A report on the latest meeting of the SW Herts Regional Group, supplied by Phil Gough (31st) the coordinator of the group , can be found by clicking the link below:
We have been made aware of the passing of Association member Stuart Wright (310th) who died on 22nd November after a long illness. I have included a short obituary on the 310th Scrapbook Page, taken from a Facebook post by John Davies (303rd). Our sincere sympathies are extended to Stuart’s family at this difficult time.
Our thanks to John Boston (44th) for providing an obituary to his friend the late Tony Pearce. To read please click here
I have recently been corresponding with Dieter Dappen, an ex-Administrative Apprentice from the 31st Entry. Dieter was known as Peter Willis while an apprentice and while he was at Hereford in 1957/8 he took a lot of photographs. These, up until now were published as a unique page on our website. He did not finish his course but returned to his native Germany where he has lived ever since.
During our recent contact, Dieter told me the story of his early life and that of his biological father who served in the German Navy U-Boat service during the war. We both thought this would make a good read for our members so between us we have written up and published his story in a revamped Dieter Dappen Page. It is also worthy of note that Dieter and Harry Trumbell (29th) were both pupils at the British Army School in Wilhelmshaven before joining the RAF and knew each other.
Enough said. Click the link and browse The Deiter Dappen Page
The latest version of this document can now be viewed by navigating to the Contact Us menu on the Home Page or by clicking the following link:
1 May 2020
By now, many of you will have received a direct e-mail from your Association Membership Secretary, Frank Wareham, entitled “State of Play”. This highlights what he describes as his disappointment regarding the manner in which the Association has been allowed to slide into apathy under the tenure of the present Committee; more worryingly, his message was distributed without prior knowledge, or sanction, from us – or, indeed, any of the Committee. We are extremely dismayed that Frank has chosen to air his personal views in public, in such an arbitrary manner, as this inevitably, calls into question both his integrity and his loyalty to your present Committee.
Prior to the above, each member of the Committee had received a ground laying e-mail from Frank, inferring that colleagues had orchestrated to remove him from the Committee because his direct “style” was considered aggressive and domineering. He claimed that the Association would not fold if they chose to resign, as he had a dedicated team of highly competent and enthusiastic members willing to serve in their place. He further highlighted a number of administrative procedures, within the Association, which he felt should be changed. A number of these comments had been previously received from him by individual Committee members via direct e-mail, initially and tellingly without the Chairman’s knowledge. However, the manner in which they were expressed was considered by recipients to be demanding, authoritative and disruptive, rather than consultative and constructive, which is the norm under which your Committee operates.
As a result, the Committee unanimously concluded that Frank’s actions were impacting negatively on the effective running of Committee business, to such an extent as to render their collective positions untenable and agreed that, unless Frank resigned as a member of the Committee, they would themselves step down. Obviously, this situation could not be allowed to develop any further and Frank was instructed by the Chairman to refrain from making direct contact with other Committee members, but to ensure that all future comments regarding the administration of Association affairs were directed only to the Chairman. This was independently endorsed by a similar e-mail sent to him by the Association Secretary. The unrepentant response to both was similar; Frank valued himself as the grain of sand that produces the pearl.
Unfortunately, the instruction not to approach Committee members direct was short-lived and the Chairman felt it necessary to contact each member of the Committee individually, to seek their inclinations. The general feeling was that Frank’s actions were severely affecting their collective desire to remain as Association Committee members. With the agreement of the President, the Chairman then wrote to Frank, as Membership Secretary, requiring him to step down from the Committee with immediate effect. In response, he stated that he would not stand down and instead invited the Chairman to consider his own position. Full details of these exchanges were passed to the President, who then contacted Frank by telephone, reiterating the decision for him to step down; this instruction was later confirmed in writing by the President. Frank responded by explaining that he had simply wanted to weed out the dead wood on the Committee.
Frank’s stance, which hints at a deeper agenda, is currently under consideration and will be resolved in the near future. However, please be advised that, with immediate effect, Bryan Schofield has officially taken over the appointment of Membership Secretary and all matters concerning Association membership should be directed to him.
Now, without the presence of this one dissenting member, the remainder of the existing Committee are privileged to continue serving the Association to the best of their ability and please be assured that we remain committed to the continuing maintenance and fostering of friendship, comradeship and esprit de corps that we have striven to achieve over the last 22 years.
Could I again draw your attention to this page:
You will no doubt be aware that we as an Association are always short of input by way of articles from our members. Through the medium of this, your Website Noticeboard, the quarterly Newsletter and at our Annual General Meetings, we continue to ask for contributions for both the Articles page of the website and the Newsletter itself. More recently Ted Huntley (24th) has been contacting members individually by email to drum up support for the submission of articles. Our sincere thanks go to those who have taken the time to do so.
If you have not already done we would be grateful if you could please take the time to read the Submit An Article page and consider submitting something for us to publish. You will see there are a wide range of subjects suggested, not just articles concerning your time as an apprentice.
Finally, if you come across any photographs depicting your time as either an Administrative Apprentice or during subsequent RAF service that you would like to share with us, I would be pleased to publish these in your own Entry Scrapbook Page or other appropriate pages on our site. Images and other documents can be forwarded to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
As discussed at the 2019 Annual General Meeting at Northampton, we have introduced an on-line booking form for future Annual Reunions. Once completed and posted, the form will automatically be directed to the Social Secretary Bryan Hoare.
The booking form for 2020 has been placed within the Contact Us menu of the website and listed as Northampton 2020.
My thanks to Anthony Johnstone (3rd) who has commented on the remarks made by our President at the October committee meeting regarding help available for skin cancer sufferers who feel their illness could be attributable to their RAF service.
The President (whose comments will only have been available to Association Members) drew attention to the regulations concerning compensation for ex- servicemen who previously served in Egypt and subsequently contracted skin cancer. He wished to highlight the fact that this scheme applies universally, irrespective of which geographical location was concerned, and all ex-servicemen can claim through the Veterans’ Agency.
In Anthony’s case he says that he has been suffering from this condition and made a successful claim via the Veterans Agency. Anthony served in Singapore, Aden and Oman. He says that in his case, the Agency was slow to react but did pay him some compensation eventually.
Note: You can claim under the WPS if you are no longer serving and your disablement was caused as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005.
Website Manager Comment
Changing the subject slightly, many of my ex-RAF friends clearly suffer deafness arguably as a result of their service. However most appear not to have not made retrospective claims to the Veterans Agency for compensation for their hearing loss. While in my own case the condition was exacerbated by representing the RAF in competition shooting, nevertheless, throughout my service, I was never offered ear defenders while range shooting or during GDT training. I would suggest it is never too late to make a claim!
The other day, I found a new image featuring a former member of the 322nd Entry on our RAFAAA Facebook site.
To view this particular image Click Here
Like so many other similar posts, a copy of this one was not sent to us for inclusion in the Association website.
Be that as it may, I would nevertheless like to appeal for the help of ex-admin apps reading this who post on such sites. It would be really helpful if you could take the time to send me a copy for your entry Scrapbook Page. Facebook posts soon get forgotten, hidden away as more posts pile in. However, images, bits of memorabilia, and comment sent to me will be permanently available to both your own entry members, all Association members and others, who do not use Social Media.
My thanks to Peter Vaughan who has kindly provided me with a dvd containing a clip of the 302nd Entry pass out parade at Hereford on 17th December 1965. I have added this clip to the Entry Scrapbook Page where you may view it at your leisure.
The original was shot in 8mm cine film and it occurs to me that other parents or family members attending passing out parades of admin apprentices may also have captured cine film or taken photographs. Maybe a search of family archive albums could reveal other hidden treasures!
