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Archives at The Museum of Flight

George H. E. Welford Battle of Britain Collection

Identifier: 2011-02-18
The George H. E. Welford Battle of Britain Collection is comprised of textual and visual material, including log books, a photograph, scrapbooks, and photocopied documents, relating to Welford's service as a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot during World War II and in the Battle of Britain. Materials are dated 1938-1945, 1990-1996 with the bulk of the materials being 1938-1945.

The collection contains two pilot's log books used by Welford, 1938-1945. Entries typically include information such as date, type of aircraft flown, and note, such as "night flying" or "weather test." Some notes are extensive, detailing aerial combat and encounters. There is also a single modern reprint of a 1940 black-and-white group portrait of RAF military personnel. The photograph is 3x5" and has several names on the front, which are difficult to read. On the reverse is a handwritten inscription, "[T.H. James?], Hornchurch RAF, 1940."

One of the two scrapbooks also includes additional photographs, primarily in the form of squadron group portraits. There are also casual and posed shots of Welford. Additional materials in this scrapbook include photocopies of pages from an Operations Record book, which details military activity for the 607 Squadron; original and photocopies of art created by Welford; typed summaries of Welford and his squadron; and a printed announcement regarding Welford's death in 1996. Within one of the plastic sleeves were also several letters, 1990-1992, which were removed and placed into their own folder for preservation and access. Original order has been maintained. The letters are from Welford to "Chris" and seem to discuss Chris' interest in Welford's memorabilia from World War II.

The second scrapbook is titled "The Battle of Britain - The Few - 10th July - 31st October 1940." It includes a photocopy of Welford's self-portrait, snapshots of a [roll book?] titled "The Few" and printed information about the military personnel, squadrons, and aircraft that participated in the Battle of Britain.

At the end of the collection is a packet of several photocopied documents, which appear to be a mix of a biography of Welford's service, service log, and pages from one of the photograph albums. The packet has missing pages, according to the page numbering. The packet was sent by Welford to Chris D. John, per the envelope they were housed within originally.


  • Majority of material found within 1938-1945
  • 1990-1996

Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.40 Cubic Feet (1 full-width letter size document box)

Biographical Note: George H.E. Welford

George Henry Ettrick Welford was born in London on December 9, 1916. His family lived in India during his early years although Welford returned to the United Kingdom to attend school in Norfolk.

Welford joined 607 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force, Royal Air Force (RAF) on January 9, 1938. He was commissioned in May 1939 and called to full-time service on August 24, 1939. After training, Welford re-joined 607 Squadron in June 1940.

On August 5, 1940, Welford participated in aerial combat and claimed one enermy aircraft destroyed and another damaged. On September 15, 1940 he helped destroy another enemy aircraft. Two days later, he was shot down and sustained slight wounds. He rejoined the 607 Squadron on October 20, 1940.

Welford then spent time instructing new pilots. He instructed from February 1941 through April 1944. Welford was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Squadron Leader.

Post-war he worked as an engineer for Coates Cottons. Welford died October 6, 1996.


Biography derived from collection materials and “The Airmen's Stories - P/O G H E Welford.” Battle of Britain London Monument - P/O G H E Welford. Accessed December 31, 2019.

Custodial History

The collection was donated to The Museum of Flight in 2011 by John Ferdon. The materials were gifted to and purchased by Ferdon over time due to his interest in the Battle of Britain. There is no known connection between Ferdon and Welford.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Separated Materials

The following material has been separated from the archival component and is kept in Objects storage:

  • Uniform
  • Flight jacket, leather
  • Medals

Additionally, approximately sixty (60) books pertaining to WWII and the Battle of Britain are kept in the Library. Please contact the repository for more detail.

Processing Information

Original processing by J.Parent in 2018. Further processing by J.Parent in 2019.

The single loose photograph was sleeved. A stack of correspondence was removed from a sleeve within the scrapbook and put in its own acid-free folder and interleaved. The items were left in original order, which appears to be chronological, although some letters do not include full dates.
Guide to the George H. E. Welford Battle of Britain Collection
Completed - Level 3
J. Parent
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd edition

Revision Statements

  • December 2019: The finding aid has been updated to reflect further processing, updated notes and subject terms.

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
Contact us with a research request