Royal Air Force
Administrative Apprentices Association

Multum A Parvo

Death Of Violet Wilcox

I am extremely sad to announce the death of Violet Wilcox, wife of our Association President, Jim Wilcox. Violet died on 24th November after a short illness. Our Association offers its most sincere condolences to Jim at this difficult time. RIP Violet.

28th November 2023

Note: I have been informed that Violet’s funeral will be held on Thursday 7th December at 1.30pm at the Gloucester Crematorium, Coney Hill Road, GL4 4PA .

 

Death Of A Non Association Member

Sadly we have been advised of the death of Christopher John Flint (38th Entry), who died in Ipswich Hospital on 31 August 2023. Christopher was a former member of the Association but resigned in 2019.

Christopher’s  funeral will be held on 4 October 23 at 12 noon at Ipswich Salvation Army Citadel. Enquiries to Farthings Funeral Services 01473 272711. No flowers please, any donations to the Salvation Army or the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Hereford Typhoon – A Mystery

I have been corresponding with Mr Gary Lewis who has been researching the identkity of a mystery WW2 Typhoon. Apparently only 1 Typhoon aircraft was supposed to have survived the war with the rest havimg beem scrapped.  Typhoon MN235 (now displayed at the RAF Museum Hendon) was sent to the US during the war and did not return until the 1970s. If two Typhoons have been confirmed as being parked as Gate Guards at RAF Hereford during the 1950s it begs the question why they survived being scrapped and could the Typhoon shown in the video (link below) be one of them. Neither could be the aircraft now at Hendon.

 Mr Lewis tells me that he has seen a aerial photo of RAF Credenhill after the war showing at least 8 Typhoons in a line, most look silver in colour which would suggest they were instructional airframes for apprentices to work on.

We do have a couple photographs on our website of admin apprentices being photographed with a Typhoon notably a group of the 23rd Entry Pay Accounts. Unfortunately any identification numbers are not visible. This would have been circa 1953. When I was there in 1956 I am pretty sure the Gate Guard was a Spitfire. If so, then the Typhoons had been removed but when and where? If any of our members or other visitors can shed any light on the identity of, or any other information eg photographs about the Hereford Typhoons, please feel free to comment on this Notice in the box below. Alternatively you can email me administrator@rafadappassn.org

Finally as mentioned above the link belowwill take you to a video compiled by Mr Lewis on the subject of the mystery Typhoon which you may find interesting.

 

The Nuclear Test Medal

We would like to draw your attention to the following article regarding the award of a Nuclear Test Medal. This article will also be published in the June 2023 edition of our Newsletter.

The plaque for the Nuclear test veterans at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire

There is a call for veterans and civilian staff from across the Commonwealth to claim commemorative Nuclear Test Medals. In recognition of their significant contribution to the UK’s nuclear deterrent testing programme, potentially thousands of veterans and civilian staff, and next of kin, across the UK and Commonwealth can now apply for a commemorative medal.

Please click on the link below, for further information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/call-for-veterans-and-civilian-staff-from-across-the-commonwealth-to-claim-commemorative-nuclear-test-medals 

 

A Poignant Article

Hanging On By Our Fingertips?

My thanks to my old friend and fellow member of the 29th Entry, Pete Culley for producing a very emotive article outlining his concerns as to the future of the Association.

To read the article please click here

In my opinion Peter is of course right in voicing his concerns. Clearly a number of factors must now determine whether or not the Association can survive. These must include a significant improvement in the number of applications to attend our Annual Reunions (which prompted our President and Chairman to voice their own concerns in the latest edition of the newsletter), more of our members willing to provide input for both the Newsletter and the Website and of course, volunteers to serve on the Committee.

Thanks again Peter for reminding us all that the future of our Association is in the hands of its members.

A Message From Our President Jim Wilcox – 5th Entry

 

This year marks 25 years since the formation of the Association which we were hoping to celebrate with due style at the annual reunion in June. It is therefore extremely disappointing to find that so few members have booked to attend.  I do appreciate that we have all  experienced difficult times both during and subsequent to the Covid crisis. Age related health problems, the cost of living situation and perhaps a reluctance to begin the difficult road to normality with regard to social activities, have all played their part. 

However I would like to take this opportunity to ask those of you who would normally have attended our reunions as well as those who might have considered attending for the first time, to perhaps seriously consider a change of heart and make the effort to book. It is not too late but if we do not meet the target number of bookings, it is likely that the 2023 reunion will not be able to go ahead.

