Royal Air Force
Administrative Apprentices Association

Multum A Parvo

Regional Groups

To read the latest Regional Group reports please click the appropriate link below. Only the latest reports will be posted. However, all photographs that form part of a report will be preserved and shown in it's associated gallery.



It is with pleasure that I announce the formation of an Australian Regional Group. To be more accurate it presently  comprises 2 ex-admin apprentices living in South Australia but nevertheless, I felt it more appropriate to simply call it the Australia Group.

Tony Collins 46th Entry has sent me the following:

‘Two ex-Admin Apps have been meeting on a regular basis for over 5 years in Adelaide South Australia but have not, until now, decided to promote it.  This is mainly because we live in such a wonderful country with amazing weather and a Rugby team to die for (and a Cricket that died); it may result in depressing the many members that live in the UK.  However, now that winter is with us and we are experiencing colder days reminding us of UK summer weather (20°c) we thought we would reach out to any ex-Admin Apps both here and in UK to join our meetings (UK-Aus return only £800).  The current membership is made up of Ian Bell (28th) and Tony Collins (46th).  G’Day to you all!

On April 25th we take part in the annual ANZAC Day march in Adelaide.  ANZAC day is a very big day here in Australia and there are Dawn Services and marches in virtually every town and city and they are all extremely well attended.   In Adelaide there were about 6000 marching and some 30000 lining the route, it took two hours for the march to pass (as timed by my lady wife).  We met up with a RAF Boy Entrant group and with another ex-App; David Brandon of the 39th and Trevor Courie(?) (Unfortunately Trevor was unsure of his entry but it was in the 30’s). Tony proudly wore his Grandfather’s VC, DCM who had a close connection with the ANZACs having fought on Gallipoli and won the VC at Beersheeba during the battle where the famous Charge of the Australian Light Horse occurred.’

As you will see, there are clearly other ex-Admin Apprentices and Boy Entrants, living in Australia, including also one that I know personally, Ted Huntley (24th). As Tony has said, I hope that others who either live in Australia or are visiting, may be able to make contact. Tony can be contacted by email  at

13th June 2023

The annual Anzac Day March took place on 25th April 2023 and is normally attended by Ian Bell, Tony Collins and David Brandon however Ian could not attend this year but we now have one more member of the South Australian Group, Jim Black. Jim will join us at our monthly lunch meetings at the Henley Beach Hotel.
JIM BLACK 84TH Entry Tech Apprentice

Jim joined as a 26th Entry Boy Entrant in Oct 1955 at RAF Cosford. He passed the Apprentice exam in early 1956 and transferred to 84th Entry No 1 Radio School, Locking near Weston Super Mare.
Promoted to Jnr Tech. Air Radio Fitter in Feb 1959 and posted to 24 MU Stoke Heath which moved to RAF Sealand.
He was promoted to Cpl in 1961 and volunteered for overseas and was posted to RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia, in July 1961. He was assigned to the Target Aircraft Flight, responsible for fitting out a couple of Meteors and a Canberra to fly pilotless. This was the same equipment that was being used on the Jindivik project by the Weapons Research Establishment.
He Captained the Edinburgh soccer team playing in the SA Soccer Federation Division 2 at the time and was selected for the 1962 South Australian State Team Tour of Tasmania, 3 games, 3 wins. The Federation also ran a “World Cup” night series and I was selected for the Scots.
He was posted to Kinloss in Sept 1963 and promoted to Cpl Tech, first on the Maritime Operational Training Unit and then posted to 206 Squadron, and at last actually got to work on real operational aircraft, the Shackleton Phase III. In 1965, he flew to Jacksonville, Florida as part of the ground crew for the Shackleton that was sent to evaluate the Orion.
In 1966, now a Sgt, he had the chance to transfer to Air Electronics, but now had a wife and 3 children and Australia had been kind to them so we decided to migrate under the assisted passage scheme and arrived there in July 1966.
He joined IBM in Sydney as a Time Systems Engineer and in 1968 was transferred to Adelaide where he worked for 30 years in various Engineering and Management roles. In 1996 IBM lost the Whole of Government I.T. tender and a fairly attractive separation package was offered which he took. After a few months off he decided to get back in the workforce. He joined Electronic Data Systems and held the position of EDS Account Manager for a few years then moved into Project Management working on various Plano, I.T. projects for the Government before moving into the EDS Education Centre. After spending some time in EDS HQ in Texas getting certified in the EDS Project Management Methodology he then spent the last couple of years teaching it to EDS staff around the Asia Pacific region. He retired from EDS in 2007.
He always maintained an interest in Soccer as a player and coach and is one of the founding members of the Ingle Farm soccer club where he coached and still played in the Amateur League. He keeps fit and mentally active through various forms of dancing, Contra, Irish Set Dancing and of course Scottish Ceilidh dancing.
The March
The day of the march was warm for late April at a sunny 26c, but luckily at the time of the march there was some light cloud which shaded us from direct sun. The march commenced at 0930hrs and the last contingent passed the saluting Dias at about 1130hrs. There is always a big turnout and this year was no exception.

12th December 2018

I was very pleased to receive an email from Ian Bell (28th) recently and amongst other topics he brought me up to date with the Australian group. I am sure that Ian will not mind my summarizing his comments which you can read below:

Ian says ‘ I believe we have a number of ex-Apps. here in Australia – I am in regular contact with Tony Collins (ex-46th) on a monthly + basis for brunch and also to a lesser degree with Bob Shurville (ex-26th), I thought and intended to bring these two together but Bob decided to move out to the boon docks and this has proved to be difficult. Tony and I have recently made contact with Des Skinner – ex-41st Supplier, who eventually ended up as aircrew. Unfortunately, Des lives in NSW and so any catch up with him will entail some planning like a holiday that way. Nevertheless, we’ll keep at it. I should add that Tony and I are now regular attendees at Anzac Day and more lately Remembrance Day Ceremonies, along with a group of about half a dozen ex-Boy Entrants who, for some reason, are a bit stand-offish (we’ll have to work on that)’.

