Published three times per year – March, July & December Issue Number 70 – July 2016 THE MARLY LANCASTER – JB604, HW-S OF 100 SQUADRON Joe Perry – 32nd 100 Squadron Anyone entering the of French village of Marly today, cannot fail to notice the mural of a Lancaster and its pilot which covers the entire side of a house, close to the church. Being a resident of Marly, an ex-RAF serviceman and a keen enthusiast of the ‘Lanc’ I went in search of the story behind the mural. What I have found is a dedicated team of locals who honour the fallen heroes from Lancaster JB 604, HW-S of 100 Squadron. The pictorial tribute to the crew of Lancaster JB604 on the corner of Rue de Metz and Rue de la Deille It was on the night of February 24th/25th 1944, as a result of enemy action, that Lancaster JB604 crashed on the village of Marly, France. With the sound of sirens wailing, searchlights probing the sky and the sight of a Lancaster in flames descending on the village, it was a terrifying night for the inhabitants. The doomed plane crashed onto the mill alongside the River Seille. Fortunately the bombs from the plane, which fell on both sides of the river and in the adjoining fields, had not been armed and did not explode. The village certainly had a narrow escape and even today the locals shiver at the thought of what might have been. Providentially, not one villager was killed on that terrible night. Two crew members managed to bale out before the impact and were taken prisoner by the Siedler, German settlers brought into the village. Sadly, five of the crew perished in the crash and their bodies were recovered from the site and hastily buried in the early hours of February 26th 1944 with neither blessings nor military honours. Life in Marly returned to normal. It was only two years later, upon the initiative of M. Jean Thiriot, president and general secretary of the local section of the escapees and resistance movement for Moselle, that a commemorative The wooden cross ceremony was organised on erected in 1946 the24th February 1946 to honour the five heroic allied airmen killed in action. A wooden cross bearing the inscription, ‘Here lie five heroic allies, who gave their lives for the liberation of our country, the 24th February 1944’, was erected on the naked burial mound which was their final resting place. A funeral oration, in the form of a poem, was written and read by M. Jean Thiriot before a deeply moved and contemplative crowd. Continued on page 3 ON OTHER PAGES ● From the Editor ● Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines ● Important Notice – Association Standards ● An Old Lady Comes Home ● Reflections ● Memories ● A Lost Weekend ● News from Oz ● Who the Heck are the Beatles? ● Bits & Pieces
Published three times per year     March, July   December  Issue Number 70     July 2016  THE MARLY LANCASTER     JB604, H...
From the Editor One of my favourite events in our calendar is the Memorial Day service and the wreath laying at the Permanent Memorial to Boy Entrants. It is a poignant day when we can all get together and pay homage to our late comrades. It is also a day when we can cast our minds back to those halcyon days where our memories now reside, remember our departed pals and do what Boy Entrants have done since 1934, reminisce. I would also like to offer my thanks to all who have written in to me this past quarter, I now have a fairly large selection of tales of derring-do to relate in the coming issues of the Newsletter. However, if you have an interesting tale to tell then please send it in to me. Tom Brown EDITORIAL ADDRESS AND CONTACT DETAILS Please direct any future ‘hard copy’ contributions, letters and telephone calls as follows: RAFBEA Newsletter Editor, 22 Horsegate Lane, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1JN. T: 01733 351105 m: 07919 028429 e: newsletter@rafbea.org.uk IMPORTANT NOTICE THE ASSOCIATION STANDARD Earlier this year the Committee made the decision to replace the Association’s Standard prior to this year’s AGM and Reunion, as after many years of service it was felt that the Standard was beginning to display signs of wear and tear, Members are therefore advised that the current Association Standard, which was donated by the late Brian Hulme (26th Entry) in 1995, will be ceremonially ‘Laid Up’ in the church of Christ the King at RAF Cosford on Friday 9th September 2016, at 1500 hours, and immediately thereafter the new Association Standard will be ‘Dedicated’ as part of the same ceremony. Since the Church of Christ the King is situated outside the main camp perimeter, passes are not required. However, any Member wishing to attend should make sure that they arrive at the Church, which is on the right side driving from the traffic lights towards the Main Gate, no later than 1445 hours. Reflections Dear Friends, RAF Colours were first approved of by the late King George VI in 1943; (that being the 25th Anniversary of the RAF), but because of the war this was delayed until 1947. 25 years later, on the 50th Anniversary, it was replaced by the Queen’s own Colour. At our Reunion this year, on the Friday afternoon, we shall be holding a short but moving ceremony in the Church of Christ the King, RAF Cosford, where we shall be laying up our old Association Standard, and Dedicating our new one. There, it will remain in perpetuity, alongside our Book of Remembrance. I find these symbols very moving to see as they hang silently in the solitude of our little country parish churches, the places of prayer and worship. It’s as if they are continually offering, by their presence, the records of men and women’s deeds in war and peace, to Almighty God. Like the other treasured symbol that each church displays, they stand alongside the Cross of Christ; the Christ who himself declared, ‘Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends’. It so happens that in July I shall also be involved in the laying up of the old No 31 Squadron RAF Marham’s Queen’s Colour in the local Parish Church before the Squadron becomes deployed in Afghanistan. There the Colour will remain as a proud reminder to the community of Marham, of the duty and valour the Squadron has given – and continues to give, in the defence of our land. I hope many of you will come early on the Friday afternoon that kicks off our Reunion weekend, and honour the laying up of our Standard and the Dedication of our new one, which in the years to come, will always be there to bear witness to the treasured comradeship we share in our Association. You will find many of these fine silken Colours and Standards hanging in the churches and cathedrals throughout our land, symbols of military pride, honour, dedication and sacrifice. The oldest RAF Colour incidentally, remains at RAF College Cranwell, where it was presented by his Majesty on July 6th 1948. With every blessing, Yours, as ever, Canon Tony 02
From the Editor One of my favourite events in our calendar is the Memorial Day service and the wreath laying at the Perman...
