At a meeting of a sub-committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence which met in the middle of July, 1918, to consider the question of the official history of the Air Force, Admiral Slade welcomed Sir Walter Raleigh as the prospective author of a history which would be both interesting and unique—unique in the sense that no history of the kind had ever been written before. “Almost too good a chance,” was the interjection of Sir Walter.
Sir Walter took up the history with enthusiasm. At Oxford throughout the war he had been chafing under the inactivity which was imposed on him by his age. Oxford was empty of men. There was not even a lot of lecturing to do. The Air History gave him just such an opportunity as he loved. It was an adventure, and he looked upon life itself as an adventure. He was possessed of a fine imagination, and the story of the air had for him a great appeal. He had the heart of a boy. In a fine passage on the temper of the Air Force he says in his book: