Royal Air Force
Administrative Apprentices Association

Multum A Parvo

Notice Board

30th August, 2020

New Article

We have received an immediate response to one of the articles posted in the latest Newsletter (published yesterday 29th August) in the form of an article from Ron Muggleton (38th). Thanks Ron for an amusing story!

To View Ron’s article  Click Here

Whilst on the subject, the short video below will no doubt bring  back a memory or two!

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4 thoughts on “New Article”

  1. Couldn’t help but chuckle at Ron Muggleton’s tale of the Pay Parade. It reminded me of another minor escapade which might interest former apprentices, especially those who had the good fortune to serve at Bircham Newton!

    Listening to some of the experiences of my former brethren of the oppressed at Bircham Newton reminded me of a narrow escape a few of us experienced. I am sure many ex-apprentices remember with fondness (or maybe not) that Drill Sergeant extraordinaire – the one and only Sergeant Wally Prior. You all probably remember that in those halycon days we had to march everywhere – no such thing as a gentle stroll from lesson to lesson. On one occasion three of us were breaking the rules (not unusual) by strolling gently from No.1 Hangar (education lessons) back to our Clerk Sec trade block on the other side of the main road and past the parade square. We were strolling through the open ground near the cinema heading towards the Apprentice NAAFI Shop. We weren’t marching nor were we in the approved Vic-3 formation.

    We had, of course, completely forgotten that Wally spent his non-yelling time in No.3 Hangar and, naturally, he came out of the hangar with perfect timing to catch sight of the three of us. Fortunately we had three things in our favour. First we were quite some distance from him (making us virtually unrecognisable), second we were quite close to the NAAFI Shop and could be quickly out of sight and, most crucial to our predicament, the third factor was that one of our number was from Devon and made a March Hare look a picture of sanity!

    We were, of course, a tempting target for Wally’s ire. His high pitched, rather squeaky voice screeched out over the intervening space. “Why are you three walking?” was the question he posed. Our Devonian colleague, as crazy then as he is today, replied with alacrity and, fortunately, a lack of clarity – “Because we can’t ******* fly Sergeant” was the response. Two of us were convinced that blood, thunder and terror was going to reign down on us. The dreaded reply came back -”That’s alright then, carry on!” Good old Wally, his hearing wasn’t too sharp it would seem. We disappeared around the corner and into the NAAFI Shop like a trio of Olympic sprinters. You just couldn’t ride your luck too far in those days!

    Barrie Loftus
    41st Entry

  2. The reference to pay parades in Newsletter 124 and the mention of ‘the leap forward, the snapping to attention in front of that table and saluting’ brought back another long-forgotten memory. It was pay parade at Bircham. The DI in charge (was it Ginge Turner?) spent some time telling us that on this occasion the paying officer was a Warrant Officer and therefore on NO ACCOUNT were we to salute when being paid. He then did a smart about-turn in the approved DI manner, bawled ‘pay parade ready, sir’ and produced an impeccable salute. Most people managed to stifle their laughs, including the WO, but it took a little while before order was properly restored.
    John Boston
    44th Entry

  3. Regarding pay parades. I mentioned in my article “Memories of Hereford’,’ submitted several years ago, that on one occasion some of us were ”dared” to try the sliding halt. ( As I recall this entailed dragging the right foot before jumping to attention.)
    The full story was that the paying officer was F/O ”molly” Malone, a normally unassuming, genteel education officer. On this occasion, however, he was horrified at my clumsy approach and ragged salute. “‘ Maaaaaaaaay” he screamed ”How dare you? Go back and do things properly”‘. Crimson with embarrassment, I complied, only to be made aware of the ominous presence of Cpl. Drinkwater! I was ordered to fall out and march to the square where, after a good bollocking, he made me go over the pay parade routine, very, very smartly, a dozen times.

  4. The 25th was our senior entry and responsible for many a tipping of our beds the rotten so and sos!! I also remember ‘Molly’ Malone from my days at Hereford in the 29th Entry 1956-58.
    Because he was such a nice bloke he was often the butt of practical jokes. I remember he owned a VW Beatle which I believe was on occasions made to ‘disappear’ and hidden in some obscure place! Does anyone remember helping to do that? Not me Guv!!

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