July 2019


Now that our cricket team is in the UK, without sandpaper of course, and before they win the World Cup it is a good time to update the activities of the (renamed) Australian Administrative Apprentice Group.

Tony Collins ex-46th and Ian Bell ex-28th have been joined by David Brandon who is ex-39th Entry.  We first met David at the annual Anzac day march in Adelaide and, through another ex-41st Des Skinner, met up for a catch-up lunch. Des resides in another State (New South Wales) so contact is by phone or e-Mail.  Both David and Des were Suppliers and had known each other whilst at Maralinga.  All four of us had been in South Australia in the early/mid-1960s – Tony at Edinburgh, Ian at 15 JSTU (Edinburgh) and Woomera, David at Maralinga and Des at Maralinga and Edinburgh.

David joined on 20th January 1960 at Bircham Newton as a Supplier but transferred to Hereford in June 1960 as a BE Supplier Two.  He passed out as SAC in Jul 1961 and was posted to 16MU, Stafford, and then to Maralinga in April 1964.  On return to UK he worked at JSCBC, MOD, from April 1965 until medically discharged in September 1967.  He emigrated back to Australia in 1967 and worked for Air Liquide and in the areas of accounting and logistics for a number of companies.  His interest in Soccer continued and he played for a local team and also became a referee (Des, Ian and David have been connected through Soccer – Tony has no idea what they are talking about!).  David still works part-time around 12 hours per week (invoicing/accounts receivable) and also volunteers as a guide at the Adelaide Oval, which receives thousands of visitors each year.

Des joined in September 1960 at Bircham Newton and passed out as a Jnr Tech Supplier One. Posted to Benson and given the Priorities Desk – great job involving the Queens Flight and the relatively new Argosy.   Worked on the ill-fated TSR2 – a fabulous project, till late 1963.  Volunteered for Maralinga and moved to Edinburgh in 1964. In August 1966 he was posted back initially to Coltishall but on arrival was told that he would be going to Biggin Hill for Aircrew testing and this led to OCTU and eventually  becoming a Flying Officer Navigator.  A short tour on Vulcans at Waddington followed by a posting to Abingdon, flying the wonderful Andover with 46 and 84 Squadrons.  Became an instructor at 242 OCU  then Examiner until the axe fell  on the Transport world with the 1975 Defence White Paper.  He took voluntary redundancy in April 1976.  Lived in York working in Industry at Wetherby but decided to return to Australia in June 1981. He settled in Beresfield, NSW and worked for ‘Yellow Pages’ for 5 yrs before becoming Supply Manager for a coal mining equipment manufacturer.  He spent the next 15 yrs travelling the world for the company until he retired in 2001.  Apart from Soccer Des became a player and administrator of Lawn Bowls at the local, State and National level. He was Newcastle District Bowling Association, vice-president and state councilor to the Royal NSW Bowling Association from 1997 to 2004. He has been a Bowls Australia director since 2007 and president since 2012, as well as being a Beresfield Bowling Club board director for the past 18 years.

4th June 2021


A Report From Tony Collins (46th)

I have not reported on our meetings over the past year or so as with the Covid 19 outbreak it did not seem such a good idea to report that we still managed to meet nearly every month and were enjoying an amount of freedom that you are only just experiencing. With an outbreak in Victoria (26 cases) which has Locked-down that State and caused all other States and Territories to close their borders, I feel we can say that we are also suffering this pandemic (well the Victorians are suffering for us – such is the camaraderie that occurs between all States.)
We changed our regular meeting venue to the Henley Beach Hotel and Ian Bell (ex-28th Clk), David Brandon (ex-39th Supp), and Tony Collins (ex-46th Clk) are joined via Messenger video with Des Skinner (ex-41st Supp) who resides in NSW. We used to have great discussions when Donald Trump was president as there were differing views but now, of course, it is mainly about Covid and how our friends in UK are coping. Our government did well in closing borders early and kept us fairly free of what other countries were experiencing, and each of the states also closed their borders with other states as outbreaks occurred. However, they have not done so well in organizing the distribution of the vaccine – this is where the responsibilities of Federal and State start to conflict with each having a go at the other. There were supply problems with some contracts not fulfilled but given that our population is only around 26M we should be nearly finished by now, yet they are talking about early next year! This is a real worry as we are now into Winter which is the ideal time for the circulation of this virus.
Ian, David and Tony) were able to take part in the annual Anzac Day march on 25th April which was restricted and no crowds were allowed apart from relatives of the marchers. There must have been more marchers than I thought or they had bloody big families as there was quite a crowd.
With the expectation of the English cricket team coming to attempt to regain the Ashes this summer I thought I would recount my last and only visit to a test match. I supported England as I was still single and yet to marry my Aussie wife. A few members of the RAF Support Unit (Australia) decided to go to the test match: Des Skinner, ‘Dinga” Bell, me and (?). This was second day of the 4th Test in the 1965/66 series held in Adelaide. England were 240/9 at the end of the first day, which soon became 241 all out as McKenzie caught Fred Titmus leg before wicket first thing in the morning.
We armed ourselves with a bedsheet (Des was a supplier) on which was proudly written “UP THE POMS” which we intended to raise every time an Australian wicket fell. It was a typically hot January day and a lot of drinking was the order of the day.
Bob Simpson and Bill Lawry opened for Australia. Drink break came and went. Lunch came and went and the crowd was ecstatic at the fast run rate celebrating with more and more beer. We, on the other hand, were drinking to drown our sorrows and bemoaning the fact that our hard work in constructing our bedsheet sign was wasted. Then with the score at 244 Fred Titmus bowled Bill Lawry for 119. Our time had come! Up went the bedsheet ….and down came the beer cans!! It was as though the sky had darkened suddenly. Needless to say we dropped our bedsheet, then to add insult to injury along came a policeman who threatened to chuck us out if we caused any more disturbance! Two more wickets fell that day with Australia at 333/3, (the bedsheet remained prone) and were all out on the third day for 516 – a lead of 275. Australia beat England by an innings and 9 runs to even the series 1–1. The series ended in a draw and Australia retained the Ashes.

