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. As a result of this John Feathersone (38th) has been in touch with Wally and last Sunday John and I met Wally for lunch at a hotel in Folkestone. We had a great lunch and an even greater chat about old times. Of course when all of us raw recruits arrived at Bircham, Wally the disciplinarian, was the man to keep clear of! However on reflection! for one have a lot to be gratef!JI to Wally for. If nothing else he instilled self discipline in us all. Lessons I learnt and used throughout my RAF and commercial life. A lot of what Wally instilled in me was passed on to my son to good effect. There was no bullying with Wally. He laid down the rules and they were to be learnt and obeyed. The meeting with Wally gave me an opportunity to say thank you for putting me on the road to the future. John and I both immensely enjoyed our time with Wally and I know he did too.
I can report, that although well into his 80’s Wally is just as I remembered him all those years ago at Bircham. Maybe a little more portly and mature but still very sprightly.
John is retiring to Cyprus but I have agreed to keep in touch with Wally in the future. If anyone is in the vicinity of Hythe, I am sure Wally would be pleased to hear from them.
The attached picture shows in order from left to right Roland (Max) Brade 41 st , Wally Prior, John Featherstone 38th. (Web Admin Note: This photograph can be seen on the AATS Permanent Staff page.