Col. Templer is considered to be the ‘father’ of British military aviation!….
In 1862 the British Army undertook minor trials with balloons.
In 1878 (the then) Captain Templer having an interest in ballooning formed with the ‘blessing’ of the War Office, the first British Army Balloon school at Woolwich.
During the second Boer war 1899 – 1902 he served with the Scientific and Departmental Corps working with steam power, primarily steam traction.
In 1902 now with the rank Colonel Templer decided that it was time to follow German developments in aviation and build a military airship. In 1905 the Balloon factory relocated to Farnborough with the construction of an airship shed.
Money shortages delayed the construction of the first British Army Dirigible No.1, named Nulli Secundus (Second to None), which was not completed until 1907, by which time Col. Templer was no longer managing the project.
Prior to this Templer had designed and built the 1st Army Balloon (named Pioneer).
Balloon and dirigible technology in the early 1900’s was taken over by the Royal Engineers (Col. Templer’s Corps) with the Balloon Factory re-designated the Army Aircraft Factory in 1911.
Thus it can be seen that their is a direct line that can be drawn from Captain Templer’s early aviation exploits to the formation of the Royal Engineers (Aviation Section) and the Royal Flying corps.
Photograph is in very good condition, and I assume at some time has been framed.
The photograph has an ink signature (some of which is faded / worn, I assume due to handling) ending “Templer”.
It has been period, crudely bordered, with brown paper.
A period photographic image and signature of some historic importance !
(This item has been previously listed on my site without me knowing who the officer was….I found his identity by chance….This image along with others in his earlier service, can be found on th