Royal Air Force
Administrative Apprentices Association

Multum A Parvo

Member Articles

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. I joined 312 Entry Clk Secs on 2nd May 1968 and loved every moment of my 12 months at Credenhill – and the following 23 years till I came out in 1992 as a Sgt Pers Admin. I did the usual round-the-world stuff that we all did, volunteered for everything and met some wonderful people. Some of my compatriots at Hereford were Gerry Moore – now a retired provost wing commander
living in The Hague and Brian Jopling – I think he finished up as a MALM instructor at Odiham on Chinooks after a derring-do career winning medals in NI, Rhodesia and the Falklands (QGM for surviving the Atlantic Conveyor and helping many others do the same). I spent a lot of time as a PA and did my last 6 years at HQ P&SS (UK) Rudloe Manor at PA to OC P&SS. In Malta 1974-1978 I was PA to Gp Capt Colin Foale – whose son went on to become Peter Foale, the premier British astronaut scientist in NASA. I seem to remember our Drill Instructor at Hereford was Cpl Ron Evans – the only man I ever saw iron a crease into the sleeves of his greatcoat – and he was a lovely guy, the cliché drill instructor of the old tradition. I get a little sad sometimes when I think of all those that popped off early that I know about (for example Hughie MacFarland, 312 entry cook who died in Sharja from a motorbike accident only a couple of years in) and also those that I don’t know about. I went into police comms as a civvie when I left in 1992 and now have my own shift to look after – basically a civilian control room sergeant – and it feels very comfortable. Probably 40% of our teams are ex-RAF and most of the rest are ex-military or ex-police – a nice mix. While I’m not drawn to reunions or lamp swinging I do believe in the power of the ex-Serviceman and have been a Royal British Legion caseworker/Hon secretary and Poppy Appeal Organiser for donkey’s years. Strength to your elbow – keep up the good work.