Banks, Peter


Banks, Peter
P Banks


17 items. The collection relates to James Henry Banks (b. 1916, 519903 Royal Air Force). He enlisted in the RAF 25 April 1935 and served as a photographer. The collection consists of two multiple page photograph albums, his service and pay book, his driving licence, statement of service and certificate of discharge, a NAAFI pass belonging to his wife, Grace Emily Banks, a pocket watch, loose photographs, and letters regarding his attempt to re-enlist in the RAF between 1948 and 1950. Also contains a RAF pocket book.

This collection includes two albums:

Album one contains photographs pre-war Harts and Harrow aircraft, of the RAF Advanced Air Striking Force in France in 1940, 2 Group aircraft and targets, and a number of aerial photographs of cities and targets in the Ruhr and the Low countries taken at low level during a sightseeing Cooks tour after VE Day.

Album two consists of a number of post-war photographs of RAF Seletar, Singapore, Burma and Cambodia.

The collection has been loaned to the IBCC Digital Archive for digitisation by Peter Banks and catalogued by Barry Hunter and Nigel Huckins, with further identification kindly provided by the Archeologi dell'Aria research group (




IBCC Digital Archive


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Banks, P

Collection Items

Master Spy of RAF photo men is banned
Article about Wing Commander Cotton who was instrumental in the setting up of the RAF photographic unit. He was eventually asked to resign from the RAF and subsequently tried to join the Navy which was cancelled due to air ministry pressure. Recalls…

Sidcot fought a war within a war
Air Mail newspaper. On the left a biography of Sidney Cotton highlighting pioneering work on air reconnaissance. Main article covers the war time career of Sidney Cotton and his air photographs of Germany obtained prewar as a civilian. Goes on to…

Another great wings total
Front page of air mail newspaper (the official journal of the Royal Air Forces association). Includes headlines: running neck and neck with 1956's. top camera man is a judge, treasurer at head, branch is first with high flight, Lord Tedder presents…

Britain's middle east army: we stand firm
Main article - covers order to middle east army by Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Wavell and Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Longmore to fight on and that Egypt had been asked to declare war on Italy. Other headlines: ford to make 6000 air engines,…

Page 13 - daily Sketch
Contains dress making article, horoscope, crossword, adverts and list of fund donations.

Page 12 - Daily Sketch
Contains Pop cartoon, adverts, article ob=n face creams and children's corner.

Talk of the town and Italy's air power
Article 1 - Number of short gossip articles about events during fighting in Belgium and France as well as evacuation from Dunkirk. Includes article on wedding of Squadron Leader Robert H Niven. Article 2 - account of Italian air force which is…

We have under arms now in this island over 1250000 men
On the left main article with 7 photographs showing groups of soldiers after disembarkation from Dunkirk, lines of civilians at recruiting stations, soldiers with a dog and a group of sailors. On the right an article - what to do if this country is…

Unite RAF and army
Main article - editorial expounding air and land integrated operations with reference to Spanish civil war and Germans in Poland. Suggests that British forces adopt the same approach and that there should be no lack of cohesion or rivalry between the…

Nazi invaders will get warm reception
Mani article covers the success of Battle of Britain and that that the United Kingdom should now continue the war. Mentions future of France and its empire and that Churchill had received messages endorsing decision to fight on.

Immediate training for all men fit to fight
Main article - states all men it is possible to use in defence of Britain will be called up and trained immediately with or without uniforms or equipment. Other headlines: obey these orders in invasion, give |L.D.V more weapons. Children for Canada…

This is how B.E.F. fought  the Nazis
Main article concerns awards of Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross to British army army officers during recent fighting in France. Other headline: Philippines send £2629 to our fund.

Hitler and Mussolini decide France's fate
Mani article - subsidiary headline: Petain orders fight on, Nazi white flag advance. Report on Hitler and Mussolini meeting when agreed attitude towards French request for armistice. Other headline|: French army of 500000 escapes, France bound by…

Premier's call to our duty
Main article - report of Churchill speech during broadcast about the Battle of Britain. Goes on to mention Dunkirk and review forces available and plans for the future invasion. Other headlines: Soviet seizes Baltic ships. tell the world. bar…

Battle of Britain: RAF on offensive
Front page - contains Churchill battle of Britain quote.Subsidiary headlines: dictators talk four hours; French general's appeal from London, let all children go to safety. Photograph of evacuated children sitting in row with crowd behind them.

Three more classes to register in July
Article stating that men aged 30, 31 and 32 were expected to register for military service in July 1940. Other headlines: RAF again bomb Italian base at Tobruk, Britain to take 3100 U.S. planes, sentry shoots, invasion soon: a Berlin report. Article…

News in four languages - Petain tells why France gave up
Four columns explaining why France gave up in English, French, German and Dutch. Blondie cartoon at top.

Sports page
Many short sports articles. Horse racing, boxing, golf. cricket and dog racing all mentioned.

Cool food for hot days
Page of advice concerning use of cold meats, pies, galantines sold ready cooked in shops. Advice on aspic, fish, mayonnaise jelly, sweets, ices and creamed rice.

Sea sense
Main article concerning differences in sea bathing for evacuated children on east or west coasts. Offers advice to parents. Includes Pop cartoon at top right.

I saved my baby from the Nazis
Newspaper page from Daily Sketch with account of a father who went to Normandy in France to rescue his wife and one year old son. Describes bombing of Le Havre and German advance. Goes on to mention aircraft machine gunning refugee columns.

Talk of the town
Page of London news of people, events and happenings.

The British Empire can beat the dictators
Left page: three columns of photographs one each of navy, army and air force with views pf people and equipment all with captions. Centre and right page photographs of Canada, S Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand army personnel. In the centre a…

News in four languages
Britain will win says french expert written in French, German, Dutch and English. Other headlines: Venezuelan oil concessions, war ideas wanted, rally in gilt-edged. Blondie cartoon strip at top.
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