Remote Annual General Meeting – 10th July 2021

IMG_1800On 11th July, I posted a Notice regarding the Remote Annual General Meeting that was held on 10th July. As you will be aware, an Annual General Meeting and Reunion would normally have been held in June 2021 but was cancelled because of the Covid situation. 

The above mentioned notice advised members that they would receive an email or if appropriate, a written notification, pointing them to content of the remote meeting and the opportunity to comment before 31st July. No comments were received and the content of the remote meeting has therefore been approved. Members wishing to view the information published with regard to the remote AGM may do so by clicking here

Non member ex-Administrative Apprentices who may be considering joining our Association, can read the content of the New Member Information Sheet by clicking here

We are always delighted to welcome new members. If you would like to join us please complete and post an application form which can be found here


Craft Apprentices Who Trained As Caterers

We recently received an enquiry from a former 330th entry Craft Apprentice who trained as a cook but whose name was not listed in the entry list. I am taking this opportunity to remind everyone that that Catering trade Craft Apprentices who trained alongside Administrative Apprentices at Hereford from 1968 until the end of the Apprentice Scheme in 1973, are eligible to join our Association.

The Service numbers allocated to the Administrative Apprentices were in a block purely relating to the Secretarial and Supply trades whereas the Service numbers allocated to Craft Apprentices (8007134 to 8015679) related to all trades and all the training schools. When our Chairman carried out his research with the Personnel Management Centre and the Disclosures Cell to put names to numbers, it proved impossible to identify individual trades in that 8,546 block. Therefore, over the years we have relied upon contact from former eligible Craft Apprentices in order for them to be added to the appropriate Entry lists. If you are an ex Catering trade Craft Apprentice and  your name is missing from your entry list, please do get in touch with me at:

Our Entry Scrapbook pages which all contain a list of known entry members, can be accessed  by clicking here

Two ex-Catering Craft Apprentices are already Association members and we would be delighted if others would consider joining us.

A membership form can be obtained by clicking here


Death Of A Member

Sadly we have been informed of the death of one of our members, David Short – 19th Entry. David had been ill for some time and died on 15th April.  David’s  funeral was held on 12th May. The Association extends its sincere sympathies  to David’s family.

Newsletter 127 – June 2021 Correction

Would members reading the June 2021 edition of the newsletter, please note the following correction to the article posted on behalf of Dixie Dean (40th) concerning entry shields.

The article relates to the 39th and 40th entry shields but one of the images is in fact of the 38th not the 39th shield. It has also been pointed out to me that the shield portrayed on the 39th entry scrapbook page was also that of the 38th entry.  All the necessary corrections have now been carried out and my apologies for the oversight.

Death Of A Member

Sadly we have been informed of the death of Maurice Stanley Hill (592973) 23rd Entry, who passed away suddenly on 5th May. Our sincere condolences to Maurice’s wife Jennifer and his family. It is understood that the funeral will take place on 10th June. If I receive any further information regarding funeral arrangements I will update this notice.



Flight Of A Lifetime

I was gifted a voucher to take a 40 minute flight organised by Aero Legends (see the link below), but for a number of reasons, I am no longer able to do so. The voucher cost £789.00  but I am prepared to offer it for the much reduced price of  £500.00. See the link below:

Fly with a Spitfire

Organised flights this year will be flown from either North Weald in Essex or Headcorn airfield in Kent and the voucher can be transferred to enable anyone other than myself to take the flight. If any ex-administrative apprentices or anyone in your circle of friends and family would like to take up this offer please contact me Alan Bell for full details of how this can be arranged.





Calling 308th Can – You Help?

I have been asked by the son of the late 595580 Charles Mackinnon (308th Entry) If any ex-Clerk Secs from the 308th or from entries training at Hereford at the same time (January – December 1967, has an entry or other photo on which his father is shown. It appears that all family photos of Charles have been lost in a house fire.

Our 308th Entry archives do not appear to contain a Clerk Secretarial Flight so if you can help in anyway, please notify me at

Update 10th March 2021

Our thanks to John Howard 308th who has provided us with a copy of the photo of G Flt 2 Sqn Clks Sec which includes Charles MacKinnon. This image is now shown on the entry Scrapbook Page:


308th Entry




The Royal Air Force Apprentices’ Commemorative Medal – Discounted Price Offer Extended

We are pleased to announce that the date by which association members can purchase the RAF Apprentices’ Commemorative Medal at the special discount price has been extended until the end of March 2021. Members of this Association have been notified of the availability of the medal and provided with an order form with which to purchase. Members who still wish to purchase but have mislaid the order form can obtain a copy by contacting our Secretary Ben Croucher:

Please note that the medal is available only to RAF Administrative Apprentices Association members and members of the Halton and Locking Apprentices Associations. After the end of March 2021 it will be made available to non member ex-apprentices minus the discount. If you are an ex-RAF administrative apprentice and wish to purchase the medal at the attractive discount price, you can join the Association by following the link below:

Membership Form

Ex-Halton and Locking apprentices should contact their respective Associations for further details:




Death Of Keith Gardner (304th)

We have been notified of the death of Keith Gardner who passed away on Wednesday 17th February after a long battle with illness. He was 72.  Keith will be cremated in Warrington on 11th March. We have no other details at this time but if I receive any further information, I will update this notice. Keith was not a member of the Association but nevertheless, we extend our most sincere sympathies to his family at this difficult time.

