Major Dawes had been with the squadron since its formation at Farnborough and had been one of
the pilots who had taken one of the BE 2s on the, then, major feat of flying the long distance to Scotland.
He was in the party sent to France in August 1914 and one month later distinguished himself by
shooting down a German aircraft in full view of the French front line; an act for which he was awarded the
Legion d'Honneur. Under his command the squadron began to experiment with airborne photography
and techniques were developed which allowed a mozaic of the whole of the German trench system which confronted
Field Marshal Haig's First Army to be built. This unique form of reconnaissance was to be repeated
many times and provided the RFC and II(AC) Sqn with a powerful reason for their existance. Major
Dawes continued in post until March of 1915 when he handed over command to Major Webb-Bowen.