and running with money rolling in to the point that we became
what you would call, loaded. So that I attended Prep School
and then went on to Public School in Somerset, an event I did
not really relish, who would, having to leave beautiful Jersey
behind. Life was hell from the minute I arrived, being known
as a ‘Guffy Little Junior’, as all new boys were referred to, and
I had to fag for some seniors. In other words, I was their
servant and at their beck and call being treated as subhuman, which was then accepted as the norm.
Of course I expressed my shock and displeasure to this
foreign chap, who was actually a Geordie, and he enquired
what was I going to do about it. I required satisfaction and
so we all trooped into a big drying room to settle the
matter. I suspect that all the boys were rather eager to
witness this posh git get a good hammering. Well, it took
about 2 minutes before he realised he was getting
hammered and surrendered. I was vindicated. However,
and here’s where the point of the story really arrives, within
a couple of weeks I was like a freed bird and effing and
blinding with the rest of them. We all had a good laugh at
how I had entered the real world and I made some really
good friends, a number of whom attend our fantastic
reunions to this day.
When I was about 8, Dad thought it a great idea to have
me toughened up a bit and enrolled me into
the Jersey Central Boxing Club. Here, I really
did get toughened up, as well as constant
bloody noses, not realising at the time
how the painful experience of all this
would stand me in good stead in the
future. Being constantly whacked
with a senior's gym shoe was par
for the course and as such did
not bother me as all other
Guffy Juniors were getting the
same treatment. But one day
one poor chap pulled my hair
hard, and senior or not my years
of boxing skills came to the fore and
I was never manhandled by anyone
again. Once in the School Boxing team
I was not quite the Guffy Little Junior
PS: REMEMBER, NO MICKEY TAKING IN SEPTEMBER!
John Dwyer – 37th
It was July 1959 and my group of u/t Airframe Mechanics
were to have our first lesson in safe workshop practice by a
civilian instructor. I can see him now, elderly, brown overalls
and large horn-rimmed spectacles, a real wise old owl.
He began the session by saying, ‘Right lads, what I am
going to say next is the most valuable piece of advice you
will ever get on this course.’ He continued, ‘Never put your
fingers where you would not put your manhood’ and,
holding up both hands he concluded, ‘Take this advice and
you will finish your working life with all 10 digits intact.’
So, after a couple more years, having settled in and actually
getting on well and very much enjoying life, I came home on
Christmas hols in 1952, when Dad called me in for a chat.
He informed me that he had sold the company for a rather
large sum with a view to us all moving to the Bahamas, a
decision to leave Jersey I did not understand at all.
However, in those far distant days there was no such thing as
a business development or purchase loan, and so the deal
was that Dad would receive a large payment every 6 months
till the full amount was paid. Two payments had been made
and the third was deferred as business in Jersey is somewhat
slack in Winter. One more payment and then it stopped,
the purchaser had messed things up, taken to drink and the
business was declared bankrupt. This brought Dad down too,
being owed most of the deal, and he therefore announced
he could no longer afford to keep me at Public School.
Rodney Hilton – 33rd
I guess we have a lot in common, bull nights, bed packs,
kit inspections, but we all have our own special memories.
Mine are the blackboard on the landing in Fulton Block,
announcing the death of Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper,
Summer Camp at RAF Woodvale,
when we were all sent home on
leave early because of an
outbreak of dysentery. I remember
taking Chiefy Hynd his morning
mug of tea, the two outbreaks
of flu and the buzz that went
round the camp at the time of the
However, he was friendly with a Group Captain who had
been advising him on my future, i.e. Public School,
Cranwell, and a flying career, all of which had now gone
for a ball of chalk as the saying goes. So what now?
Well, the advice now was that I could join the RAF
immediately. ‘But I am only 15’, I exclaimed. He explained
that there was a scheme called the Boy Entrants and, as
I had always been interested in machines, I could join and
become an engineer. And so, in June 1953, there I was at
15½ enrolled with the 19th Entry in a hut which appeared
to be full of foreigners. I could not understand their strange
accents, as they eagerly tried on their hairy new uniforms.
Then, when I heard a disgusting F word from down the end
of the billet I could hardly believe my tender young ears.
So down to the end of the billet I went to enquire if my ears
had made a mistake and who had used such a crude word.
The result of my kind request was met with a string of
expletives, many of which I had never heard before.
One or two memories differ from Trevor
Sellick’s in the last issue; the trough
outside the ITS mess was always filled
with scalding hot water and made a funny kind of cracking
noise. The Bath Book must have been introduced after we
graduated because we didn't have one.
I do have one regret, and wonder if any others of my entry
share it. We didn't get our Entry Number painted on one of
the hanger roofs that overlooked the parade ground.
One or two of us did discuss it, but never did the deed.