Notifcation Of Ex-Apprentice Deaths

Sadly we have been notified of the deaths of the following ex-Administrative Apprentices:

Derek Hobden (19th) who died on 21st January. Derek who had been ill for some time, was a member of the Association. I have no further details at this time.

Samuel John (Scouse) Bromfield (330th Entry).  He was a non-member whose funeral will be held at Lea Road Crematorium, Gainsborough, Lincs at 1330 hrs on Wed 15 February 2023.

Alexander (Sandy) Thomson (306th/307th) who died on 8th February 2023. Sandy was an Association member until 2020. Sandy’ s funeral arrangements are as follows: Cremation at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh on Tuesday 7th March at 2pm then onto The Braid Hills hotel.

Bryan Hoare who knew Sandy well, has written short obituary which can be read by followng the link below:

307th Entry

The Association extends its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased.

 

A Donation To The Bircham Newton Heritage Museum

Following a recent suggestion by Dixie Dean, your Committee approved and has made made a donation of £200 to the Birchm Newton Heritage Centre. This donation was to help fund the purchase of replica RFC uniforms for inclusion in the museum collection.

RAF Bircham Newton opened in 1918 as a RFC Unit until the RAF was formed. The HC has a number of RAF uniforms on display but it does not have any RFC uniforms. It had hoped to purchase some uniforms in time for the first opening in April this year but this will have to be temporarily delayed until funds become available.

During the winter months there has been a big reorganisation of the display areas within the HC which has included revamping the displays and improving the quality of lighting in display cabinets etc. Some of the work has been carried out by qualified tradesman on a voluntary basis but expenditure has been incurred in providing the necessary equipment and fittings.

Jamie Heffer current Chairman of RAF Bircham Newton Heritage Centre, has extended his personal thanks to the Association for this donation.

Details of the 2023 Centre opening days can be found here:

Bircham Newton Heritage Centre – Opening Times And Events

 

 

 

 

 

Funeral Of The Late George Wright (17th)

The Late George Wright (17th Entry)

The funeral of Association member the late George Wright took place on 17th January. We have received some more details about the funeral and about George himself from his daughter Joanne.  I have posted these details on the 17th Entry Scrapbook page. This information will also be included in the March 2023 Newsletter.

To read the post click the link below:

17th Entry

Military Aviation Heritage Network

My thanks to association member Peter Davis (315th) who has sent me details of the Military Aviation Heritage Network. For those of you that enjoy visiting aviation museums or historical aviation sites, there are hundreds to be found in England.

Further information about the numerous trails can be found by visiting the link below: 

Trails

7th January 2023

Website Manager Note:

My thanks to Anthony Johnstone (3rd) for providing us with two additonal aviation museum links for the information of those either living in or visiting Scotland:

https://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-flight/

https://www.dumfriesaviationmuseum.com/

 

 

 

Deaths Of Association Members

Sadly we have been informed of the deaths of two of our members (both 17th Entry).

George Wright who died on 28th December (I have no further details at this time).

Bill Wells (I have no further details at this time).

If any further information is received I will update this post.

The Association offers its  most sincere sympathies to the families of both of the deceased members at this difficult time.

Proposed 319th Entry Reunion

In September last year, I published a notice regarding a proposed 50th anniversary reunion for the 319th Entry in May of this year, organised by Peter Clinker. He had hoped to include members of the 317th, 318th and 320th.

Peter has recently advised me that unfortunately there was not sufficient interest in the proposal so it was regrettably abandoned.

Password Protected Pages – Show Password

 

 

I am pleased to announce a new feature that will enhance our password protected pages (the Newsletter, the password protected Newsletter Archives and the Annual Reunion). A ‘Show Password’ eye symbol will show to the right of the password box which when clicked will reveal the password as you type.

This will help those of us (me included) that have big fingers and often press the SUBMIT button only to find we have typed the password incorrectly! 

Shepperton Film Studios

One of our members, Derek Threadgall (27th) spent many years in the film business both during (like me and many more of us, he undertook the  projectionist course) and after leaving the RAF. He has written an account of his involvement with Shepperton Studios. It makes interesting reading and anyone wishing to obtain a copy or would like more information can do so by contacting Derek by email  dthreadgall1165@gmail.com

Copies are priced at £6.50 (unsigned) or £7.50 (signed). Prices include postage to UK addresses. 

