society
  • Osborne House Committee

Ex-officio member - Flying Personnel Research Committee

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Queen Mary's Roehampton Hospital
  • Committee of Government Representatives to co-ordinate demands for medical personnel

Member of Court of Governors - London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

W J G Walker A/Cdre Deputy Director-General of Medical Services (DDGMS).

Control of MA 1, MA 2, MA 3, MA 7, MA 8 and WMLO

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Central Medical War Committee
  • Medical Personnel (Priority) Committee
T McClurkin A/Cdre Director of Hygiene (D of H)

Control of MA 4.

Chief Executive Officer - Flying Personnel Research Committee

Member: -

  • Chemical Board (Ministry of Supply)
  • Committee for Co-operation between Civilian Authorities and Fighting Services on Health Matters (Ministry of Health)
  • Inter-Departmental Committee on Yellow Fever Control (Colonial Office)
  • Joint Standing Consultative Committee on Infestation Control (Ministry of Food)
G A Ballantyne A/Cdre Director of Dental Services (D of DS)

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Central Dental War Committee
MA 1
J Clarke-Taylor Wg Cdr Head of Branch

Organisation and administration of the Medical Branch of the RAF.

Entry of medical officers and quartermasters.

Posting of medical officers (Wing Commanders and above).

Overseas postings of medical officers.

Promotion of medical officers and quartermasters.

Confidential reports.

Personal questions affecting medical officers and airmen.

Medical establishments.

Liaison with Central Medical War Committee.

Member - Medical Personnel (Priority) Committee for No 5 Region

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Services Committee of the Central Medical War Committee
  • Demobilisation Committee of the Central Medical War Committee
  • Pharmaceutical War Committee
  • Scottish Pharmaceutical War Committee
R T Bevan Sqn Ldr Correspondence in connection with appointment of medical officers (up to commissioning stage).

Posting of medical officers up to and including Squadron Leaders,

Courses of instruction for medical officers.

Questions affecting training, remustering, reclassification, promotion, extension of service and re-engagement of airmen and airwomen of Group 'M'.

WAAF substitution in medical trades.

Estimate questions relating to medical personnel.

Contracts of civilian medical practitioners.

Claims for expenses by civil consultants.

A S Peterkin Higher Clerical Officer Organisation and supervision of clerical work of MA 1.

Medical officers - maintenance of personal records.

Preparation of posting instructions.

MA 2
J Hutchieson Gp Capt Head of Branch

Liaison with other Government Departments on medical questions, and with British Red Cross Society and allied organisations.

Medical standards for all personnel including aircrew.

Policy, requirements and organisation for: -

  • medical care and treatment of non-effective personnel,
  • medical boards and medical examinations,
  • hospitals, sick quarters,
  • convalescent depots and rehabilitation centres.

Hospital diets.

Transfer of aircrew and other casualties to special centres for treatment.

Questions regarding sick leave.

Invaliding policy and arrangements.

Vocational training of 'war disabled'

Air Ambulance organisations.

Design and establishment of road ambulances.

Design of ambulance trains.

Medical policy matters relating to civil aviation, including standards of physical fitness of civil pilots.

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Lord Horder's Medical Advisory Committee on Recruiting for the Armed Forces (Ministry of Labour).
  • British Standards Institute Technical Committees - Stretchers and Miniature Radiography
  • Services Medical Committee (Scotland).
J B Wallace

A M Horsnell

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Officers, cadets and PMRAFNS personnel: -
  • assessment of medical fitness (including candidates for commissions),
  • medical care and treatment of non-effective personnel,
  • arrangements for medical and appeal boards and scrutiny of reports,
  • disability claims,
  • claims of medical practitioners,
  • medical boards of pensioners.

Medical examinations and assessment of physical fitness of civil pilots.

First Aid equipment for government civil airfields.

W T Buckle

W Simpson

S J Hadfield
Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Airmen, airwomen and apprentices: -
  • assessment of medical fitness,
  • medical care and treatment of non-effective personnel,
  • scrutiny of medical board reports,
  • disability claims,
  • claims of medical practitioners,
  • medical boards of pensioners.

Assessment of medical fitness of educational and meteorological officers and civilian employees.

Arrangement for medical examination of civilian employees, when required.

Workmen's compensation claims.

Injury claims by civilians.

Amendments to medical forms, pamphlets and publications.

A H Drury Higher Clerical Officer Organisation and supervision of clerical work of MA 2.
MA 3
C E G Wickham Wg Cdr Head of Branch

Organisation of supply of medical stores, equipment and appliances for all medical establishments and air, road and train ambulances.

Scales of barrack equipment for hospitals, sick quarters and other medical establishments.

Liaison with Ministry of Supply, British Red Cross Society and Allied Medical Directorates with regard to medical supplies.

Medical Reference Libraries and supply of Air Force medical publications.

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Committee on World Cinchona Supplies (Ministry of Supply),
  • British Standards Institute Technical Committee - Hypodermic Equipment,
  • Inter-Services Committee for Allocation of Microscopes.
J Holt Sqn Ldr Medical quartermaster duties relating to the issues of medical stores and hospital barrack equipment.

Preparation of prototype outfits of medical equipment.

C A Sirrett Flt Lt Provision of medical and dental supplies under contract; preparation of requisitions on Ministry of Suuply; arrangements for obtaining medical supplies under Lease/Lend procedure.