Continued from page 1 In the poem he evoked the sacrifice of the five allied airmen, ‘fallen from the glory of the sky to the earth in Marly, for the liberation of our nation’. In 1948 a British military commission, following a joint initiative by M. Robert Schuman, the then MP for Moselle and Foreign Affairs Minister, along with the Resistance Fighters Association, came to the cemetery to carry out the exhumation of the five airmen in order to fully identify them. At the conclusion of this operation five granite headstones were erected above the five tombs and a commemorative plaque, indicating their resting place, was mounted at the entrance to the cemetery. A moment to reflect The full crew listing on that night was: Killed in action and buried in Marly Communal Cemetery: Pilot 133632 F/O Vernon Llewelyn Bowen Jones Bomb Aimer 1233182 Flt/Sgt John Carter Grindrod Wireless Operator 1294908 Sgt Joseph Henry Sullivan The five granite headstones To this day, the five airmen rest in peace in the old village cemetery in Marly. Their graves are kept flowered all year round and certain villagers ensure that they are remembered forever as the soldiers who ‘liberated our sweet Lorraine from the vice of the thuggish Nazi invader’. Mid-Upper Gunner 1661472 Sgt Patrick Anthony Turner Rear Gunner 1351107 Sgt Maurice Herbert Messenger Every year, the village hosts a formal ceremony on the anniversary of the crash. This year, I had the honour to meet many members of the local associations including M. Stéphane Cottel, who holds an honorary position with 100 Squadron. He asked me to join with him in laying the Squadron wreath at the graveside, a great honour indeed. Survived as a Prisoner of War: Navigator NZ414609 F/O R.T Garlick, PoW in Sagan The cemetery is a long way from home shores, but everyone can be assured that these airmen will forever be remembered as Heroes. Flight Engineer 1800297 Sgt K.E.J. Head, PoW in Schepetowka Camp Footnote M. Stéphane Cottel is in regular contact with RAF Leeming and is personally dedicated to the memory of JB604 and its crew. He is a mine of information, and would be pleased to hear from anyone who seeks information, or who could aid him in his quest to contact any living relatives or friends of the crew. His driving force was demonstrated during a conversation with me when he said, ‘It is important for me that the British know that we French do not forget the sacrifice of all these young men for our freedom. In 2016, 72 years later, we stand together still’. M. Stéphane Cottel can be reached on his email address: lanc.jb604@outlook.fr Joe Perry with M. Stéphane Cottel laying the 100 Sqn wreath 03
Continued from page 1 In the poem he evoked the sacrifice of the five allied airmen,    fallen from the glory of the sky t...