Finally I would like to positively identify the RAF Policeman who opened the door for the reviewing officer. It looks remarkably like Reg Drinkwater who as many of you will know, remustered from being an AATS drill instructor at Hereford to the RAF Police. Comments on this would be appreciated so if you think you know who he was, use the comments section below.
Dixie Dean (40th) has notified that amongst items found in 4 boxes of apprentice/boy entrant memorabilia found from a condemned training wing at Halton, was a photograph of an individual sat in the cockpit of a Chipmunk. It is thought the person may be none other than Prince Charles but there is some disagreement about this. If you know who this individual actually is please email me: email@example.com .
The final version of the RAF Centenary mug designed by ex-boy entrant Nicholas Price is now available for sale. If you wish to purchase one click the link below:
There are a number of optional features available so visit the seller’s website link above for full details.
I ordered mine recently and here is what it looks like:
Many of you may have come across a Facebook Group run by an individual calling himself Frankie Seaton.
I have been making some discreet enquiries regarding Seaton and his site. I am reliably informed he is more than likely to be one Frank P Ford an ex-319th Supplier. His modus operandi seems to be to get himself on multiple RAF related FB pages, with all sooner rather than later banning him once his anti RAF comments start to appear. I have reason to believe he also calls himself Dave Ward and also Matt (his site claims all three are site Admin).
As ‘Seaton’ claimed to have been an ex-Admin Apprentice, I once decided to join his FB Group (any site that might reveal potential members of our Association are of interest to me). However following a number of failed attempts to get him identify himself as a genuine ex-Admin Apprentice called Seaton and, following some some appalling posts and bad language, I decided to leave. Others have had similar experiences and there is quite a lot of negative comment about Seaton’s site by those visiting our own FB site run by Bryan Hoare.
Both ‘Seaton’ and ‘Ward’ operate Facebook pages but they have nothing on them. Apparently what he does is trawl the friends of those that accept his FB friend requests and then invites them to his Apprentice FB page. Currently, he has over a 1000 members on what I initially thought was a closed site (open to ex-Apprentices only). In fact his members include many non ex-RAF Apprentices. If you challenge him as to why this is, he claims his site is ‘open to all’.
Having read this notice, you must of course make up your own minds should you happen to be a member of Seaton’s site, or feel you want to join it. My opinion and belief is that he is a bit of a Walter Mitty character whose claims should be treated with a great deal of caution. Quite what his motives are apart from attention seeking is beyond me!
Note: Frank P Ford ex-319th Entry is NOT a member of the this Association.
Update 22nd March 2018: I am led to understand that ‘Seaton’ has now created yet another Facebook Page in the name of Jonathon Brackenbury and tried again (unsuccessfully) to join the newly formed RAF Apprentices FB Group.
Must give him 100 % for trying though!
Will members please note that as from 8th November 2017, our treasurer Garry Hoyland’s postal address will be as follows:
9 The Gables Paddock
Garry has indicated that his landline telephone number will be 01430 410122 although it may not be operational immediately. His mobile number is 01430 410122. Garry has arranged for mail to be forwarded from his previous address but should you have any difficulties with the payment of subs etc, please contact him direct.
29th April 2017
The Association have commissioned a Blazer Badge at a cost of £10.20 (inc VAT). At a recent committee meeting, it was agreed that the quality was excellent. If any member would like to purchase one, could you please send your order (with payment) to David Johnson, Association Publicity Officer 32 Alexandra Road, Lytham St Annes. Lancs, FY8 1YD. Alternatively the badge can be ordered at the AGM in June.
12th February 2016
I have been doing some work on placing links to some of the earlier editions of our Newsletter into the website to enable members to download these if they so wish. So far 16 previous editions are available. If there is a significant demand I will add to this list. Please let me know if you require a particular edition not listed and I will do my best to make it available for you.
Please note also that as a new issue of the Newsletter is published, the previous issue will be automatically archived and and will be available in our Newsletter Archives page