Applications for release of raw materials and controlled items for the purchase or manufacture of non-contract items.

N P Ashford

J Ballard

Fg Off

Plt Off

Compilation and printing of scales of medical equipment and lists of contents for composite medical outfits.

Transport arrangements for medical stores of a special nature.

S H Widdup Staff Officer Branch Security Officer

Supervision of clerical staff of the Directorate-General.

Control of clerical work of MA 3.

Preparation of annual estimates for medical stores.

R A V Maughan Higher Clerical Officer Demands for medical supplies (including apparatus repairs) other than those supplied under fixed quantity contracts.

Examination of contractors' accounts and of expenditure returns of medical stores.

Discrepancy reports and unit medical cash accounts.

H A Baker Higher Clerical Officer Provision of artificial limbs and eyes, spectacles and contact lenses and surgical boots ands appliances.

Checking of National Ophthalmic Treatment Board accounts for spectacles.

Supply of books and publications for hospitals and Command Medical Reference Libraries.

Demands for anaesthetic gases.

Records of calf lymph supplies.

MA 4
J W Patrick Wg Cdr Head of Branch

Questions regarding preservation of health and prevention of disease, including all precautionary and remedial measures, and hygienic conditions affecting stations, camps, billets, movements, transport, dress and physical training.

Sanitation, rations and water supplies.

Questions regarding plans of new buildings, sitings, etc.

Notification of infectious and contagious diseases.

All matters relating to the medical aspects of chemical warfare organisation and defence measures.

Medical Research and Flying Personnel Research Committee work.

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • British Social Hygiene Council War Executive Committee.
  • Medical Society for Study of Venereal Diseases.
I M Marshall Higher Clerical Officer Branch Security Officer

Supervision of clerical work of MA 4.

Secretarial duties for Flying Personnel Research Committee and its Sub-Committees.

MA 6
F B Summerling Wg Cdr Head of Branch

All routine matters relating to the Dental Services.

Entry and release of Dental Officers.

Liaison with Central Dental War Committee.

Allocation and posting of Dental Officers to Units at Home and Overseas.

Promotion of Dental Officers.

Confidential reports.

Dental establishments.

Courses of instruction for Dental Officers.

Questions affecting training, remustering, reclassification  and promotion of dental personnel.

Preparation of prototype outfits of dental equipment.

Design and establishment of mobile dental units.

Preparation of dental stores vocabularies and scales.

Liaison with other Government Departments on dental questions.

W E East Higher Clerical Officer Organisation and supervision of clerical work of MA 6.

Dental officers - maintenance of personal records; preparation of posting instructions.

MA 7
G O Williams Wg Cdr Head of Branch

Preparation of Health Reports.

Medical aspects of medical statistics.

Medical history records policy.

Study of methods of medical selection of personnel for aircrew duties, including special aptitude tests; medical research in this field..

Medical liaison in connection with Synthetic Training.

Investigation of human factors in the causation of flying accidents; liaison with other branches concerned.

Development of accident injury reporting system.

Application of statistical methods to medical investigations; examination of medical statistical reports and, in collaboration with the Consultant in Medical Statistics, advice on methods of analysis and presentation.

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Medical Research Council Committee on Hospital Morbidity Statistics.
C A Plumb Staff Officer Branch Security Officer

Supervision of clerical staff of MA 7.

Medical statistics and records.

Preparation of statistical reports.

W N Wedge

F H Majoribanks

Higher Clerical Officer

Higher Clerical Officer

Compilation of Form 48 enclosures.

Supervision of medical reports of officers and of flying accidents, invaliding and deaths of RAF personnel generally.

Miss W E Jenkins Higher Clerical Officer Supervisory duties in connection with coding.
MA 8
E B Davies

R Mortimer

Wg Cdr (Head of Branch)

Sqn Ldr

Preparation of material for Medical History of the War.

Air Ministry Representative: -

  • Editorial Board of the Medical History of the War.
Miss D Craymer Higher Clerical Officer Secretarial and research duties in connection with the Medical History of the War.
Woman Medical Liaison Officer (WMLO)
E V Butler-Jones Wg Cdr Liaison, in connection with medical examination, medical attendance, health and welfare of WAAF personnel, between DGMS branches and the following: -
  • other Air Ministry directorates,
  • Command Women's Medical Officers, through the Principal Medical Officers of Commands,
  • Ministry of Health,
  • War Office and Admiralty.

Visits to RAF Stations, as DGMS's representative, to inspect and advise on the health and welfare of WAAF personnel.

Preparation of instructions for issue to Commands.

DGMS's representative on the  WAAF Advisory Council.

Nursing Service Branch (NSB)
Miss Taylor Matron-in-Chief* Organisation of Princess Mary's RAF Nursing Service, including entry, retirement, pay, allowances, leave, uniform, etc.


Personnel regulations; selection boards for candidates; postings; prop motion; personal records.

Nursing arrangements; accommodation.

Training of VAD members.

*Member - Nursing Service Advisory Board.

Miss M E Garnett Principal Matron
F S Manning Higher Clerical Officer (Branch Security Officer)

Source - List of Staff and Distribution of Duties, January 1945 - AIR 20/7518 (AL44 - Nov 1945)

This page was last updated on 20/07/22

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