RAF Logo Man’s Former Home

theme page link buttonLink to French translationRAF logo man’s former home, Gloddaeth Avenue

llandudno_charles_pepperThis property, formerly known as The Gables, was once the home of Charles Pepper, designer of the RAF’s insignia. The photo shows him and his wife Bunny in the garden here.

On 1 April 1918, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force (RAF). At a meeting held at RAF headquarters in The Cecil Hotel on The Strand, London, in 1918 it was decided to appoint Chief Petty Officer Pepper of the Royal Naval Air Service to design the RAF’s logo. It has remained largely unchanged since, the main difference being that the circlet around the bird originally featured a garter with a buckle. In 1925 the College of Arms, the official body responsible for coats of arms, provided a coloured drawing of the badge.

The photo below shows the original badge, with Charles’ initials and dated 1918.

There has been occasional controversy over whether the badge that RAF other ranks (everyone except officers) wear on each shoulder is an eagle or an albatross. To quell the debate, the Air Ministry issued an order in 1949 declaring that the bird was in fact an eagle! However, while living at The Gables in the late 1970s, Mr Pepper told local newspaper journalist Ivor Wynne Jones: “I rejected the eagle because it was the badge of the Germans, who were then our enemy.” Mr Pepper chose instead the albatross as the basis for his insignia after a visit to the British Museum, where taxidermists had mounted an albatross soaring majestically.

In 1941 the RAFllandudno_original_RAF_logo considered reworking the badge, as it was felt that a more war-like “eagle” should be shown.

The only recognition Mr Pepper received was a letter of thanks from the Air Minister, Sir William Weir, together with a copy of the letter briefing him to design the official seal of the RAF.

Source: Ivor Wynne Jones: Llandudno – Queen of Welsh Resorts

With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum, and to Celia Pepper (Charles' granddaughter)

Postcode: LL30 2DN    View Location Map

Other MILITARY HiPoints in this area:
Former Royal Naval Club - with the story of HMS Llandudno
Former HQ of the coastal artillery school
Llandudno war memorial
Former US Army officers' and doctors' mess