Death Of Ex-Member

Sadly we have been informed of the death of ex-member Brian (Ben) Casey – 39th. Ben’s membership lapsed last year having failed to respond to hasteners to renew. Ben who lived in Cyprus, had been an active member of the Cyprus Regional Group.

Len Williams – 38th Entry

Len Williams 38th Entry

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Ron Muggleton (38th) and to Pat Groombridge (4th) for their very useful input following my request for information regarding the late Len Williams. The information that has been provided has been passed to RAF Sgt Rhys Davies (a distant relative of Len) who is researching his relative’s career, both during and after his RAF Service.

If anyone else out there has any information please do let me know:

administrator@rafadappassn.org

Request For Help – 38th Entry

I have received a request from a serving RAF Sergeant for help in researching the career of the late Len Williams (38th Entry). Len died in 2009. Sgt Rhys Davies is a distant relative of his and is the custodian of his medals. As only a distant relative, he has only been able to obtain a heavily redacted copy of Len’s records but would like to further research his career. It is believed that Len reached at least Sgt rank.

I am aware that we have several 38th entry members in the Association and it is possible that someone may have known Len. There were 3 Williams in the entry and on the Scrapbook page, the name Williams is shown on at least one photograph. Can anyone identify Len from any image on the Scrapbook page? If so would be a good start! If anybody can shed any light on the life and times of Len Williams, I would be grateful if you please contact me your Website Manager at: administrator@rafadappassn.org

 

The Website Forum Page

Following  and sudden and unusually large increase in applications to register as a subscriber to our Website Forum page, I have determined that these applications are not genuine but are what are known as spambot.   Spambots are  autonomous programmes on the internet that sends spam to a large number of users or posts spam on online forums. An example might  be the irritating emails seeking service satisfaction after you have ordered something online.

While the individuals or sites behind the Forum spam registrations would not have been able to gain access any sensitive areas of the site, they nevertheless could as subscribers, leave unwanted messages and post advertising material when creating posts.

In view of what has been happening, I looked at the amount of traffic addressed to the Website Forum page since its inception and it is clear that the Forum idea has not been the success we had hoped for. There has been very little discussion generated since the facility was introduced some years ago. As such I believe that our members wishing to participate in Forum activity might wish to consider using our associated RAF Administrative Apprentices Association social media Facebook site:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/711999865911368

Therefore, in view of the circumstances outlined above I have taken the decision (in conjunction with our Chairman) to remove the Website Forum facility from the Website. As a result access will no longer be available on the Main Menu on our Home Page.

Members are nevertheless reminded that all other areas of our website remain unchanged. Please continue to communicate with us using our existing facilities:

1. By Email to any of your Committee Members: 

https://rafadappassn.org/your-commitee/

2. By Using the Noticeboard reply option area at the end of each published notice

3. By submitting one of our Contact Forms as appropriate:

a. Membership Form   https://rafadappassn.org/membership-form/

b. Submit An Article   https://rafadappassn.org/submit-an-article/

c. Find A Friend https://rafadappassn.org/find-a-friend/

4. The Annual Reunion Booking Form   https://rafadappassn.org/booking/

If you have any quesions or observations on this particular issue please do not hesitate to contact me administrator@rafadappassn.org or reply as shown in item 2 above.

 

 

 

 

 

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:

administrator@rafadappassn.org

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.

General Archives

I have now completed work on reorganising the layout of the General Archives section of our website. I am experiencing some minor issues with text colours which I hope will soon be resolved.

Would you please note that the main navigation bar previously headed ‘Scrapbooks’ has been redefined as ‘Association Archives’ which better reflects the overall content of the drop down menu. The Entry Scrapbook remains the first item in that menu.

The new page is divided into two sections. The first contains general photo galleries previously spread over 9 pages. Where possible individual galleries images have been titled with the source of the images. The same applies to many of the images themselves but it has not been possible to undertake this for all images.

Visitors need only to click on a photo in any gallery to display a larger size image and thumbnail images are displayed at the bottom of the gallery to enable you to through the gallery.

The second part of the page contains items of a documentary nature that have been provided by our members over the years. I would welcome further items like this which I will be pleased to include.

 

 

Change Of Email Address Association Membership Secretary

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

membershipsecretary@rafadappassn.org

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.

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:

Halton:  http://www.oldhaltonians.co.uk

Locking:  http://www.raflaa.org.uk

Queries regarding this notice from Ex-Administrative Apprentices can be directed to our website manager at administrator@rafadappassn.org

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