Gavin Gibson Baird was born in Toronto, Ontario to parents Robert Baird and Annie (nee Forester) Baird.
Baird joined the Royal Flying Corps while in Canada early in 1917. He began training in Toronto, Ontario, then at Belleville, Mohawk, and Borden, Ontario before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the RFC in September of 1917 in Toronto. Baird then proceeded to England aboard the S.S. Metagama later that month and then to France, where he flew with the 148 Squadron. The collection consists of a memoir written in the form of letters to his nephew in 1929, which according to his family, was based on the content of diaries kept while with the RFC.