A LOST WEEKEND Barry Collins – 38th It was early December, 1961 and life at RAF West Raynham carried on as normal with a busy flying programme in the build up to the Christmas period with everyone looking forward to the celebrations. However, there was a strong feeling that all was not well as a fleet of RAF 3 Tonne Bedford trucks arrived on the base. Nothing out of the ordinary one would think, they were to RAF West Raynham replace our older vehicles was the consensus of opinion. The next event to cause ripples of doubt was a broadcast over the station tannoy system stating that all personnel were confined to camp over the coming weekend and that a further announcement would follow. hippies. Quite frankly, we were similarly concerned. In the event, we caught neither sight nor sound of any protesters, although there was a minor scare when a Belvedere helicopter flew over and we were told to look alert and prepared. The purpose of this was to show Mr Duncan Sandys, the Defence Minister, who was on board, that we were on the ball. So an Duncan-Sandys, with his uneventful day turned to night head intact intact and we were stood down just before midnight, climbed back aboard the trucks and made our way back to RAF West Raynham arriving in the early hours of Sunday morning. My billet in Block 103 had never been so welcoming and I crashed out immediately, waking sometime in the afternoon. After a relaxing shower and tea in the Airmen’s mess it was off to the pubs in Helhoughton where the local landlords had never seen such levels of trade on a Sunday evening. By this point the Chinese whispers were becoming screams as a few months earlier the Berlin Wall had been erected and we had dispatched half of the Central Fighter Establishment’s All Weather Fighter Combat School Javelin Mk 5’s to Germany. That was it, we are going to Germany as re-enforcements, there must be a buzz on. Either that or the SWO had organised a shopping trip to Kings Lynn. The speculation was put to bed when we assembled in the Station Cinema for a briefing by the Station Commander. It transpired that the ‘Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament or CND’ were to target the American 20th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Campaign for Nuclear RAF Wethersfield in Essex. Disarmament The Government, of course, was desperately keen to avoid any diplomatic incidents and had offered the services of RAF personnel from stations in East Anglia and the Home Counties to provide security against unauthorised access to the base. All weekend passes were cancelled, the NAAFI bar was closed that Friday evening, SNCO’s carried out the Station’s Fire Piquet duties and all personnel were to assemble outside the Guardroom and board the 3 Tonne trucks with the officers and SNCOs in the cabs with the drivers. The convoy was then to depart for RAF Wethersfield. At least now we knew what the trucks were for. So, off we set on an uncomfortably cold and draughty journey. Rumours abounded that we were to stop at RAF Lakenheath for a meal; yeah right, and my granny is the Queen Mum. But, lo and behold we pulled into RAF Lakenheath and our colonial cousins RAF Lakenheath laid on a slap up meal for us. With spirits suitably raised off we set on the remainder of the journey. It was a dark, dank and thoroughly dismal Saturday morning when we finally arrived at RAF Wethersfield where we were informed that our contingent were to be assigned to the bomb dump in the middle of the airfield. Judging by the despairing look on the faces of the USAF personnel it was evident that they were lacking in confidence that we could protect them from the expected hordes of rampaging Barry Collins There is a Pathé News clip on You Tube showing the local constabulary dealing with the protestors outside the main gate but, for us, it was a complete and utter non-event. As a consequence, just before Christmas each year I am reminded of my one and only visit to RAF Wethersfield and my lost weekend. I left RAF West Raynham for the sunnier climes of Cyprus in May 1963 and had even more fun and games over that Christmas when the civil unrest broke out. Ed: As with seemingly all politicians, all is never what it seems. The scandalous divorce trial of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll in 1963, featured explicit photographs of two men whose identities were concealed due to their heads being out of shot. The case became known as the ‘Headless Man’ trial and it ruined the Duchess’s reputation. Almost 40 years later the two men's identities were revealed in a Channel 4 documentary – Secret History: ‘The Duchess and the Headless Man’ in which the two men were identified as the by then Lord Duncan-Sandys and the other as Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. 04
A LOST WEEKEND Barry Collins     38th It was early December, 1961 and life at RAF West Raynham carried on as normal with a...
WHO THE HECK ARE THE BEATLES? Doug Grant – 46th It was early March 1963, still with ten months to serve at Cosford, when one of our roommates came into the hut asking who was interested in seeing the Beatles. My first reaction was, ‘Who the heck are the Beatles, not another basketball team?’, the Harlem Globetrotters had only recently given an exhibition game in Wolverhampton. However, I was told that the Beatles were a new rock band from Liverpool who were causing quite a buzz in the music world. NAAFI juke box in Fulton block. On the night of 14th March we set off for the concert, which was held at the Gaumont Cinema in Wolverhampton. We had a few flight commanders and NCOs on board, I guess as chaperones. On arrival, the local police sent us at the back of the long queue with our officers dressed in typical RAF officer civvies, hairy tweed jackets, brogues, cavalry twills, RAF tie, trilby hat, and umbrella. They then proceeded to walk to the front of the queue but, not having VIP passes, were amusingly escorted to the back behind us. Eventually, we were seated and the show began. Both the American singers were good and the audience response was very good. Then the Beatles came on stage and started with The Hippy Hippy Shake and the place exploded with girls crying, screaming and dancing in the aisles, the security guards having a hard time controlling them. We disciplined little Boy Entrants sat down clapping and tapping our feet and at one time sang ‘Sit down sit down for Christ’s sake so the B-----S