The photo shows, from left to right, (?) – Dinga Bell – Tony Collins – Des Skinner.
David Brandon (ex-39th Supp) volunteers as a guide at the Adelaide Oval so we may be able to report on another win by our Aussie Cricket team





The NI Regional Group

The Giants Causeway
The Giants Causeway
NI Group Coordinator John Davies 303rd Entry
NI Group Coordinator John Davies 303rd Entry


The Northern Ireland Group has now been officially formed. The coordinator for  the group is John Davies (303rd) and details on how to contact him will be made available on the Contact Us section of the website. All ex-admin apprentices living in Northern Ireland are welcome to join the group.


Meeting July 2018











From left to right: Sam Haslett, John Davies, Steve Ings and Silvana, Dorothy Davies, John Wells, Pat Wells and Arlene Haslett


On Friday, 27th July 2018 members in Northern Ireland held their Annual Reunion in The Edenmore Golf and Country Club, Magheralin, Co. Down. Those in attendance were John Wells (44th) and Pat; Sam Haslett (45th) and Arlene; John Davies (303rd) and Dorothy; and Steve Ings (317th) and Silvana.

Our numbers were down in comparison to our 2017 Reunion as our Senior Member, Pat Wedlock (12th) and his wife Marion, regular attendees at all our events, were unable to attend. Also, during the year we said goodbye to Alan Scott (310th) and his wife Irene who have moved to live in England. We later decamped to Sam and Arlene’s residence – which they had decorated throughout with RAF100 Flags – to enjoy their kind hospitality and partake in more socialising and impromptu entertainment in the form of poetry reading! – see Ode to the Reunion 2018.



Ode to R.A.F.Admin. Apprentice’s Association. Reunion. 2018 – Arlene Haslett. (27.07.2018

Another year gone: a new party we greet,
After a successful last year, where we all did meet.
Our new members all have settled in,
To join with the old, with Wine & Gin.

Our host John, pulled off another grand fete ,
Getting us together, through the Edenmore gate,
A pleasant venue with a beautiful view,
To chat & listen with our “Motley Crew!”

A significant year to celebrate these occasions,
Our Airmen fought to stop the invasions,
Many a battle with joy & tears
The R.A.F. has reached a 100 years.

Our veterans here are joined together,
By shared memories & lots of blether!
We wives & partners are driven insane,
As we hear the stories again & again!

I trust we will meet many more times,
With stories I hear of Don Rule & Mick Grimes,
I trust the evening has been fun & pleasant,
And hope I don’t get complaints from the rest of the Crescent!







22 December 2015

Norlthern Ireland Group July 2017
Back Row: Sam Haslett, Pat Wedlock, John Davies, John Wells, Steve Ings and Alan Scott Front Row: Arlene, Marion, Dorothy, Silvana, Pat and Irene

Report Of Meeting 7th July 2017

On Friday, 7th July 2017 members in Northern Ireland joined together to enjoy an evening of food, drink (a small quantity of) and comradeship in The Planters Tavern, Waringstown, Co. Down.    Those in attendance were Pat Wedlock (12th) and Marion; John Wells (44th) and Pat; Sam Haslett (45th) and Arlene; John Davies (303rd) and Dorothy; Alan Scott (310th) and Irene and Steve Ings (317th) and Silvana.   Following which we all decamped to Sam and Arlene’s residence to enjoy their kind hospitality and partake in more socialising and impromptu entertainment in the form of poetry reading!   – See Ode to the Reunion 2017 below:




Ode to the Reunion 2017!

            By Arlene


Another year older another year gone,

And we meet again with our best gear on.

We pick a venue and a suitable date

For the Rafaaa reunion and we’re never late.

More new members, & some old ones too,

John has worked his magic as he is wont to do

He lifts the phone & it rings & rings

And now he’s got back his friend: Steve Ings!

We haven’t tracked down a colleague so cool

He was discussed a lot. Who? Don Rule!

The old faithfuls, Crawford & Sam

Turn up with John, for their Steak or Lamb

The craic is good & their spirit doesn’t wane

They forget the stories were told again & again!

But who cares, it’s the company that matters,

With plenty of wine, chat & natters.

The Group has expanded from the famous six,

Doubled in size, so we must take pics!

We end the evening with drinks & dance

And some music which makes Sam rant.

Some too modern, which makes him moan.

He would play Russell Watson ‘til the cows come home.


Per Ardua Ad Astra!









