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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree June 2018 > The fraudster, the hotel & the RAF

The fraudster, the hotel & the RAF

Ostensibly a pillar of society, Jabez Balfour’s business dealings were so shady they led to the ruin of numerous families. Nick Thorne sees what the records have to say about this man of many parts
Jabez Balfour, Vanity Fair 1892

On 1 April 1918 the very first independent air force in the world came into being, establishing its headquarters in part of a requisitioned central London hotel.

The Hotel Cecil was a grand neobaroque hotel built in the 1890s on land situated between the Thames Embankment and the Strand. The man behind the building of this huge development was the really fascinating character of Jabez Spencer Balfour.

Research Jabez Balfour MP

On the face of it Balfour presented himself as a pillar of society being a JP and a Liberal MP.

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There's something undeniably special about visiting our ancestors' final resting places. Read the guide in the latest issue of Family Tree about graveyards and we will help you step back in time. Graveyards and cemeteries are a very real reminder of earlier generations and visiting them will not only spark thought-provoking memories - they may also provide you with new clues and details... And speaking of 'new clues' - don't miss our brand new series 'Taken a DNA test? Now what?'. This is the advice you need if you want to get the most from your DNA test. Discover how to make sense of the results, find more details and grow that fabulous family tree of yours! Join in with the DNA adventure today! We also have a fabulous free guide for you in this bumper issue, Heritage Days Out, packed full of ideas for family and local history trips to take this summer. Enjoy your travels through time!