Hatbands – Administrative Apprentices And Apprentice Clerks

My thanks to John Smith (ex-74th Entry Halton) for contacting the Association with regard to his research into the colours of hatbands worn by Administrative Apprentices and Apprentice Clerks. Having consulted with our President and Chairman, I have published our findings within the History section of the website.  You will note that we have stated that the information is as accurate a picture as we have been able to ascertain but we are open to suggestions if you consider any of the published information is incorrect. If you wish to read up on what we have agreed on click the following link:

The RAF Administrative Apprentice Scheme



Change Of Email Address Association Membership Secretary

I have today changed the contact email address for our Membership Secretary and Archivist, David Tinley from to the following:

Would members please note that future correspondence to David on all matters relating to his dual role as both Membership Secretary and Association Archivist, should be addressed to the new email address.

Death Of A Member

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.



The Royal Air Force Apprentices Commemorative Medal

We are receiving enquiries from ex-RAF apprentices regarding the purchase of the Commemorative Medal. Members of our own Association have been notified of the availability of the medal and provided with an order form with which to purchase. At the moment, the medal is available only to RAF Administrative Apprentices Association members and members of the Halton and Locking Apprentices Associations  at a discounted price, until 28th February 2021. After that date it will be made available to non member ex-apprentices minus the discount. If you are an ex-RAF administrative apprentice and wish to purchase the medal at the attractive discount price, you can join the Association by following the link below:

Membership Form

Ex-Halton and Locking apprentices should contact their respective Associations for further details:



Queries regarding this notice from Ex-Administrative Apprentices can be directed to our website manager at

The Dieter Dappen Page

German U-Boat Moored At What Is Now The Prince Rupert School

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

Entry Shields

Although I do have access to a number of entry shield images already, there are significant gaps.  I would be grateful if any of you have good .jpeg or .png image of your shield, if you could email me a copy. My intention is to place each entry shield alongside the roll call of entry members on your Scrapbook pages. I will post the receipt for any shields that are received on the Noticeboard. Images please to me: 

The shields I appear to have already are as follows:

25th, 27th, 29th, 36th, 41st, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 302nd, 305th, 306th, 307th, 311th, 312th. 313th, 319th, 318th, 322nd and 330th.

Plenty still out there then!


A Heartfelt Message From Your President And Chairman

1 May 2020

Good Afternoon

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.

Bryan Schofield Association Chairman
Jim Wilcox Association Life President








Submission Of Articles For Publication


March 2020

Could I again draw your attention to this page:

Submit An Item For Publication On The Website

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






Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service

My thanks to Steve Day for picking up the following from Facebook. It may be of interest to some to note the following:
Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service
We look forward to caring for you at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. To access our Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service please read the following information carefully.
Referrals start at your local GP Practice (except in Northern Ireland). Where necessary, prior funding arrangements with your local Health Board or Commissioning Group will need to be in place..
Specific area requirements are as set out in the table below:
Under Patient Choice within England you can be referred to a provider of your choice, your GP will advise you of the process. Compliance with our local Value Bases Commissioning policy will apply in all cases. More information about this is available on our website.
Your GP must follow the Welsh Veteran Policy before you can be referred out of area and treatment may be offered locally.
Northern Ireland
Current Northern Ireland rules prohibit referral to England unless arranged by an Northern Irish consultant surgeon.
Funding will need to be agreed by the relevant Health Board prior to referral.
Republic of Ireland
Overseas patient arrangements for access to free NHS treatment will depend on I individual circumstances. Contact your GP in the first instance.
EU Countries
Overseas patient arrangements for access to free NHS treatment will depend on individual circumstances. If you are in receipt of a UK pension and have registered a valid UK S1 form with the relevant authorities in your country of residence you are now entitled to return to England to receive free NHS hospital treatment.
Outside of the EU
People who live outside the EEA, including former UK residents, should make sure they are covered by personal health insurance, unless an exemption applies to them. Anyone who does not have insurance will be charged at 150% of the NHS national tariff for any care they receive.
For more information on our Veterans’ Service, please go to

Skin Cancer – Claims Made To The Veterans Agency

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!


Thinking Outside The Box?

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.



All contributions gratefully received by your website manager: 




Video Clip – 302nd Entry Pass Out Parade

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.

Association Blazer Badge

The New Blazer Badge

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.

Downloading Earlier Editions Of The Association Newsletter

News icon

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