(More content from the Deveraux Campaign Journal)
The Special Investigative Aeronautical Service
Formed within the last few months and based at the mountain fastness of HMAS Collingwood, the Aerial & Telegraph Station in the Hindu Kush, the Detachment, as it’s more colloquially referred to, has the logistical backing of the Scinde Commissariat of the Indian Army Service under the guidance of the Procurement Section in the Foreign Office. The current main component part of the Detachment is the Aerial Gun Sloop HMS Alacrity.
And the Admiralty played its role too – placing a recruiting advert in the London Gazette, whereupon a special team then had to be drawn together to sift and interview the applications.
‘Gentlemen Officers To Be Recruited!’
Gentlemen officers of either service actively sought after & encouraged to join the new Royal Naval Detachment – The Special Investigative Aeronautical Service.
Successful applicants should expect to serve away from Home stations & to barrack at the Aerial & Telegraph Station, HMAS Collingwood in the Hindu Kush. Service on board the Aerial Sloop HMS Alacrity will be taken at Naval pay equivalent to current rank, off-reckonings & mess bill accounts to be arranged with the Scinde Commissariat of the Indian Army Service.
Applicants can expect to serve all over the World as required by the Minister of War & the Admiralty. Life onboard HMS Alacrity will involve long flights & lengthy journeys, & we beseech you to consider this fully before applying – gentlemen of nervous flying dispositions & suffering from vertigo should consider that this service may not suit them. Able demonstrations of marksmanship will be standard & studies of anthropology & linguistics will be held as an advantage. The Detachment is keen to recruit medically & technically-minded staff as well. A familiarity with the Naval Aerial Service is preferred but not necessarily required. All applicants will be chosen on demonstrated merits, good conduct & excellent records of service.
The Detachment is also eager to encourage the recruiting of officers from the Dominions, Colonies & Dependencies of the Empire – in the case of the latter two, please provide a supporting letter of reference from your superior officer or civil administrator. Horse-riding & sports are actively encouraged as leisure pursuits. We regret that there are no facilities for Officer’s families & again beseech you to bear this in mind. Servants & batmen however can be provided accommodation & horse remounts will be provided for.
Duties will involve the positive investigation & prosecution of agents & provocateurs set on de-stabilising the trade & well-being of the Empire. An analytical mind is as valuable as a good strong sword-arm. Training & briefings will be regular & all Officers will be expected to attend. Battle drills will be carried out along with the Station’s garrison of Bluejackets & Sikh infantry & Officers will be expected to participate.
Interested parties should apply in writing in the first instance to:
Captain William H. B. Norris MC
Room 14 East, The Admiralty
For the main part, travelling expenses to the Hindu-Kush must be met in their entirety by the successful applicants. Advances may be made available.
This set the initial scene for the specialist British Imperial unit, it’s base and it’s initial vessel, for the very start of the campaign. Certainly the idea of a model of HMS Alacrity set a few of the gamers off with thoughts on modelling the Aerial Gun Sloop in 28mm scale.
The Gazette recruiting advert also made for an excellent poster in the right gothic font.