in the back can see’, to scornful looks down the row by our permanent staff. The Beatles did a number of songs, finished and went off stage only to return for an encore, which really got the cinema rocking. It was some time before we got out of the theatre and back to our bus, but what a great night. The conversation on the bus was Beatles, Beatles, Beatles, the poor American singers didn’t get a mention. The Beatles, if you didn’t happen to know Once back in the billet the SOC team went back to work and returned the civvies to their rightful home. It was certainly very late by the time we were in bed and you could still hear guys talking about the show in the early hours. Those of us who signed up realised that all our civvies were locked up in a store room and we really did not want to go to the show in uniform. Well, a SOC team (Save our Civvies) was quickly organised for the easy job of getting into the locked store room. One of our boys was good at picking locks, being the son of a locksmith, and with the help of a couple of screwdrivers the backs of the lockers were quickly removed as were our civvies. Moving on to July 63, we were getting ready for our summer camp in North Wales. Before summer camp we were doing route marches around the Cosford/Albrighton area to build up our stamina. A group of us got talking about the Beatles concert, and out of the blue Sgt ‘Gunga Din’ Kelly said in a loud voice, ‘I suppose you boys think that I didn’t know about the civvies and the lockers. I know everything that goes on in my flight and don’t you forget it’, he said with a smile. We found out that the show was really a promotional event for two American singers, Tommy Roe, and Chris Montez, with the Beatles as a supporting act. Both the American singers were well known from their recent hits Sheila and Let’s Dance. Both songs were hammered to death on the 05
WHO THE HECK ARE THE BEATLES  Doug Grant     46th It was early March 1963, still with ten months to serve at Cosford, when...
THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES Dennis Whelan – 19th feeling of somehow making a difference and the comradeship. So they simply exchanged their fighters and bombers for our little training planes and went on flying. That was the pattern for this magical week; flying during the day and tall tales and drinking in the evening. My next few days flying was with Will Palmer, a good pilot and instructor. We flew in various Austers and racked up the hours and the basics of flying with lots of circuits. Things were going fine until I landed poor old G-AIGC so heavily it broke the bungee shock absorber on the starboard wheel and we taxied back with the wingtip close to the ground. Will could see I was a bit stressed so he said, ‘Dennis, I’ve got to fly down to Hamble to pick up some gear, so hop into the Anson‘. We flew the Anson, G-AGVA, down to Hamble and I was allowed to fly one of the first twin engine aeroplanes I’d ever been in. It was such a magic flight with Will sitting back smoking, chatting and occasionally sliding back the side window to put his fag into the slipstream to take off the ash. Me, I was feeling like a real pilot. The next day he took me for a test flight in a Proctor, G-AHES, before more training in the Auster. Then came training in handling spins and stalls. An Auster of the period ‘Have a look at this Roger’ says I , pointing to the advertisement I’d seen in a newspaper along the lines of ‘Learn to fly in Seven days for £25 at the Wiltshire School of Flying’. ‘I’m going to book in during the summer break, do you want to come along too?’, I enquired. Roger Pitman, one of my mates during my training at RAF Cosford, eventually said ok and, with the money from credits the accounts department held in trust for us for our leaves, we applied. Roger had been a bit reluctant because he wanted to give his parents some of the money to pay them back for his years of dependency, but that thought had never crossed my mind. So, we had our medicals and applied for provisional flying licences. I have no memory of the process, but the Ministry of Civil Aviation issued the licences and a log book was supplied by the Royal Aero Club. We agreed to meet at Thruxton Aerodrome on the due date of 14th August 1954. Thruxton had been built by the MOD in 1942 and had seen operational service with both the RAF and USSAF but, by the time we arrived it was only twelve years old and purely for civilian aviation. The Wiltshire School of Flying was located in the old RAF control tower, which was no longer used operationally, there was no radio or tower control of operations. I was introduced to Sqn Ldr Jennings, who was moonlighting from his real job in the RAF, and I remember as we put on our flying suit, that I engaged him in some conversation. ‘I’m Sir to you airman, I can see you need a bit of discipline!’, he snapped. My wife Peg later told me that she agreed with him. So I shut up as he outlined the basics of stalls and spins and what I could and couldn’t do with me thinking, ‘I’m paying your wages’, but I never said a word. And so up we went in G- AISH to 6,000’ with me in the front cockpit and him in the rear. I listened to his instructions through the Gosport speaking tube, trying my best to follow through with my The two intrepid airmen hands and feet loosely on the controls and trying to remember what he had done when it came to my turn. The stalls were fine. Pull the power back and hold back stick as it all went quiet with the nose climbing ever higher until it stalled and down we came. Then came the spinning. Jennings bellowing down the tube, ‘Lock the bloody slats!’, as we wallowed around with me trying to work out what I had to do, ‘It’s the bloody lever on the side’. So I finally found it and locked it into place and carried out the same procedure, except that the nose went up much higher and the rudder bar went to full deflection as the wing went up and over we went. I closed my eyes and when I opened them, miraculously the nose was pointing straight down and all was quiet with the earth rotating around us. I finally got the hang of it and did stalls and spins until Jennings was satisfied I knew what I was doing. On the day we arrived a young woman showed us to our sleeping quarters and we ate a salad meal that had been left out for us and then prepared for the next day. Thinking about it now I realise that we were there purely to learn to fly as there was no attempt to even ground us in the elementary aspects of navigation or anything connected with civilian flying. So, on Aug 15th, with Peter Bowery as my instructor, we boarded Auster G-AGTI and with me in the pilot’s seat taxied into wind and took off across the grass for my first ever training flight. This was the first of the three flights on that warm summer day. Peter did the old instructors trick of letting you fly around until he said, ‘Well Dennis, where are we?’ I thought, Crikey, you’re the instructor, if you don’t know then we’re all going to die, and said in a sad and pathetic voice, ‘I don’t know’. Peter turned the plane on its side and said, ‘Look down’. And there, of course, was Thruxton directly below. ‘Dennis‘ he said, ‘situational awareness is very important’. That evening Roger and I were invited into the instructors quarters and had a wonderful time as they filled us up with their favourite tipple; cheap port and beer. We listened in wonder to those lonely unmarried men, recount their stories of flying during the war. I say lonely because these men should have died in WW2. They survived but yearned for everything about the war; the excitement, the fear, the The following day, 21st August, Jennings took me up in Auster G-AIGC to review my flying progress. As we came in to land he said, ‘OK, that’s enough for now’, and we taxied 06
THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES Dennis Whelan     19th feeling of somehow making a difference and the comra...
back to dispersal and shut down. He said, as he got out, ‘You’re right to go, give me a circuit and good luck’. I started the Auster, taxied to the end of the field, turned into wind and then opened the throttle. As the little Auster lifted into that blue sky I felt the exhilaration and love of flying that has stayed with me for the rest of my life. I was 18 and soloed in 8.45 hours, Roger beat me by 15 mins. I resumed flying training in Australia in 1974, obtained my full PPL and gave up active flying about six years ago. AN OLD LADY COMES HOME Pat Patience – 44th Forty-four years ago, in February 1972, my brother and I were both in the RAF and found a 1933 20/25 Rolls Royce Park Ward limousine and a 1953 Bentley R Type saloon on a farm near RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire. Although covered with farm debris both were complete, the Rolls had been in the barn since 1955, the tax disc date on the windscreen, and had yellow cracked windows and flat tyres. The silver metallic Bentley was in much better condition having only been off the road for around ten years. After a thorough check of the mechanics and electrics we bought them for £1,100 and spent two weeks getting them roadworthy. As we had previously owned a Phantom II limousine in the late sixties, purchased for the then princely sum of £150, we had a good grounding on how to set up the brakes, carburettor and ignition. Eventually the cars were ready, which had proved challenging, especially convincing the garage that they had never had MOTs. lanes and a local publican was still awaiting payment for fuel at the then rate of 50p a gallon, which was about three times the actual price at the time. Later we obtained copies of the original Rolls Royce order forms showing the basic chassis had been sold for just over £1,477 on 11 October 1933 to a Mrs Borthwick of Cadogan Square, London, to be fitted with an enclosed limousine body from Park Ward finished in blue/black and to be delivered on 1 January 1934. As it happened the car was completed and delivered on 15 December 1933 for the total sum of £3,429. Further research showed the lady had a country home close to RAF Lyneham and, after a telephone call to the house, we met the daughter who in 1939 had been taught to drive in the very same car. In due course we took the engine apart and replaced piston rings, valve springs and the clutch plate, leaving the remainder which, after a thorough clean, was found to be in remarkably good condition. The two vehicles gave us a great deal of pleasure and we alternated them between us which lead to the local newspaper writing an article about two airmen and their cars which in turn led to a feature in the Daily Mirror. In 1978 I drove my brother to his wedding in the Rolls which attracted further attention from the press. My brother kept the Bentley and I drove the Rolls to my home station RAF St. Mawgan in Cornwall and set about cleaning the interior, replacing the glass and repainting it maroon and black from its austere black. It was not long before it was busy taking brides to church in the local counties and was adopted by the squadron for the pub run as it could seat seven comfortably. One of its odd outings was when it was borrowed for advertising in exchange for the use of a Jaguar E Type coupe. A fair swap as the Jaguar proved to have a race tuned engine with an exhilarating performance but would only run on the old five star petrol. Eventually the Bentley was passed on to another enthusiast and we retained the 20/25 for another seven years when it was sold to an old friend who still owns it. Over the next thirty years the car travelled to Ireland and the Continent on a number of occasions and was in use for weddings, including my brother's son in 2005, and two in London with a visit to Parliament buildings. Recently the current owner has been advised not to drive and the car has been returned to me to service and hopefully pass on to a new owner. It is still a delightful experience to get behind the wheel of the old lady, now in her eighty-third year, having first driven her when she was merely forty-three, and head off down the highway where she still raises smiles and a few thumbs up. The then current old card registration book for the Rolls dated from 1947 and showed some interesting stamps concerning petrol rationing in the late forties and that the car had been owned by a sawmill in Essex until around 1952 when it was bought by a farmer in Wiltshire. Correspondence with the sawmill owner revealed it had been bought around 1947 for £50 for the so called black sheep of the family whose activities were somewhat questionable. During the post war petrol rationing it had at some stage been running on a petrol/paraffin mix which left a noticeable smell in the country 07
back to dispersal and shut down. He said, as he got out,    You   re right to go, give me a circuit and good luck   . I st...
