Royal Air Force
Administrative Apprentices Association

Multum A Parvo

Member Articles

Enjoy a selection of articles submitted either by, or on behalf of, our members. If you are an ex-RAF Administrative Apprentice, have served as a member of the RAF Administrative Apprentices training staff, are related to or have served with any ex-RAF Administrative Apprentices, you are welcome to submit an article for publication. To do so click the button below:

Submit An Article

Articles are required to be approved by our website manager before posting and those published will be catalogued by name of the contributor and their entry number if appropriate. They can be on any subject so if you have had an interesting experience either during or after your RAF Administrative Apprentice training or later as a civilian, we would be glad to hear from you.

My First And Only Posting – 11 Weeks

After passing out as a J/T from Hereford in December 1956, I was posted to RAF Middleton St George, Co. Durham just 9 miles from home. My welcome to t ...Read More

- by Grahame May

Passchendaele centenary

Earlier this year the Commonwealth War Graves Commission  stated that it would hold a commemoration ceremony at Tyne Cot military cemetery in Fla ...Read More

- by Bob Blundell

Dunkirk – My Father’s Story

...Read More

- by Harry Trumbell

592810 N V O Healey 18th Entry

Whilst searing through the British Newspaper Archives web site I came across this Article from the Portsmouth Evening News from August 1954. S ...Read More

- by David Johnson


I recently read some back copies of 'The Apprentice' magazine from the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was interesting  to see the variety of post ...Read More


RAF Apprentice Training Schemes

The RAF apprentice and flight cadet training schemes were the backbone of the Royal Air Force in the years leading up to, and during and immediately a ...Read More

- by Bryan Clark 27th Entry

David Anker 40th Entry

David John Anker 1944-1994 Aged 49 Years - Dixie Deane 40th David Anker, aged 15 years and 8 months, arrived at RAF Bircham Newton on 17 May 1960 a ...Read More

- by William Dixie Dean

Herbert Bunting

HERBERT VICTOR BUNTING (590328) – 17TH ENTRY RAF RUISLIP APPRENTICE CLERKS   Herbert (Harry) Bunting was born on ...Read More

- by Jim Wilcox

Hat Badges/Bands – Bryan Hoare

19th November 2016 I noticed this on Face Book about Hat bands Cosford, however all stations are included. After the discussions I had with ...Read More

- by Bryan Hoare

316th Face Book Page

Hi Everyone, I am reposting this from the @rafadappassn page on Face Book for Phil Evans. He wishes to let anyone who was 316th entry that he has a FB ...Read More

- by Phil Evans

Happy Anniversary To The 319th Entry, RAF Hereford 1970 -71

Today, 2nd September 2016 marks the 46th anniversary of the day a group of young lads, aged 15 -17, arrived in Hereford to begin our training as memb ...Read More

- by Brian (Chip) Porter

Medmenham And 249 Squadron Akrotiri

I was interested in Harry Trumbell's recent article on his time at RAF Medmenham and with 249 Squadron Akrotiri. Why I hear you cry! Well, first of al ...Read More

- by Alan Bell

305th Entry 50th Anniversary Reunion and Photo

 Jim Parker, Keith Finter, Ray Parfitt, John Lawrence, Brian & Pat Steenson, Dave & Elaine Steenson and Tony & Sylvia Hammonds enj ...Read More

- by Tony Hammonds

Memories Of My First Overseas Posting

In 1960 I was stationed at RAF Medmenham (HQ Signals Command) when I received notification of my posting to 249 Sqn. RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus.   The jou ...Read More

- by Harry Trumbell - 29th

Far East Adventire

Memories of Our Far East Adventure by Harry Trumbell and Brian Morrison Brian has provided me with comprehensive details of his memories of Borneo ...Read More

- by Harry Trumbell

Alan Bell (29th Entry)

I was looking at Entry photo taken either late ’57 or early ’58 and it made me think of how athletically slim and trim we all were in those days. ...Read More

- by Alan Bell

Ken Cameron (4th Entry)

Reading the first part of Joe’s article on his trip to Christmas Island stirred old memories of 1958. Although my posting was to the Staging Post a ...Read More

- by Ken Cameron

Brian Newman (17th Entry)

The scene was set, all was prepared, latrine buckets were all empty, the parade was well rehearsed, large and impressive with 9 Wings of 3 Squadrons o ...Read More

