The Info List - Per Ardua Ad Astra

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Per ardua ad astra
Per ardua ad astra
("Through adversity to the stars"[1] or "Through struggle to the stars")[2] is the motto of the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
and other Commonwealth air forces such as the RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF, the SAAF, as well as the Royal Indian Air Force until 1947. It dates from 1912 and was used by the newly formed Royal Flying Corps.


1 Origin 2 Variants 3 Other uses

3.1 Mottoes 3.2 Miscellaneous

4 See also 5 References


Per ardua ad astra
Per ardua ad astra
badge on the Polish War Memorial

The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
crest: Per ardua ad astra
Per ardua ad astra
on the 1918 headstone of Lieutenant J. D. Lightbody in Scheldewindeke, Belgium[3]

The first Commanding Officer
Commanding Officer
of the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
(Military Wing) was Colonel Frederick Sykes. He asked his officers to come up with a motto for the new service; one which would produce a strong esprit de corps. Not long after this, two junior officers were walking from the Officers' Mess
at Farnborough to Cody's Shed on Laffan Plain. As they walked they discussed the problem of the motto and one of them, Lieutenant J. S. Yule, mentioned the phrase Sic itur ad Astra, from Virgil. He then expanded on this with the phrase Per Ardua ad Astra, which he translated as, "Through Struggles to the Stars". Colonel Sykes approved of this as the motto and forwarded it to the War Office. It was then submitted to the King, who approved its adoption.[4] The question of where this motto had come from can be answered by the fact that Yule had read it in a book called The People of the Mist
The People of the Mist
by Sir Henry Rider Haggard. In the first chapter was the passage: "To his right were two stately gates of iron fantastically wrought, supported by stone pillars on whose summit stood griffins of black marble embracing coats of arms and banners inscribed with the device 'Per Ardua ad Astra'". Where Rider Haggard obtained this phrase is still unclear, although it is possible that it originated from the Irish family of Mulvany who had used it as their family motto for hundreds of years and translated it as "Through Struggles to the Stars". The authoritative translation of the motto is just as uncertain as the source. Since there can be a number of different meanings to "Ardua" and "Astra", scholars[who?] have declared it to be untranslatable. To the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
and the other Commonwealth air forces, however, it will remain translated as "Through Adversity to the Stars".[5] Northview Aviation Ltd is the only known organisation that uses Per Ardua ad Astra in a tongue in cheek fashion due to its involvement in the VIP aircraft market, hence earning its revenue "through hard work to the stars" Variants[edit] The motto of the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
Regiment omits the ad astra part, becoming simply per ardua. Conversely, the name of the building that originally housed the Air Ministry, became Adastral House, based only on 'ad astra. The Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
and many other entities use the similar motto per aspera ad astra. Other uses[edit]

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Mottoes[edit] Per ardua ad astra
Per ardua ad astra
is also the motto of:

County Grammar School, Ikwerre/Etche, Rivers State, Nigeria. Ogbomoso Grammar School, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria. Founded in 1952. St Joseph's High School, Dharwad, Karnataka, India. Founded in 1889. George L. Armstrong School, Hamilton, Ontario Port Colborne High School, Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada George W. Wingate High School, Brooklyn, New York St. Augustine Girls' High School, Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Science, Nagpur, India.[6] Acadia University
Acadia University
Engineering Society[7] Nova Scotia, Canada Cathedral Schools in Stavanger
and Trondheim
( Stavanger
katedralskole Kongsgård and Trondheim
katedralskole), Norway Antonio DeSouza High School (ANZA), Mumbai, India J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School (formerly Corentyne High School), Rose Hall, Guyana, South America. Dale College (for boys), King Williams Town, South Africa (generally translated by the school as "through hard work to the stars".) Alexandra School, Barbados Uxbridge Secondary School, Ontario, Canada Bulli High School (NSW, Australia). Lacovia High School
Lacovia High School
located in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, West Indies. The school uses the translation "through toil to the stars". Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India. Lancaster/School House at King Edward VII School, King's Lynn, Norfolk St. Aloysius College, Athlone, Ireland St. Augustine's School, Kalimpong, India St. Augustine Girls' High School, Curepe, Trinidad St. Cyprian’s Special
Science School, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria Girls High School, Harare, Zimbabwe (Through hard work, we'll reach the stars) Rice College Secondary School, Westport, County Mayo, Ireland Elgin Superior School, Elgin, New Brunswick, Canada Nackawic Senior High School, Nackawic, New Brunswick, Canada North and South Esk Regional High School, Sunny Corner, New Brunswick, Canada Northview Aviation Ltd, Brook, Kent, England Mount Hutt college, Canterbury, New Zealand Earth Directorate vessel Searcher (second season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century television series). Wantage Hall, University of Reading (United Kingdom) Highbury Grove School, London, UK Jamie Ashton Ltd., Wales, UK Girton Grammar School, Bendigo VIC Australia, (Through hardship to the stars) Ridgeway and Crystal Beach high School, (Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada) Gingerland Secondary School, (Gingerland, St. Georges Parish, Nevis) Tembisa High School, Tembisa, Gauteng, South Africa Lockhart Schweitzer House, Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, Ghana ProEd Consortium, Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore Renaissance School, Indianapolis, Indiana SMA Negeri 3 (Public High School no.3), Batam, Indonesia Young High School, Young, New South Wales, Australia[8] Asteroid Mining Corporation, United Kingdom Grupo de Aviación N°1 Los Cóndores, Fuerza Aérea de Chile.


St Chad's College, Durham, England
Durham, England
annually awards a Per ardua ad astra scholarship. Per Ardua Ad Astra is the title of a 1984 memorial sculpture by Oscar Nemon on University Avenue in Toronto, Canada. St Josephs High School, Dharwad, India

See also[edit]

Per aspera ad astra, a motto with a similar translation

Ad astra (phrase)#Per aspera ad astra, references article above Ad astra (phrase)#Ad astra per aspera, additional uses

Ad astra (phrase)#Per ardua ad astra, additional uses with reference to this article


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Per Ardua Ad Astra.

^ "Frequently Asked Questions". RAF. 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2013-11-04.  ^ " Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Badge". Australian Department of Defence. Retrieved 1 February 2012.  ^ " Scheldewindeke
Churchyard". www.peterswar.net.  ^ here, RAF Details. "RAF - The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
Motto". www.raf.mod.uk.  ^ "The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
MottoThe Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
Motto". RAF. 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2013-11-04.  ^ "Institute of Science, Nagpur". Iscnagpur.ac.in. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2013.  ^ "Ivan Curry School of Engineering ~ Welcome". Engineering.acadiau.ca. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2013-11-04.  ^ http://www.young-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/cmsresources/images/school_logo_1318068603658_1