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The Royal Air Force College at Cranwell (RAFC Cranwell) was formed out of one of Sir Hugh Trenchard's four items in a memorandum to the Air Ministry. The item was, "To create centres of excellence in flying and engineering training," and it led to the creation of RAFC Cranwell, RAF Halton, and other training units.

Cranwell, in Lincolnshire, was already home to several Royal Navy units formed under the unit title RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) Daedalus. By 1916, all flyers in the Royal Navy had to attend RNAS Daedalus to complete their training, and by the end of the Great War it was one of the largest aerodromes in the world.

Following the creation of the Royal Air Force on April 1st, 1918, Trenchard began looking for a site to found a new college for the training of commissioned officers. He chose Cranwell because of its size, location, and the existing infrastructure.

The new College opened on 5th February, 1920, in the existing huts on site. The first syllabus lasted for two years, covering a range of military, academic and practical subjects, although relatively little flying training.

Eventually it became clear that more permanent buildings were needed, although the funds (£299,550) were not granted until 1929, the same year that the College was granted its coat of arms.

Trenchard wanted the College to be fitting for a military service, and spent a long time touring the country looking for inspiration. Eventually, the College building (College Hall) was based upon the Royal Hospital at Chelsea. The frontage occupies 800ft, and is surmounted by a dome, 140ft off the ground, with a revolving light that can be seen for about 20 miles - it is, in fact, Britain's most inland light-house.

During the Second World War, the Luftwaffe was ordered by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering not to bomb the college, which he had earmarked as a potential home following Operation SEALION.

The College is today home to several units, inlcuding the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, and its primary role remains training junior officers on the rigorous, 24-week Initial Officer Training course.

The College has had the honour and distinction of possessing a Colour from the Sovereign. The Queen's Colour for the Royal Air Force College is laid up in the grand Dining Hall, guarded by a bronze statue of an eagle, and is used at formal occasions such as Graduation Parades, Founders' Day and, most recently, the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

In the Rotunda is a large carpet. By tradition, only people who hold the Queen's Commission have the automatic right to walk on the Carpet, so officer cadets must walk around it; this can be quite time consuming. It sounds trivial, but a real sense of pride is gained when one can finally tread on the Carpet.

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