A Short History Of The SW Herts Group – Trevor Moore 14th Entry

In 2002 four members of the Association met up one evening at the “Moon under Water” pub (Wetherspoons) in Watford, Hertfordshire with a view to meeting up on a regular social basis All were from the Watford area – Trevor Moore (14th) Haydn Illingworth (21st ) Phil Gough (31st) and Peter Ralph (46th) Noel Hayes (also 31st friend of Phil) but from London joined us later. Apart from Phil and Noel we had never previously met during our RAF service. Thus the “Watford Flight” (really only a “Squad” !) was the original foundation of what is now the “South West Herts Group”.

These get togethers carried on for a few months, until Trevor organised a visit to the Officers’ Mess at RAF Bentley Priory on a Saturday lunchtime and from there the PMC approved that we could meet on a 6 monthly basis using the Mess facilities. The membership quickly grew and on a “focal point” basis, not simply County based (ie Herts), and that principle owed much to the success of what fast became the South West Herts Group. RAF Bentley Priory, the former famous HQ of Fighter Command, and then HQ Numbers grew to some 25 on the mailing list from Herts and the surrounding Counties, and functions included ladies guest days and guided tours of the Priory. One of the photographs on this site shows our largest ever gathering of members, on the steps of the Priory, at the final formal re-union inthe Summer of 2007 prior to the closing of the Priory as an RAF base.

It was at one our meetings in 2005 that we invited four ex-Ruislip members and the photograph shows the four, two who subsequently joined our Association ,and in particular Jack Marshall who has continued with the SW Herts Group as a regular member to our now quarterly functions.

When the Priory finally closed in early 2008, due to Government defence cut backs, we decided to continue the Group if we could find an alternative venue ideally in the same area as the Priory. What better place than one of the oldest pubs in the locality – the Three Crowns in BusheyHeath. Our first meet there was on Saturday 3rd May 2008, and thanks to the continued support of our regular and new members, we have held quarterly meets usually on the first Saturday of the month – Feb, May, Aug , and Nov.

Our 10th Anniversary of the Group’s foundation was held in May 2012 and the photos and report are within this site records.


Posted 3rd June 2023

Meeting Of The South West Herts Group 5th August 2023 – Phil Gough (31st)


Our Summer meeting was well attended in this our 21st year since four of us first met in Watford.  Welcomed at the Three Crowns Bushey Heath our venue for many of those years were: (front) Ron Anders (29th), Tony Parsons (19th), Peter Forster (29th), George Masson (29th), Phil Gough (31st).  (back row) John Forshaw (20th), David  Marshall (24th), David Ainsworth (304th), Peter Ralph (46th), George Masson (29th).  Apologies from Terry Waine (35th) and Noel Hayes (31st). 

We would love to see some new faces we aren’t just for Herts members, any ex-AA welcome from anywhere.

 Meeting Of The South West Herts Group 1st April 2023 – Phil Gough (31st)

Our SW Herts “Flight” met for the first of our meetings of 2023 on 1st April at the habitual hostelry of the Three Crowns, Bushey Heath, Herts. We have settled to a core attendance of around seven, but not always the same ones, drawn from around a dozen who include a few who we welcome from time to time.
In our group on the familiar steps are L to R: Phil Gough (31st), bearded mine host, John Forshaw (20th), Peter Ralph (46th), Tony Parsons (19th), Terry Wain (35th), George Masson (29th) and David Marshall (24th).


Posted 23rd November 2022

SW Herts Group Meeting 6th August 2022– Phil Gough (31st)

The SW Herts Flight met on 6 August 22, at the usual venue of the Three Crowns, Bushey Heath. This is our 20th year of reunions, starting with four of us brought together by the late Trevor Moore (15th) at the Watford Wetherspoons, before migrating briefly to the Officers’ mess at Bentley Priory and then down the road to our long time very welcoming hosts. Present in the picture on an evidently hot day are the regulars:
George Masson (29th), Phil Gough (31st), Terry Waine (35th), David Marshall (24th) and Peter Ralph (46th). John Forshaw (20th) also with us but left early. Apology from Tony Parsons (19th) who was at the Halton centenary bash.

Posted 9th July 2022

SW Herts Group Meeting 2nd April 2022– Phil Gough (31st)

Our Herts reunion group met on April 2nd at the customary venue of the Three Crowns at Bushey Heath, WD23. Eight of  us met for lunch, natter and inevitable photo, arresting a slow decline in the turnout in recent years.  We were pleased to welcome David Ainsworth (304th) our first 300 series ex-Apprentice for some time.  We agreed to look into the possibility of a visit to RAF Northolt later in the year.  An invitation to Association members will be extended if there is a positive response from the OC.   L to R: David Marshall (23rd), Peter Moir (17th), Phil Gough (31st), Peter Forster (29th), David Ainsworth (304th), Peter Ralph (46th), Ron Anders (29th), George Masson (29th), Tony Parsons (19th). Apologies from Derek Hobden (19th), John Forshaw (20th) and Noel Hayes (31st).  Sorry to hear from Derek that he will unlikely be able to attend again due to poor health.

Posted 20th September 2021

SW Herts Group Meeting 11th September 2021– Phil Gough (31st)

The SW Herts group of the Association had a variation on the routine of our reunions on 11 September 2021 when we made a trip to the Bentley Priory Museum at Stanmore.  We were welcomed by volunteer guides Clive and Steve and given a tour of the exhibits and the reconstructed Filter and Ops room.  Our last visit in 2013 was led by the late  messrs Haydn Illingworth (21st) and Trevor Moore (15th).  We thought that the story of the Battle had been brilliantly brought together and was coherent and absorbing.  We were cheered by the fine job made of preserving the landscaping of the setting of the Priory in no way spoiled by the housing development nearby.   It was then a short drive to our usual venue the Three Crowns in Bushey Heath for an enjoyable lunch and natter.

