The THIRTY EIGHTH Entry was attested at the Administrative Apprentice Training School RAF Bircham Newton on 16 September 1959.Training was undertaken there in the trades of Pay Accounting, Clerk Secretarial and Supply at until 29 March 1961.
18th October 2023
JOHN NASH (38TH) 1942 – 25 AUG 23
John was born in Cleethorpes, an only son. He joined the RAF as a Radio Apprentice at RAF Locking, Easter 1959. Having quickly found that a technical trade was not his forte, he remustered to TG 18 and moved to Bircham Newton during the summer, to await the formation of the 38th Entry. His few weeks on the SWO’s gang apparently were quite enjoyable! He graduated as a Jnr Tech Supplier 1 at Easter 1961, and he and I were posted to RAF Finningley, John to the Supply Squadron and I to SHQ General Office. Finningley was then an active V bomber base, and we were both sent on detachment with No 18 Squadron to Penang in November 1962, when the Squadron used the month’s detachment to practice on the bombing ranges in the sea off the West Malaysian coast. No 18 Squadron were flying Valiants at that time, not the helicopter that they subsequently re-equipped with when the Valiant was withdrawn from service.
For both of us this was our first experience of the Far East, and RAF issued KD – once worn, never forgotten. While at Butterworth, the Indonesian Crisis erupted in early December 1962, and while the Valiants could return to Finningley, all the ground personnel had to remain in Malaya until an empty aircraft could be found that was returning to the UK. They were all busy ferrying troops into area. After 5 days enforced holiday, what a chore, we eventually boarded a Brittania and I remember typing up everyone’s Christmas leave application, on a portable typewriter on my knee as John gently snored the night away sat next to me. UK was fogged out that Sunday morning, and unable to land at Finningley we were eventually landed at St Mawgan in Cornwall. It seemed to take nearly as long to get from Cornwall to Doncaster by train as it did to fly from Malaya.
I was posted from Finningley before John, and our paths did not cross again during our respective careers. I do know that he met many ex-apprentices all over the world during an extensive service career, alternating UK postings with tours in Malaya, Gan, Singapore, Cyprus and Germany. Stationed at Gutersloh he became involved with the station football team, taking them into the first round of the German FA Cup.
John married Norma in 1964, going on to have three children, 2 girls and a boy. He lost Normal in 1993 through Cancer.
In his fifties John had a serious heart attack and was medically downgraded, so forfeiting his promotion to Warrant Officer.
John retired from the RAF after serving his last tour at Scampton, helping with the closure of the unit. He then returned to Scampton as a civilian, in his old job at his old desk. When Scampton finally closed he tried some public-facing work in retail, hating every minute of it. By now he had developed a relation with Ann, the widow of one of his service colleagues, and he decided to retire completely. He also had a second family to look after, as Ann’s sons were younger than his own children. John and Ann became a couple in 1997 and set up home together in a village just a few minutes away from Scampton. The Sergeant’s Mess re-opened and John became a retired member with many memorable nights taking place with great friends. He also became well-known in the area for his open house barbeques. The couple had over 20 years together, taking memorable holidays far afield, from Bali to the Caribbean, memories that Ann will cherish forever.
John joined the Apprentice Association, where I met him again, renewing our friendship from years ago. As all Apps know, friendships made at Bircham are for life. He and Ann attended many of the reunion weekends until ill health began to take its toll about 8 years ago. My everlasting memory of those weekends is Ann’s extra-large handbag at dinner, for their extra wine bottles!
John was on nighty dialysis for the last 2 years, and lately developed dementia. He passed away on the 25th August, with his funeral in Lincoln on 28th September. He always retained a great fondness for his apprentice days, and especially for the 38th, so Keith Williams, John Butterworth and myself were privileged and honoured to represent the 38th on that day. I think we were outnumbered by friends and family, but were made very welcome, and people appreciated our being there. I made a short tribute to John, and we toasted his memory as one of The Last of the Best – the 38th’s motto.
John will always be remembered as an adventurous, sociable and outgoing man, along with his dry sense of humour. He was definitely a people person, but overall a proud, straightforward man with an innate sense of right and wrong.
RIP JOHN NASH
2nd October 2022
Images Found On Facebook Sept 2022
A New Photo Posted On Facebook In November 2018
My thanks to Peter Lee who regularly takes the time to remaster black and white photos. His colour picture here is really impressive. Obituary Frank Carroll I first met Frank in September 1959 when we arrived at Bircham Newton as prospective apprentices to join the 38th Entry. The young Frank was a cheerful soul whose hallmark was an impish sense of humour and an inimitable “scouse” accent.On graduation in 1961 we both departed our separate ways as Suppliers 1, he to RAF Cranwell. His subsequent career took him, like all of us through a number of postings, both at home and overseas. Including Sharjah and RAF Germany.Our paths crossed at irregular intervals and Frank remained unchanged, still with the sense of humour and still with his hallmark “scouse” accent.A commission and further postings as a Supply Officer followed his well-deserved promotion to WO. He subsequently retired in 1993 as a Sqn Ldr.After a short while working in civilian life he and Barbara moved to full retirement in Spain at Refelcofer just outside Valencia. Here Frank managed to find the time and resource to obtain a Doctorate in Geology based on his study of the island of Malta. The thesis now sits in many university libraries both here in the UK and overseas.A remarkable achievement.As was usual he and Barbara entered enthusiastically into local life and Frank quickly established himself at his local golf club and subsequently as the AAA representative for the Spanish enclave of Admin Apps. I was fortunate to visit Frank and Barbara in Spain and also met him at various association reunions. remained always the same guyI had first met all those years ago. Frank Carrol died of lung cancer on the 18th May 2015. He was a great fellow and will be missed by us all.