- by Brian Newman

Pete Harris (20th Entry)

Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry to the auto industry saying, "If General Motors kept up with technology like the computer industr ...Read More

- by Pete Harris

Rick Owens (312 Entry)

Hi to you and all our mates, I have to admit to not being much of a joiner and if I did join your association I'm not sure I could contribute to it. ...Read More

- by Rick Owens

Pete Stapleton (31st Entry)

I am enclosing a photo of myself and Ken Baldock (32nd), taken in September 2008 whilst walking the South West Coastal Path with our wives. We met at ...Read More

- by Pete Stapleton

Ian Baldie (322nd Entry)

I left Secondary School at the age of 16 in the summer of 1970. After nine months as an apprentice storeman in my hometown in the South West of Scotl ...Read More

- by Ian Baldie

Derek Pitman (3rd Entry)

It was with amusement and a significant flood of memories that I read Derek Gould's account of Iraq in revolutionary times and about his posting foul- ...Read More

- by Derek Pitman

Reg Drinkwater (Cpl Drill Instructor AATS Hereford)

In those days you joined an elite part of the RAF and I thought then and still do think that you subsequently formed a substantial part of the backbon ...Read More

- by Reg Drinkwater

Derek Gould (23rd Entry)

In March 1958,at the age of 20, I was posted to RAF Nicosia. After about three weeks I was called to the admin office and told that because of my exp ...Read More

- by Derek Gould

Trevor Hicks (23rd Entry)

After passing out on 12th April 1956 I was posted to RAF Thorney Island in Hampshire as a Junior Technician (J/T) – where on arrival Flt. Sgt Lewis ...Read More

- by Trevor Hicks

Reg Drinkwater (Cpl Drill Instructor AATS Hereford)

Does any Apprentice who paraded under my instruction near to lunchtime on a drill lesson, remember my son (Michael) 4 to 5 years of age at the time, c ...Read More

- by Reg Drinkwater

Bryan Clark (27th Entry)

In essential details, Brian Morrison is right in his story [I know because I was there - Newsletter no 59] about the ‘liberation’ of a Phantom air ...Read More

- by Bryan Clark

Dave Ainsworth (304th Entry)

This trip, organised by Terry May (17th), offered members (and wives, girlfriends etc) an event packed day at this well-established Station in the Suf ...Read More

- by Dave Ainsworth

Ray Thomson (23rd Entry)

Many moons ago in a world far removed from the present one was located a tiny island called Gan. The Royal Air Force in its infinite wisdom decided to ...Read More

- by Ray Thomson

Tony Burchall (38th Entry)

I arrived at Bircham Newton in September 1959. It was cold and bleak and I thought ‘what have I let myself in for’ (or words to that effect). Afte ...Read More

- by Tony Burchall

Alan Frey (46th Entry)

RAF Upavon was to be my home and a more deserted place in mainland Britain would be hard to find. It was stuck on top of what could only be described ...Read More

- by Alan Frey

Dave Ainsworth (304th Entry)

A station close to he heart of most who have ever picked up a pen as part of their Royal Air Force service, this station closed its gates for good on ...Read More

- by Dave Ainsworth

Bob Jeffries (304th Entry)

I joined the RAF Admin Apprentices Association a few months ago and I guess I am a bit of a whipper snapper compared to many other members. I join ...Read More

- by Bob Jeffries

Sam Mold (1st Entry)

Memories of the 1st Entry Part III I suffered the ignominy of ‘jankers’ only on one occasion: W.O. (???) (one of the instructors whose name I ...Read More

- by Sam Mold

Brian Morrison (44th Entry)

The recent death of Paul Raymond, Soho Porn King, made me feel rather sad. Mr Raymond was a notorious entrepreneur, pedalling ‘soft porn’ in all ...Read More

- by Brian Morrison

Alan Frey (46th Entry)

I suppose it was inevitable that I would become a member of Her Majesty's Royal Air Force at sometime. Born in 1945 and christened Richard Alan Fray, ...Read More

- by Alan Frey

Sam Mold (1st Entry)

Reminiscences of the 1st Entry (Contd). Jock King already in the billet, having transferred from a Radio course at RAF Cranwell or Halton. (583106) ...Read More

- by Sam Mold

Don Burlingham (5th Entry)