In the photograph taken at the Priory are (L to R) John Forshaw (20th),  Peter Moir (17th), Tony Parsons (19th), Phil Gough (31st), David Marshall (23rd), Peter Forster (29th), George Masson (29th).  Not on visit Peter Ralph (46th).  Apologies from Derek Hobden (19th), Noel Hayes (31st) and Terry Waine (35th).


Posted 2nd December 2020

SW Herts Group Meeting August 2020 – Phil Gough (31st)

Suitably distancing ourselves the SW Herts AAA reunion at the Three Crowns, Bushey Heath, Herts formed up in brilliant sunshine on 1st August 2020.   The social distancing was eased by being able to dine in the garden, well looked after by manager Kat and her team. Undoubtedly the urge to socialise after months of lockdown made for the best turnout we have had for a while, the 29th entry being well represented.


The picture shows group members:

Phil Gough (31st), George Masson (29th), Peter Ralph (46th), Pete Forster (29th), John Forshaw (20th), Ron Anders (29th). David Marshall (23rd), Pat Hayes and Noel Hayes (31st).


Our next meeting of the year is scheduled for 6 December, but at time of writing is not certain so I will email members if we are going ahead with it.


Posted 6th February 2020


The third SW Herts reunion of 2019 took place as usual at the Three Crowns Bushey Heath on 7 Dec.  Numbers have dropped over the past year to around seven from nine or more so we welcome any member who has not been for a while for what is always a convivial and excellent lunch.  In the photo (indoors this time, are we getting soft?) are L to R Irene Scott, Brian Scott (32nd), David Marshall (23rd), Ken Roost (1st) Tony Parsons (19th), Phil Gough (31st).  A great joy to welcome back Ken our “Senior Man” who is still under treatment for a serious illness.

Posted 7th November 2019

SW Herts AAA visit to former RAF Uxbridge Museum –  phil gough 31st
Visit to Uxbridge by WH Group

On 6th August 2019 five members of the SW Herts AAA reunion group took a sortie to the Battle of Britain museum and bunker at the former Fighter Command 11 Group headquarters at Uxbridge.  We were made welcome as ex-Apprentices with free entry, and after a light lunch and a tour of the interesting modern museum, descended the 78 steps 60 feet below ground to the Operations and Plotting rooms.  The latter was shown as it was on 15 September 1940, the day Winston Churchill visited on that crucial day.  David Dyer a former Boy Entrant Clk GD gave a lively account of what we were seeing and conveyed something of the tension and excitement of the air battle.

Present from the SW Herts reunion group L to R  are: Tom Price-Rees (40th), Peter Moir (17th), Phil Gough (31st), David Marshall (24th), Peter Ralph (46th).

This was the last time we shall see Tom Price-Rees who sadly died on 4th November after having been in intensive care since he collapsed on the golf course on 20th September. This is a deep shock to us all as he was an active tennis and golf player as well as a passionate hill walker in Spain.


The second of our three meetings of the year at the customary venue of the Three Crowns at Bushey Heath, Herts. The pub staff was thanked for providing an excellent lunch that was enjoyed with good conversation as ever. Absent was Ken Roost (1st) whose son told us he had just come out of hospital after a month of investigations, and apologies from Peter Ralph (46th), Phil Gough and Noel Hayes (both 31st) Peter Moir (17th) and Ron Anders (29th). We were saddened to learn afterwards that Haydn Illingworth (21st) had died a few days previously after coping with cancer for several years, he was just on the point of being discharged from hospital. Haydn was one of four founder members of our ‘Flight’ founded by the late Trevor Moore (15th) in 2002 in Watford.
Back row: Derek Hobden (19th), Terry Waine (35th), Tom Price-Rees (40th), David Marshall (24th). Front: Tony Parsons (19th), John Forshaw (20th), Irene and Brian Scott (32nd).
Our next reunion will be on Saturday 1st December 2018, arrive after 11.15 and all ex-AA’s and partners welcome.


A good turnout of AAA members on December 2nd for the last of our three meetings in 2017. A pleasant natter after we had reorganised the table layout followed by lunch at the habitual venue of the Three Crowns in Bushey Heath, Herts. Apologies from Peter Moir (17th), Haydn Illingworth (21st) and Brian Scott (32nd). We signed a card to John Summers (18th) who has moved to a care home in Kent. We were saddened to hear of the death in late November of Phil Eltringham (31st). Next meeting Saturday 7th April 2018 11.15hrs.
Phil Gough
Back: John Forshaw (20th), Peter Ralph (46th) George Masson (29th), Tom Price-Rees (40th)
Middle: Terry Waine (35th), Tony Parsons (19th)
Front: Noel Hayes (31st), Phil Gough (31st) Ken Roost (1st) David Marshall (24th) Derek Hobden (19th)








