The Henry Probert Bursary for Academic Study
Air Commodore Henry Probert MBE was one of the most eminent authorities on the history of the RAF; head of the RAF's Air Historical Branch, a founder member of the RAF Historical Society and, whilst serving, the RAF's Director of education. Born on 23 December 1926 at Cheadle, Cheshire, he read Modern History at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
After graduating in 1948 he joined the RAF for national service and chose to remain working in the education branch. He spent time in Northern Ireland and Germany before serving at RAF Changi, Singapore. His later appointments were to the RAF Technical College at Henlow, and as a member of the directing staff at the RAF Staff College, Bracknell. After serving at Headquarters, Bomber Command, he was appointed Director of education.
On retirement from the RAF in October 1978, he was chosen as head of the Air Historical Branch, where in addition to his administrative duties he undertook many writing projects; writing the history of the RAF in the Falklands campaign and assisting with the autobiography of Marshal of the RAF Lord Cameron. After 11 years as Director he retired from the Historical Branch, and continued to indulge his interest in the history of the service he loved; becoming one of the founders of the RAF Historical Society in 1986. He remained a great supporter of the Society until his death on Christmas day in 2007 and his outstanding service to the study of RAF history was recognised by the award of the Air League Gold Medal in 2002.
Probert wrote extensively and contributed to many learned journals and historical narratives. His History of Changi, the RAF's largest air base in Singapore, occupied by the Japanese during the war, was first published in 1965, and then updated in 2006 at the request of the Singapore Museum. The Forgotten Air Force (1995) is a history of the RAF in Burma during the war; the Rock and the RAF (2005) chronicles the long association between the RAF and Gibraltar; while High Commanders of the Royal Air Force (1991) remains the prime source for accounts of the lives of those who have served as the RAF's Chief of the Air Staff and of other senior wartime commanders.
Following his death, the RAF Historical Society endowed a bursary in Henry’s memory to encourage scholarly research which is awarded by the Committee on a regular basis to those students who intend to add to the historiography of the RAF through their studies.
At the Feb 13 Ctee Mtg it was decided to award Miss Lisa Wilkinson a bursary of £1000 to assist her in her studies [PhD] on Air Force Reserves starting Sep 14.
Wg Cdr Trevor Stone: awarded bursary in 2012 to research the ‘Royal Air ForceLogistics during the Second World War - an Air Power Enabler