The person in the centre of this recently donated photo is Lieutenant Tom Baillieu, a pilot of RE.8 reconnaissance aircraft of No.3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, in France in 1918. The object in the foreground is a tail view of the remains of one of the most famous aircraft in history: the Fokker Dr.1 Triplane in which Germany's Manfred von Richthofen - The Red Baron - was shot down and killed. But what does all this have to do with Narromine?
Well, 23 years later in 1941, Tom Baillieu DFC was a Wing Commander in the RAAF and served for nearly two years as the commanding officer of the wartime RAAF training school at Narromine. Thanks to his son Tim, we now have on display a large collection of rare items from Tom's WWI and WWII service days, including:
And, perhaps most significantly, there is a small piece of maroon-coloured fabric that Tom cut from the Baron's aircraft shortly after it was brought down by Australian machine-gunners on 21 April 1918. It is an iconic addition to the museum's First World War displays, which already included a large piece of camouflaged fabric from a German
- His WWI flying uniform and WWII commanding officer's uniform
- A bullet-holed propeller from an RE.8
- The serial number souvenired from the RE.8 in which he was shot down
- A copy of an Arthur Streeton drawing of the very same aircraft
- A map of the region of France in which 3 Squadron AFC flew reconnaissance patrol
What's New - Recent Donations
The NARRAF Cup primary school sports competition is a legacy of the war years which continues to this day. 618 Squadron RAF left their sports cup with Narromine when they left in 1945, and the first competition was held that year. Although the original cup appears to be lost, the museum displays a number of subsequent NARRAF Cups donated by Narromine Primary School via the Local History Society.