A SAD TALE TO TELL walked into a Police Station claiming to have lost his travel warrant and money. The police where obliged to help servicemen with travel documents if theirs were lost or stolen. He then caught a ferry to the Channel Islands and worked in hotels all summer until he decided to come back to the mainland and give himself up. Anonymous – 46th When I joined in 1962 I became good friends with B/E Larry H. I am leaving out his surname so as not to offend either him or his family. Larry always seemed to be in trouble with the DIs because of his slovenly and perpetual untidy state of dress. As I got to know Larry better it became obvious that he was from a wealthy family and had a father who was of quite a high rank in the RAF. He would never divulge any more than that. Larry, from all accounts, had never known family life, he had been brought up by a Nanny, then private school at a very young age and finally boarding school. He did not really want to be in the RAF but was forced to join by his family. He was extremely intelligent and could pass exams with very high marks if he was minded, or fail, if he felt so inclined. His applications to Cranwell and Halton had failed and so he became a Boy Entrant. He was sentenced to 56 days detention after which he was subsequently dishonourably discharged. I did manage to spend a short time with him when he came back to the billet to collect his belongings, I happened to be the only person in the room at the time. He quickly related his story to me and promised to repay the money I had lent him. That was the last I ever saw of him, but I wished him well because he was a nice chap and I was sorry to see him in such circumstances. It was not until the summer, when we were preparing for summer camp, that I discovered what happened to him after his discharge. We were out on a route march around the Cosford area and I was chatting to one of our DIs, who happened to ask me if I was a close friend to Larry H. He then told me this story. When a Boy Entrant or Apprentice was dishonourably discharged it was the RAF’s responsibility to hand the individual over to his parents who then had to sign a form of acceptance. Two NCOs from Cosford escorted Larry H to Germany, where his father was serving in the RAF. On arrival at the married quarter the father was confronted by his son and escorts and simply said ‘I do not have a son!’ and then slammed the door. This of course became quite a dilemma, what to do with Larry H. They returned to the UK and were at Waterloo Station where they were told by Larry that he had an aunt in the London area who used to take him in during summer holidays and he would be fine staying with her. They gave him some money, wished him luck, and off he went, never to be of heard from again. As I said, Larry was very bright and just sailed through exams without any study whatsoever, which was the opposite in my case. We entered a phase of training whereby a very important mid-term exam took place and, if you failed, you had two choices, retrain with another entry, or be discharged. When the results were read out, Larry had achieved 92%, to which he reacted by shouting, ‘Impossible!’ The Instructor informed him that in fact he had rated only 8% and as it was very difficult to get such a low mark they had guessed his game plan and decided to reverse the result. They also pointed out that he had to have known the subject matter intimately to achieve such a low mark. As time went by Larry was constantly in trouble with the Dis, PTIs and Instructors. He never went home on any leave but was usually invited home by one of his roommates and stayed with their family. I would certainly have invited him but my father was serving overseas with the RAF at the time so I was also a bit of an orphan. I often wondered what happened to him and I sincerely hoped that he would find some kind of happiness and a family to show him a bit of love and kindness, something I know he had never experienced in his life. The sad fact was that he was a very bright individual who, under different circumstances, might possibly have been offered an opportunity to transfer to Halton or Locking as an Apprentice. Sadly, it just goes to demonstrate that for all the camaraderie which we ex-Boys recall of our training days there were some whose experience was very much Larry H less positive than ours. One Sunday night Larry and another B/E, Jock R, approached me and told me that they were going AWOL. As my parents were overseas I was allowed to keep my civvies in my locker in case of emergency travel. I gave them my civvies and, if I remember rightly, two pound ten shillings. I also informed them that to protect myself I would have to claim that the clothes were stolen during the night. They duly effected