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Winners of RAF Museum Academic Awards Announced

Published on: 13 January 2021

The Royal Air Force Museum is delighted to announce the winners of its academic awards to Doctoral, Masters and Undergraduate students. They are Victoria Taylor, David Spruce and Nick Black.

These awards are made to final year students, without regard to nationality or academic affiliation, on the recommendation of a selection panel composed of members of the RAF Museum’s Research Board. The bursary and prizes are awarded for writing in the field of ‘air power studies’ in the broadest sense, encompassing not only the history of air warfare, but also related fields such as archaeology, international relations, strategic studies and others. This year’s applications were assessed during the course of 2020.

Formation of Dornier Do 17z Bombers

The winner of the 2020 Royal Air Force Museum Doctoral Bursary is Victoria Taylor (University of Hull/Sheffield Hallam University). Victoria’s thesis examines the Luftwaffe during the Third Reich and its legacy in the early post-Second World War period.

The RAF Museum selection panel noted that Victoria’s thesis should make an important contribution to the historiography both of the Luftwaffe and of the Nazi party’s methods of subverting non-party state institutions. Victoria’s submitted chapter was commended for showing an impressive depth of research, marshalled to form a coherent and convincing argument.

Victoria’s PhD is fully funded by a North of England Consortium for Arts & Humanities (N.E.C.A.H) PhD scholarship.

Victoria has previously won the RAF Museum MA Prize for her dissertation entitled: ‘Après Moi, Le Déluge’: Redressing the Wartime and Post-War Mythologization of Operation CHASTISE in Britain. This research formed the basis of a lecture Victoria provided for the RAF Museum in 2020. You can watch the lecture online by visiting: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/trenchard-lecture-the

Officers of the Military Wing RFC, 1914

The winner of the Royal Air Force Museum Masters Prize is David Spruce. David’s dissertation, submitted to the University of Wolverhampton, is entitled ‘The Development of British Air Power on the Western Front to the end of 1915: An analysis of the technological, procedural, and tactical developments of the Royal Flying Corps’.

David’s dissertation utilises a broad range of primary as well as secondary source material and succeeds in bringing out some of the organisational and intellectual strengths of the RFC in the early war years.

David is currently reading for a PhD at the University of Wolverhampton. David will present some of his research later this year as part of the Museum’s Research Lecture Series. Further details will be available online closer to the date.

Aircraft Formation — Battle of Britain

The winner of the Royal Air Force Museum Undergraduate prize is Nick Black. Nick’s dissertation, submitted to the University of Suffolk, is entitled ‘Revisiting the Battle of Barking Creek, 6 September 1939’.

Nick’s dissertation provided an original and forensic microhistorical study of the ‘Battle of Barking Creek’ which Nick uses to tell a much bigger, and unexpected story. Nick’s dissertation was praised for providing a well-written and well-argued piece with a wide range of sources despite its relatively narrow focus

Nick will present research from his dissertation later this year as part of the Museum’s Research Lecture Series.

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