“Oswald Watt: a legend of the Australian Flying Corps” with Dr Chris Clark
Oswald Watt ended the First World War as the senior officer of the Australian Flying Corps, commanding the AFC’s largest single formation: No 1 Training Wing based in England.
A greatly admired and respected figure, his chance to make a lasting impression on Australia’s post-war history was cut short by a drowning accident in May 1921. Even so, his reputation has lingered ever since, yet there remains a great deal of misinformation and half truths about Watt’s life and career which borders on mythology. This talk will explain what inspired the writing of the first full biography of Oswald Watt, and outline the many areas where previous understanding of his historical significance has fallen short of reality.
Chris Clark is a prolific author of Australian military history, with many of his titles previously published under the name “Coulthard-Clark”. He has written across all three armed services, from colonial times to the present, producing biographies, institutional and operational histories. He authored one of the volumes of the Official History of Australia’s involvement in South East Asian conflicts 1948-75 (covering RAAF operations in Vietnam) but is probably best known for his Encyclopaedia of Australia’s Battles. His biography of Oswald Watt appeared in September 2016.