their escape and we later heard that they ended up in the Irish Republic. A few weeks later they foolishly crossed the border to Northern Ireland in order to withdraw money from their POSB (Post Office Savings Book) and were quickly arrested. Back to Cosford they came to serve sentences of 28 days in the detention block, sometimes referred to as, ‘The Little House on the Prairie’. Back in those days the regime was one of brutal discipline to such a degree that would never be allowed today. Quite simply, in modern parlance, the regime would be regarded as Child Abuse. We would often see him and the other poor devils being double marched around the station by the guards and, when we were on duty server in the mess, would try to give them extra helpings of food, provided the guards were not looking of course. INDOCTRINATION Senior Boy John (Jersey) Heys – 19th Reading of people’s experiences whilst Boy Entrants has induced me to pen an occurrence which on looking back was quite amusing, yet to fully understand the poignancy requires a bit of background information. To start off you unfortunately need to know a bit about my formative years, and so as I lay my soul open, I request no mickey taking when we meet in September, or history could well repeat. Jock R was discharged when he finished his punishment but Larry was sent back to the flight where he lasted a few more weeks before he was gone again. This time I found out that he had gone down to Southampton where he Suffice it to say that after the War and the 5 years endured under German occupation, my Dad got his business really up 08
A SAD TALE TO TELL  walked into a Police Station claiming to have lost his travel warrant and money. The police where obli...
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 any more. PS: REMEMBER, NO MICKEY TAKING IN SEPTEMBER! GOOD ADVICE 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. SPECIAL MEMORIES OF COSFORD 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 Suez Crisis. 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. 09
and running with money rolling in to the point that we became what you would call, loaded. So that I attended Prep School ...
NEWS FROM OZ THE BIRTHDAY BOY BOMBER COMMAND On 23rd January, Dennis Whelan’s son Michael and daughter-in-law Keirsten laid on an 80th birthday party at their home located in Melbourne’s east, in the leafy suburb of Kilsyth and set in the foothills of the Dandenong ranges. Among the seventy guests were quite a few ex-Boys, there to toast their octogenarian pal. David Leech-Hines, representing the RAFBEA, and friend, representing the RAAF, paying their respects at the Bomber Command Remembrance Day in Cairns NQ. Ed: Happy Birthday Den, and many more to come. A solemn moment of remembrance ENTRY REUNIONS 28th/29th/30th Telegs 60th Reunion – to be held at The Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Oakham 14th-15th October 2016. Contact: Effie Owen e: eddieowen2@talktalk.net 44th Entry – All Trades – to be held at the Telford Whitehouse Hotel on September 30th to October 2nd. Contact: Jim Doolan e: doolan446@btinternet.com t: 01506 655433. 45th Ground Wireless Reunion – to be held in York area. Details will be released when ready. Contact: Ron Suddes e: suddesr@aol.com L to R: Bendan Lacey, Trevor Sellick, Roger Rankcom, Mike White, Michael Sebborn, David Leech Hines, Birthday Boy Dennis Whelan, with his signature glass of red, and Tony Fairbridge far right LUNCH AT BOX HILL A smallish gathering of the Victorian Group met at the Box Hill RSL for lunch on a rainy June 6th for a great afternoon with congenial company and excellent cuisine. Now in its centenary year, the Returned Services League, or RSL, was formed in 1916 by troops returning from the First World War, along The Returned Services League with concerned citizens, with the aim of perpetuating the camaraderie, concern and mateship amongst the Australian Diggers. Since then, it has grown to 1,500 sub-branches Australia wide and one in the Philippines. With over 240,000 members it is the largest ex-service organisation in Australia. At one time, membership was restricted to ex-servicemen only though now anyone can join. However, only ex-servicemen can be nominated as Service Members. May 10th just happened to be Don Strange’s 70th birthday so, over the period May 9th to 16th, Jeff and Steph Worrall, Don and Jan Strange, Graham and Dorothy Siggs and Chris and Kay Robinson gathered in a villa near Alicante for a Birthday Knees Up Reunion of the 44th’s St Athaners. Many more to come Don. This happy band All good friends and jolly good company REUNION REPORTS 44th Entry – St Athan Reunion 10
NEWS FROM OZ THE BIRTHDAY BOY BOMBER COMMAND  On 23rd January, Dennis Whelan   s son Michael and daughter-in-law Keirsten ...
