Royal Air Force
Administrative Apprentices Association

Multum A Parvo

Member Articles

First Christmas Away From Home – Bob Blundell (17th)

Just prior to Christmas 1953 I had been suffering from a mouth abscess and was being treated with antibiotics’ which had resolved the infection. This was only days before the great getaway for Christmas leave. There was more than the usual excitement, as on return from leave the entire school was to move from RAF St. Athan to RAF. Hereford.
The day before leave was due to begin, I awoke to find all my joints swollen and my hands about 50% larger than usual, although I didn’t feel unwell. I reported for morning sick parade. The MO. was very concerned about my symptoms and conferred with the other doctors who were also much exercised and decided that I had the early signs of glandular fever, an illness of which I was unaware. I was to be admitted to RAF. Hospital St. Athan without delay for observation and perhaps treatment. My Christmas leave was cancelled.
I spent the Christmas period in the observation ward with other unfortunates from RAF Stations in Wales and the West of England. As far as possible we had a great time involving the nursing staff and the doctors. I was visited by the CO of the Apprentice School, who gave me a present although I can’t now remember what it was, something edible I suspect.
Meanwhile the medical condition was gradually resolving itself spontaneously., and finally cleared up altogether. I was discharged from hospital the day following Boxing Day, with a recommendation for sick leave. Returning to the School, I found it just about deserted everyone being on Christmas leave. I finally found the Orderly Room sergeant and gave him my discharge papers. He contacted the duty officer and things moved on a bit. After much toing and froing and many phone calls, it was decided that I could take some of the sick leave, so that I would be returning to Hereford the day before the school became operational again. I packed my kit ready for the move picked up my rail warrants and finally went home after a Christmas that I still well remember.