30th May 2023


The six of us in the Dorsetshire Group meet every three months and travel to the areas that we live in. There are two members from Portland, two from Christchurch, one from Sherborne and one from Poole. To cover our activities since I last wrote we started off with a meeting at the Headquarters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Poole on the 26th November of last year. Ordering our drinks at the bar was made quite difficult because the only bar staff on duty spoke hardly any English and was in no hurry to serve. One would have thought that such a great institution could have done better in their HQ. It was a cold, grey day outside but after a couple of pints and a good meal we all enjoyed a good ‘chin-wag’ and in our usual way put all the wrongs of the world to right. We were all horrified at what is happening in the RAF these days with all the ranks being changed, the new style cap badges and the loss of our traditions. With the loss of so many stations, goodness only knows where one could disperse squadrons as happened during the cold war. I was at RAF Waddington in the early sixties and our Vulcans were dispersed all over the place. At the time I was on 101 Sqn and I used to get a ride down to RNAS Yeovilton which was one of our dispersal units, ideal for a trip home to Dorset cheaply, during the many exercises. Those present on this occasion were John White (13th), Tony Richards (14th), Peter Reed (30th), Tony Peters (34th), Mike Hamill (40th) and Shay Foley (46th). Our next outing was to the Pulpit Inn on Portland at the end of February. The food was probably the most reasonably priced out of all our venues and good but the meeting was marred by the low temperatures in the pub (caused by cut backs due to the high cost of power) and we didn’t spend so much time together as usual, all rushing off home to get a warm up. Unfortunately, John White couldn’t join us on this occasion but the rest of the group were all there. I got one of the pub staff take a photo of us, but it wasn’t until I looked at the results on the camera on getting home that I discovered they had been too far away for a good shot and the picture is not worth reproducing. We will try again at our next meeting. This was scheduled for Saturday 27th May at the Half Moon pub in Sherborne but due to to several members being unable to attend this was cancelled at the last minute. This meeting has been re-scheduled at the same venue at 1230 hours for 1300 hours on the 17th June. Anyone wishing to join us would be more than welcome.

I realise that Sherborne is the week-end of the Northampton re-union which only Shay Foley from this area will be attending. Most of our group are well into our 80s and I think I speak for all of us when I say that Northampton is quite a distance for us to travel. The problems travelling around the M25 are the main difficulty for me and cross country routes are not a viable option. It would be nice if alternative venues could be found; ie. in the South, South west or even in the north east. In this latter area we could travel by rail and visit a part of the country that I am not familiar with.

All of us in the Dorsetshire group wish all other ex-apps a healthy and good year.

17th August 2022


John White, Tony Richards, Peter Reed, Tony Peters and Shay Foley (46th Entry).

The Dorset Group is still flourishing and doing well. There are six of us altogether, two from the Isle and Royal Manor of Portland, two from Christchurch, and one from each of Sherborne and Poole. To make travelling fair we move around the county for our meetings with the Portland meeting being on the last Saturday of February, Sherborne the last Saturday of May, Christchurch the last Saturday of August and Poole the end of November. Should any of you wish to join us on any of the occasions let me know, you would be more than welcome. Sometime in the past we were joined by John Gent from Andover, but because of poor health we have not seen him for sometime. Hope you are feeling better John, you are missed.

On the 11th June (we had to re-arrange the date to suit all) we met at the Half Moon Inn on a bright and sunny day. The Half Moon Inn is directly across the road from the beautiful Sherborne Abbey in this lovely old Dorset town which which was once the home of no less than Sir Walter Raleigh who resided in a local castle. Unfortunately Shay Foley our normal organiser was unable to attend due to ill health. Those who attended were John White (13th Entry), Tony Richards (14th Entry), Peter Reed (30th Entry), Tony Peters (34th Entry) and Mike Hamill (40th Entry). A good meal, a few pints and a great deal of chatter was enjoyed by all.

The “saga” of Christchurch happened on the 13th August. Peter Reed and Tony Peters left Portland at 1000 hours and collected someone who shall be nameless from Poole about an hour later. The nameless one then took over the navigation as he was local and new the area well. After an hour, driving through extremely heavy traffic we arrived at a pub, went in and had a round of drinks and started to recover from a very hot and tiring journey, this was at about 1230 hours, the time we had agreed to meet, We chatted for a good half an hour and by this time I was worried that the two hosts had not joined us. The venue for our meeting was the Crown Inn at Bransgore. As we were worried, Peter Reed asked one of the pub staff if we were booked in and if they had seen the other two, the answer was “No”. To be on the safe side Peter then asked if this was the Crown Inn, the answer was “No, that is at Bransgore a few miles further on”. We obtained instructions on how to get to the Crown and eventually arrived there a little late. Our navigator then bought us around of drinks, almost identical to what I had purchased at the previous pub and it cost him about £2 more than what I had paid. We had an excellent meal and a few drinks, put the world to rights (political correctness was not observed) and and had a most agreeable time. On leaving Peter Reed wisely decided to use his Tom Tom navigator and we had an almost traffic free journey on a very picturesque route that passed Hurn airport. It was nice to see aircraft up close again. Hurn airport has one of the longest runways in the country and until Heathrow was built on an ex RAF emergency landing ground was used as London Airport. Until it crashed, it was also where the the flight testing of the Valiant bomber was carried out. Altogether it was a chaotic but most enjoyable day and to finish off in true style I realised that I had left the pub without paying and had to send a cheque to cover my error. Those who attended on this occasion were John White, Tony Richards, Peter Reed, Tony Peters and Shay Foley (46th Entry).

Our next outing is scheduled for the 26th November at the RNLI Headquarters at Poole.

Best regards to all our members, Tony Peters and the Dorset Mob.

2nd July 2022


 This report has been submitted by Tony Peters (34th) on behalf of Shay Foley who is currently having some health problems.  Shay has asked Tony to take over until such time as he recovers.