THE PHANTOM DEFILER OF LOCKING Doug Eadon – 1st An occurrence in 1948 that might strike a memory in other 1st entry survivors who trained at RAF Locking. I recall we were all called from our wooden huts to parade early in the morning where the SWO, a Londoner I seem to recall, but I can’t remember his name, then addressed us in a stentorian tone ‘A considerable amount of human residue was found this morning in the bathrooms. The person guilty of this offence WILL report to the guardroom after the parade. That is all. Dismiss!" I wonder if any of our 1st Entry members who trained at Locking will remember this. Doug Eadon RAFBEA MERCHANDISE Cat 04: Formal Tie – £15.50 Cat 01: Blazer Badge – £14.60 Cat 02: Small BEA Badge Washable and Woven. Crest only 3x2” Ideal for Jumpers, Shorts, Caps, Golf Kit – £4.50 Cat 03: Bow tie – £15.50 Cat 05: BEA Lapel Pin – £4.00 Cat 06: BEA Wooden Shield – £23.50 Cat 10: BEA Magnetic Car Badge – £4.00 Cat 07: BEA Commemorative Mouse Mat – £6.00 Cat 11: BEA Windscreen Sticker – £2.00 Cat 08: Print of Neil Wooding's Painting – £9.50 Cat 12: BEA Rear Window Sticker – £2.00 Cat 13: Both Windscreen and Rear Window Stickers – £3.00 HOW TO ORDER 3. Cheques payable RAFBEA (p&p overseas £5). 4. To order polo shirts, sweat shirts, rugby shirts, fleeces or hats and caps from the RAFBEA Clothing Store please type http://stores.clothes2order.com/rafbea-clothing into your browser and, once connected, you can make your choice of clothing and pay on-line. 1. Use the Order Form you may have been sent, ensuring your name, address and telephone number in caps is clearly appended on the front or, download a copy from our website. 2. If you have no Order Form state requirements by letter addressed to – Merchandising Secretary, 33 Kingcup Road, Stafford, Staffs ST17 9JQ. T: 01785 242570 e: dkstringer33@ntlworld.com 11
THE PHANTOM DEFILER OF LOCKING Doug Eadon     1st An occurrence in 1948 that might strike a memory in other 1st entry surv...
more PLEASE HELP SPITFIRE Ian Brushneen – 50th Pat Patience – 44th Spitfire Vb – EP122 ex 249 & 185 Squadrons ran out of fuel and crashed on Gozo 23rd March, 1943. I found it in 1968 and it was eventually recovered in the 70s and has now been totally rebuilt to fly in due course. I wonder if anybody can help me please. I played in the Apprentice Band at RAF Hereford from 1963 to 1965 and ended up as a Sgt Drummer on the base drums We played at the Royal Tournament in 1964 but unfortunately I have no photographs of that event. If any member is able to help me in my quest I would be most grateful. Ed: If any of you can help then please make contact with me and I will pass on Ian’s address details. On the bottom CONTACT ADDRESSES Newsletter Editor/Press Officer Tom Brown (44th) t: 01733 351105, e: newsletter@rafbea.org.uk Editorial Address: RAFBEA Editor, 22 Horsegate Lane, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 1JN. Secretary Graham Orchard (51st) t: 07774 423505, e: secretary@rafbea.org.uk Address: 19 Burnet Close, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 0SF. Treasurer Ozzie Osbourne (51st) t: 01253 728641, e: treasurer@rafbea.org.uk 19 Sharman Avenue, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, FY8 3EJ. Membership Secretary Terry McNalty BEM (51st) t: 07990 541865 e: membership@rafbea.org.uk 2, St David’s Way, Sawtry, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 5NZ COMMITTEE MEMBERS Chairman (President) Treasurer Secretary Membership Secretary (co-opted) Reunion Secretary Merchandising & Arboretum Liaison Officer Webmaster RAF Cosford Liaison Officer/Museum Snr Boy Newsletter Editor/Press Officer Ex officio (Chaplain) Group Captain Mel Kidd RAF (retd) (42nd) t: 01502 561829 Ozzie Osbourne (51st) – See above Graham Orchard (51st) – See above Terry McNalty BEM (51st) – See above Rod Goodier (41st) t: 07764 781657 Dudley Stringer (41st) t: 01785 242570 See Merchandising Page for Ordering Information Alain Heaysman (49th) Contact is via the Contacts Page Dave Morgan MBE BEM (43rd) t: 01952 275561 Tom Brown (44th) – See above Rev'd Canon Tony Porter (9th) t: 01553 811301 ADDITIONAL CONTACTS RAFBEA Golf Secretary BEACHAT Moderator John Thornley MBE BEM (42nd) t: 01480 468778 m: 07583 312708 Ian Andrew (17th) e: ianandrew@telkomsa.net 12
more PLEASE HELP  SPITFIRE  Ian Brushneen     50th  Pat Patience     44th Spitfire Vb     EP122 ex 249   185 Squadrons ran...