Armistice 100: Fledgling RAF records record bombing run in Germany... and the birth of Hawksworth Estate

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Dateline: August 15, 1918: A century ago today, the YEP carried news of the British Independent Air Force, the first of its kind in the world and which saw the merger of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps.

This then was the Royal Air Force.

On this day in 1918, the YEP detailed a summary of its actions during the previous month. It was said that during July, exactly 100 raids were carried out, 96 of which were into Germany itself. In all, 81 tons of bombs were dropped on “important military objectives”.

This constituted a record, both in terms of the number of raids and the weight of munitions dropped on the enemy. It beat June’s record of 74 raids and 61 tons, for example.

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Another story carried news of a planned housing scheme in Leeds, to be built on land between Kirkstall and Horsforth. It was to become the Hawksworth estate, which was bought for £18,900 “for the purposes of a housing scheme for Leeds”.

The estate in question was 63 acres at Hawksworth Wood, “lying between the populous portions of Kirkstall and Horsforth”, priced at £300 an acre.

The decision to build more houses in Leeds came after the council also approved another purchase, that of the Middleton estate, for £46,640.

The Hawksworth land was owned by Mssrs Whitaker and Sons, quarry owners, of Horsforth. It was said to be “elevated and even picturesque… being bounded on one side by Versper Road and on another by what is known as Butcher Hill.”

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