The Dorset group of ex administrative apprentices met at the Half Moon Inn on the 11th June in Sherborne on a bright sunny day. The Half Moon Inn is directly across the road from the beautiful Sherborne Abbey in this lovely old Dorset town which once was the home in a local castle of no less than Sir Walter Raleigh. Unfortunately, Shay Foley (46th Entry), our normal organiser, was unable to attend due to ill health and we all wish him a speedy recovery and hope that he is able to join us on our next outing. Those attending were John White (13th Entry),Tony Richards (14th Entry), Peter Reed (30th Entry), Tony Peters (34th Entry) and Mike Hamill (40th Entry). A good meal, a few pints and a great deal of chatting was enjoyed by all.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday the 13th August at the Crown Inn, Bransgore, Christchurch, BH23 8AA at 1230 hours for 1300 hours. If any of you should be in the area why not join us for an hour or two.


The Dorset Branch of the Association held its first meeting since the lockdown 19 months ago. We met in the HQ of the RNLI in Poole on Saturday 18th September 2021. Those in attendance were: John White (13th), Tony Richards (14th), Peter Reed (30th),Tony Peters (34th), Mike Hamill (40th) and Shay Foley (46th).
The next meeting will also be in the RNLI HQ on Saturday 27th November- 1230 for 1pm. Dress Casual


The Dorset Branch held its quarterly meeting in The Ship in Christchurch on Saturday 24th Aug 2019.

Those present were: John White (13th) John Gent (14th) Tony Richards (14th) Peter Reed (30th Tony Peters (34th) Mike Hamill (40th) Shay Foley (46th)

Website Manager Note: I am hoping that Shay will be able to provide me with a photograph taken at this meeting.



It was my turn to host our 3 monthly get together. It was held in The Half Moon Inn in Sherborne, where, though we were a bit short of troops due to the May Bank Holiday and Shay Foley convalescing from an “op” on one of his legs, we enjoyed a good natter.


We held our quarterly meeting in The Ship in Christchurch on 26 Aug 17.   Those present were John White (13th), Tony Richards (14th), Peter Reed (30th), Tony Peters (34th), Mike Hamill (40th) and Shay Foley (46th).

The next meeting will be in the RNLI HQ Poole on Saturday 25th Nov 17.   1230 for 1pm and casual dress.


Gloucester – Mike Day 38th

Our first luncheon of 2017 was held in our usual haunt at The Royal Oak, Birdlip on the 5th May. Unfortunately we were a bit scarce on the ground with only 6 of us, this may have been because I had been quite pre-occupied and had to arrange it at a late stage. However it was good in one way that we could hold a conversation between us discussing all sorts of memories. Sadly one of our regular attendees Tom Worsfold (5th Entry) died last month. Although he was not a well man it came as a shock as I only found out on the morning of his funeral (at the Burford Seniors roll up) but was able to attend his cremation as a representative of the Association. On our previous luncheon on the 18th October 2016 he is positioned top left.

Gloucester Group 5 May 2017 from left to right:

Mike Day (38th) Barry Sturgeon (36th) Jim Wilcox (5th)Bill Huggins (5th) John Dyer (46th) Patrick Bunn (34th)

( New members are very welcome so if you are interested please contact me by e mail


15th May 2021 – Report From Ray Burrow (29th)

A Right Shifty Looking Pair!!

The two remaining members of he Cyprus Group managed to meet at our favourite spot : The Kyrenia Beach Restaurant, Avdimou Bay on Wednesday 15th May. It was a splendid day with little or no wind to disturb the sand so there were a number of people lying about on the beach. Not so many swimming as the water temperature is not that great just yet.
Our first meeting in nearly two years took place just 10 days after the Cyprus emergency lockdown of two weeks and the freedom was greatly appreciated by all the other patrons of this popular watering hole as well as the two of us.
Masks are still being worn whilst moving about but not required at the table.
Ben and I had a great time just enjoying the sheer pleasure of being out and about again and even the fact of the local police having lunch two tables away couldn’t take away the joy of being out of the house and mixing with other people again.
We enjoyed a good lunch and a beer/wine to wash it down. It seemed sensible to not have too much to drink owing to the presence of the law.
The usual things were talked about and we intend to meet up again probably in September after the main heat of the summer has died down.





21st July 2019 –  A Report From Ray Burrow (29th)

The embers of the Cyprus Group are still faintly flickering.

Dave Pyant visited the island during June and we managed to squeeze in a meeting on Saturday 8th June at our favoured location of Avdimou Beach where Dave and his wife plus myself indulged in food and drink as usual.The usual orgy of memories was indulged in and a pleasant lunchtime was had by all. Ben Casey was unable to be present owing to illness but I am hoping to set up a meeting with him as the year goes on.

It was a fine day without the usual strong winds and there were a lot of folk on the beach or just lounging around in the beach restaurant.

Sorry this report is a bit long after the event but it happened just before I left Cyprus bound for the delights of Northampton and then a tour to the North and then on into Scotland before returning to Cyprus last Tuesday –

16th July.

Cyprus Group Meeting Monday 8th May 2017 – Ray Burrow 29th

The 29th Invade Cyprus!
Left To Right: Ben Casey, Dave Pyant, Ron Anders , Don Davies, Ben Croucher, Alan (Dinger} Bell, Ray Burrow

The Cyprus Group held their second meeting of 2017 on Monday 8th May 2017 at the Kyrenia Beach Restaurant on Avdimou Beach. This meeting was pulled forward by a month to accommodate 4 members of the 29th who were visiting Cyprus on a mini reunion.

The weather was good and the wind speed was acceptable so we had the pick of the seats on the main verandah to enjoy a couple of beers and a good lunch. There was plenty of conversation and, because of the visitors, we got out of our normal rut and enjoyed talking of a variety of different experiences. Everybody seemed to gel well and the chatter never stopped until it became time to leave. We, of the Cyprus Group thoroughly enjoyed our visitors company and I, as an ex-member of the 29th, probably enjoyed the event more than Ben Casey and Dave Pyant. As I’ve said before, we would welcome any ex-app who is passing through Cyprus and would fancy a couple of hours chit-chat in a very nice location.