Yesterday I watched Norwich City play Leicester City at Carrow Road and it brought back memories of the day I was Assistant Referee in the same game i ...Read More

- by Don Burlingham

Harry Taylor (54th Entry Ruislip)

Some Memories Of Ruislip January 1939 (Part 2) Then into this serene situation descended the "E" Class reserve. Some short time previously reserv ...Read More

- by Harry Taylor

Alan Bell (29th Entry)

My 84 year old French friend and neighbour Henri discussed the possibility of travelling together to stay at his small apartment in Villers-sur-Mer in ...Read More

- by Alan Bell

Tom Davies (1st Entry)

(Worth noting: these “recollections” were first compiled in the spring of 2007 – after some delay of close on sixty years since the events, and ...Read More

- by Tom Davies

Alun Harris (32nd Entry)

I caught one of those double deckers that seemed to be rolled out to convey personnel to and from Hereford railway station to RAF Hereford. Had no ide ...Read More

- by Alun Harris

Harry Taylor (54th Entry Ruislip)

I had been sent a railway warrant and instructions to catch a train from Marylebone station for Ruislip. Living as far away as the Midlands, and neve ...Read More

- by Harry Taylor

Barry Smith (3rd Entry)

During my tour Joe Cahill and his sympathisers decided to have a 'rant' as a result of the 'Bloody Sunday' debacle in the North; outside the Embassy, ...Read More

- by Barry Smith

Alan Bell (29th Entry)

One reason the Services have trouble operating jointly is that they don't speak the same language. For example, if you told Royal Navy personnel to "s ...Read More

- by Alan Bell

Ken Cameron (4th Entry)


- by Ken Cameron

Rick Short (43rd Entry)

Most of us are aware that the original Queen Mary rests at Long Beach, California as a tourist attraction. This is a less than glorious end for a very ...Read More

- by Rick Short

Peter Corfield (30th Entry)

The (Apprentice) Wheel turns full circle. In 1957 the 27th Entry Clk Secs had diminished in number to the point where they were "shared out" into vari ...Read More

- by Peter Corfield

Roland Brade (41st Entry)

A lot of apprentices will remember Sgt Wally Prior the 01 Sergeant at Bircham Newton. Not long ago Wally was spotted in a supermarket in Folkestone. A ...Read More

- by Roland Brade

Bill Huggins (5th Entry)

While walking down the street one day an MP is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St Peter at the entrance. ...Read More

- by Bill Huggins

Derek Pitman (3rd Entry)

It is curious how many of the photos in the archives follow the same pattern i.e. either outside one of the huts in the lines at St.Athan or outside a ...Read More

- by Derek Pitman

Bob Danes 33rd Entry

Does the statement, "We've always done it that way," ring any bells? Well, consider this. The US standard railway gauge (the distance between the r ...Read More

- by Bob Danes

Bob Danes 33rd Entry

Is there another word for synonym? Whose idea was it to have a letter "s" in the word lisp? Why is "abbreviation" such a long word? Why is it so ha ...Read More

- by Bob Danes

Peter Bullock 23rd Entry

I read in Newsletter 53, with great interest, Frank Craig’s account of his journey to and from Christmas Island. I was on the same return flight tha ...Read More

- by Peter Bullock

Gerry Ions (19th Entry)

At a Time when the England Football Team has arrived in Israel for their international I have a tale to tell. I worked in Israel for 6 years for the ...Read More

- by Gerry Ions

Sam Mold (1st Entry)

Following on from the Ruislip Apprentice Clerk scheme (abandoned during W.W 2), I'm sure you will know that the post-war Admin. App. numbering system ...Read More

- by Sam Mold

Brian Morrison (44th)

This story is true. I know because I was there. In 1976 I was stationed at RAF Aldergrove but, in fact, RAF Aldergrove did not officially exist. In v ...Read More

- by Brian Morrison

Ted Huntley (24th)

After returning to Hereford as a corporal instructor, and teaching airmen and airwomen how to type, I was after 2-1/2 years posted to Aden. An uneven ...Read More

- by Ted Huntley

Bernard Bullivant (17th)

Further to Jimmy James' comments on 1107 MCU at Newhaven in Newsletter No. 58. After bratschool I was posted to Tangmere, where my first job was th ...Read More

- by Bernard Bullivant