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RAF College, Cranwell: A Centenary Celebration (Hardback)

'We Seek the Highest'

Aviation Royal Air Force 20th Century

By Roger Annett, Foreword by ACM (retired) Sir Sandy Wilson KCB, AFC
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 368
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781526712189
Published: 23rd October 2019

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We Seek the Highest has been the motto of the thousands of Officer Cadets who, over ten decades, have passed through the rigorous training regime at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell, Lincolnshire. The words embody the College ethos: to strive to reach the tough standards demanded by the RAF, in the air and on the ground.

This book tells the 100-year story from the point of view of the Officer Cadets themselves. The College was founded in 1919 – some eighteen months after the birth of the RAF itself – with the aim of providing a cadre of disciplined, highly-trained officers, ready to lead the service through the uncertain post-war and post-Empire times to come. Since then, it has responded continuously to the UK’s political, economic and military requirements.

The RAF Officer Cadets’ world has thus been one of change. The author documents these changes from 1919 to today, overlaying the historical and social scene with the candidly related airborne and ground-based exploits of three-score ex-cadets.

The core narrative is based on the three years at Cranwell of 81 Entry of Flight Cadets, who graduated in July 1962 with thirty-seven jet pilots and eight navigators, having launched a curriculum-changing experiment in degree-level studies.

With a Foreword from an Air Chief Marshal former cadet, 130 illustrations, and a full index, the whole offers a cadets’ tribute to a world-famous military academy on its centenary.

Recommended... I think you will love it!

Watch the full video review here

Scale Modelling Now

The writer has produced a really good book that is not only a splendid record of an important part of the College's history but is also a thoroughly good read.

Air Vice-Marshal RAF

The book is even more handsome than I expected. The forward and prelude read very well; I now look forward to reading the rest! I feel sure it will be great success. Thank you for bringing back to life those early, critical years.

Group Captain RAF

The book is interesting, historic, absorbing and readable – it should sell well.

Group Captain RAF

My father has started reading We Seek the Highest and will hand it over to me in the coming weeks to allow me to read it! His feedback is very positive – he is enjoying the content and finds the writing style very easy to read and the narrative really draws the reader into the stories.

Wing Commander RAF

Click here to listen to author interview

NOTE: set cursor to 2:32:10

BBC Radio Lincolnshire interview with presenter Carla Greene

About Roger Annett

ROGER MARK ANNETT wore the blue of the RAF from 1959 to 1967. During this service he spent two-and-a-half years as co-pilot on a Tactical Transport Squadron, which led to his first book for Pen and Sword, Drop Zone Borneo.


This was followed by three more books on RAF Battlefield Air Supply. Drop Zone Burma is set in the victorious WWII campaign of General Bill Slim’s 14th Army and Lifeline in Helmand focusses on RAF Chinook and Hercules operations in 21st Century Afghanistan. Borneo Boys then takes readers back to the 1960s to chronicle the adventures of youthful first-tour RAF helicopter pilots in Indonesian Confrontation.


This fifth book for Pen and Sword has been prompted by the approaching centenary of the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell. As with all his previous offerings, the author has gathered together an impressive number of willing eye-witnesses (himself included) to give the already worthy story of ten decades the necessary flesh and bones.


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