Our next meeting will be at the same venue on Monday 4th September at the usual time of 1230 – 1300 and anyone is welcome.

Cyprus Group Meeting Monday 4th September 2017 – Ray Burrow 29th

Cyprus Group Meet September 2017

The Cyprus Group held it’s third meeting of the year on Monday 4th September 2017 at The Kyrenia Restaurant on Avdimou Beach. It was a fine day with just a light breeze and we welcomed Sandie, the wife of Ben Casey on this occasion. She certainly added a new dimension to the afternoon conversation and it made a pleasant change on a day which did have a touch of sadness about it. The Cyprus Group are dwindling again as Dave Pyant has left the island to return to Sussex which leaves only Ben and myself to carry on. Dave and his wife, Pam left us last Wednesday 6th September and we that are left in Paradise wish them both ” All the best ” in sunny Sussex. I believe they are planning to attend the AGM at Swindon next year so I’ll probably catch up with them both there.

I enclose the usual photo to enhance the rogues gallery

Message From Ray Burrow – Group Coordinator 24th April 2018

Just a short line to advise about the future of the Cyprus Group.

Ben Casey and myself, who are the two remaining ex-apps known to be on the island of Cyprus, met at our regular rendezvous at Avdimou Beach on Monday 23rd April for a couple of beers and a yarn or two.

Ben was accompanied by his wife Sandie and we enjoyed a couple of hours of chit-chat and the usual sorting out of the world’s problems.

We came to the conclusion that we would keep in touch and meet from time to time but not hold regular meetings because of the shortage of members.

We also reckoned that if anyone is passing through Cyprus and would like to meet ex-apps who live here we would still be pleased to meet them but they would need to contact me with dates and then I would advise Ben and then we could fix a meeting at a convenient venue.

Dave Pyant is passing through here on holiday in June and e-mailed me with his dates and I will be delighted to see him again but Ben and his wife will be away at the time Dave has suggested. I will drop a note after that meeting along with a photograph to let you see how fit we still are.

The weather at Avdimou on the day was pleasant but there was still a bite to the strong wind so we stayed inside and looked out of the windows and admired the sand passing by.

I attach a photo just to remind everyone just what we look like these days.



Cyprus Group Report – June 2018 – Ray Burrow 29th

Dave Pyant and Myself at Avdimou Beach

The Cyprus Group may not be flourishing but it is still alive…just!

Dave Pyant, a former regular member of the group, was out here on holiday and contacted me with a view to joining Ben Casey and myself at Avdimou Beach for a beer or two. Unfortunately Ben was away so it fell to the two of us to wile away the lunch break together at our favourite meeting place. Conversation was good and covered a lot of ground including the shock of Dave’s re-introduction to life in the UK.

Just form a change there wasn’t a strong wind blowing so we were out on the verandah enjoying the sun from the shade. The people on the beach were enjoying not being sandpapered by flying sand.

Dave returns to UK next week but Ben and I will keep in touch. Our meetings will not be regimented as before so if anyone is passing through Cyprus and they give me a call we can arrange to meet them.

I enclose the usual photo.









Report Of The Meeting Held On 5th April 2016

Syd 3 Syd 2 Syd 1

The Costa Blanca Branch of the Administrative Apprentices Association attended a luncheon on Monday 14 March at El Campello, north of Alicante.  We were a party of eleven, including three guests, Syd Avery, Alan and Judy Bacon, Barbara Carroll, Bill and Pauline Laverick and David and Sue Squires.  Our guests were David and Sandy Barnes from RAFA Torrevieja and my own Aunt Edwina, a spritely 87 year old, who has attended several previous lunches and loves the company and the conversation.

We got off to an inauspicious start because, although the restaurant, La Cova, had accepted and confirmed Syd´s booking, we arrived to be confronted by a notice stating ¨Cerrado a Lunes¨or Closed on Mondays.  Further consternation when we discovered ALL restaurants are closed on Monday in El Campello!  Barbara came to the rescue when she phoned friends who organised our lunch at Mim`s, a restaurant only ten minutes more up N332.  The food, wine and service were all excellent, so good in fact that we are thinking of making it our future venue.

The conversation was animated, especially between David and Sandy and Alan and Judy, who were reunited after 30 years, a meeting arranged by yours truly without Alan and Judy being privy to it.

We ended our afternoon on a `poignant note when claiming the privilege of senior entry, Bill made a short speech about Frank Carroll, our friend and founder member.  I knew Frank for 50 years and he was someone special, always warm hearted and friendly, never had a bad word about anyone and possessed of that droll sense of humour peculiar to those of Liverpool.  Although Frank was born in Zimbabwe, his Dad, a  Ch/Tech was Liverpool born and bred and Frank reflected his roots.  Frank went through the ranks to WO and in 1984, which was our last meeting in the service, he went to Cranwell to be commissioned, later retiring as a S/Ldr and I went to 431 MU Bruggen for my last tour.  Barbara has received many tributes from men and women who Frank helped and encouraged throughout his long careerer  Our affection and sympathy goes to Barbara, who is leaving Spain in April and retiring to Cherwell, and all our good wishes go with her.

Frank, you were one of a kind.  Everyone who knew you liked you, and your friends loved you and will always remember you.  God Bless you mate, it was truly a privilege to know you. Bill Laverick 30th