Jump to content

Remembered Today:


Mannock, Jim Eyles and the Socialist press?

1 reply to this topic

#1 J.R.



  • Members2
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Upminster, Essex
  • Interests:MA Student at KCL. Interested in Military History in general, the air war in the Great War etc

Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:28 pm

I had purchased Dudegeon's work on Mannock and whilst reading (1993 edition, p.153), he quotes a letter written to Eyles from Mannock regarding him taking over from Bishop at 85 Sqn. At the end of this he says 'P.S. Keep it out of the papers'. Dudgeon then, in the footnote, states that Eyles had the habit of reporting Mannock's successes to the socialist newspapers of the time and that though the established press gave him little attention he was better known in the USA than in Britain.

I was wondering if anyone had anything further to add to that? Like the periodicals he was featured in, if any, the nature of the articles and and perhaps why the US papers had more interest in him, compared to McCudden who got at least some press coverage in early 1918 etc etc.
On a slightly related note as well - I was also wondering if there were any good sources that could point out to me why the French and Germans went about publicising their pilots differently to the British, the rationale behind it all. I have read a reasonable amount to understand why the British were against naming pilots, except if they had been awarded a distinction, like VC, DSO, MC etc .

Any help on either points would be most appreciated. I am sure this topic will fluctuate between me asking and people pointing haha. At at some point I will have to bring into the discussion that oh so controversial Canadian ace too!


EDIT: one last question. This regards Lord Northcliffe, I remember a while back reading an article in the Daily Mail (I know), about McCudden revolving around that Aces Falling program on them a few years back on the BBC. According to that article Northcliffe, as a chief propagandist felt that they were missing out on creating heroes so got his publications to pick some pilots to name, namely McCudden and I believe Fullard for whom they had the January 7th(?) front-page of the Daily Mail in 1918. Any truth to this or more evidence, I've been looking all around...

#2 C.J. Page

C.J. Page


  • Members2
  • 23 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:43 pm

If it helps, there was a 2001 'biography'; Mick Mannock Fighter Pilot (Myth, Life and Politics) by (Professor) Adrian Smith (Palgrave ISBN 0-333-77898-7). I recall this book was not much liked by those seeking an aviation biography of Major Mannock because it was really a Socialist history of Mannock and his times in Northampton. I found it a fascinating, valid and valuable contribution to the literature on this pilot .. as long as you take the war bits with a pinch of salt! But I think J.R. might find what he's after in it.

Re the wider point. My understanding has always been that the Germans and French in particular saw the immense propaganda value of 'Aces' and the Ace system whereas the British were much more reserved and reticent to embrace it - believing that fighter pilots would get more attention than other aircrew who were just as deserving and played an equally vital role. But I guess the authorities had little control over a pilot's family/friends who would have found the press willing to print what they gave them.