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Page 10 - Stories and memories of your time at RAF Bridgnorth.
Write and submit your memories here.
Leslie Walker 4258485 from 1960, says he "enjoyed it there. We had to listen to Princess Margrets wedding on the radio. The sun always shone. A young Officer tried to get me to play hockey. I deliberately fouled my opponent and was sent off with a ban never to be allowed to play again. My small victory."
Mick Brummell P4266359 from 1961, remembers that "one of our hut members was an incredible instrumentalist but was he chucked out, reason unknown?"
Fintan Cunningham 4200373 from 1956, says of his photograph "All the faces in the photo I can remember very well but I can only put names to a few.
The guy in the centre of the photo holding the plaque, could never make a bed pack so we had to make it for him (it ended up round when he made it)"
The photograph Fintan sent is listed as '1956 - Hut 158'
Ron Moore 5077106 from 1960, has "Good memories - still in touch with good friend John Wilcox from Didcot, although he was in a different hut but same squadron. Although continued with sport throughout my younger years, have never been as fit as when I left Bridgnorth.
Look back often at the laughs we had and memories of travelling to and from London on Whittles Coaches. Ended constription at Air Ministry, London,working underground. Would love to hear from anybody who may remember this period."
Ray Blake 3154042 from 1958 - 1959, remembers the "8 Weeks under the "Tender Care" of Sgt McPartland and Cpl Larkin, never to be forgotten, but remembered now as time spent with a great bunch of lads."
John Bickers 5078472 from 1960, says that it "wasn't Butlins as promised us at Cardington but great times, thoroughly enjoyed it. Am in contact with Tony Saunders and Stan Gorin."
The photographs John sent are listed as '1960 - Hut 135, 28 Flt' and '1960 - 28 Flt 'C' Sqd'
George Burrows 3527### from 1959, says "I remember being warned about jabs - TABT etc.- and alcohol did not mix. A fleet of ambulances removed a fair few of my flight after the lights went up in the local cinema one night."
Joe Fair 2775091 from 1955, says "I have only just been made aware of this website, brings back so many memories as though it was yesterday, I'm amazed how people can remember the names of their DI's etc after so many years. I agree with everything that has been said, you certainly came out of basic training better for it despite the bullying you had to endure. All aimed at making you learn that you had to do as you were told.
My biggest regret is that I lost contact with the friends I made in my 2 years National Service, I've never forgotten them and often wonder what they went on to achieve. There are a lot of young men (and women) today who, in my opinion, would definitely benefit from a dose of National Service."
Richard Reading 5090759 from 1958, remembers that "once allowed out of camp, we hit Bridgnorth town and naturally headed for a pub, eventually finding one just out of town. There we were introduced to a lovely pint of scrumpy cider, that none of us had had before. We downed two or three pints and on leaving, hit the cold air and almost passed out. Our heads the following morning, man did they hammer. The pub, oh yes it was called 'The Squirrel'. Happy Days."
Ray Lorentz 5073266 from 1960, remembers that "it was cold while we were there. Bus taking us back to camp from London got out of control and we skidded into a gas station and came to rest hard against the gas pumps. We got thrown everywhere the grey coats we were wearing prevented a lot of cuts and bruises. I was seated in the front with a guy called Collin. We got out the front door as quick as we could, there was a guy dangling down from a widow that he had gone through. He was not moving, I lifted head gently to see if I could help him. He immediately said shove me back in my b...s are jammed on something, we responded with an upward push and then he appeared at the window and said "Thanks mate". Don't know what happened to him. We were all eventually taken to a hospital, some guys knocked about pretty bad, but those grey coats were very useful. I am sure everybody was asleep at the time with the large collars pulled up high. Memories, memories. The guy with the squashed b...s will be with me for ever.
I got married during my 2 years National Service to my British wife, been married to her for 53 years, live in the USA."
David Humphreys N4259789 from 1960, remembers "Drill instructors Cpl's Wilcox Walters and Westerman. I was told Cpl Wilcox got killed in a motor bike accident. Hope it's not true. He was a good lad. "
The family of Cpl Kenneth Fowler from 1954-1957, says "I would love to see a picture or have some stories about my granddad for my family. I have been through all the pictures but he is not named so would only be guessing if it was him. He was married to Dorothy and had three children, two of which were born while he was stationed there. I know this is a long shot but I've been though your list of service people and he doesn't come up. Only one other Fowler comes up and its not him. Please please can you help in any way."
Terry Schooling from 1960, says "I was in 24 Flt. I was at Bridgnorth for recruit training at the start of my National Service. I seem to remember the Flight was spread across 3 barrack blocks, with one of them designated as the "S**t Block"! I happened to be one of the unfortunates who was assigned to this block.
Ted Wilson(?) was the guy I remember most clearly, because he never could get anything right. I met him some years later and he told me he went on to become a medical orderly for the remainder of his National Service, whereas I became an armament mechanic."
Geoffrey Adams 2372772 from 1947, says "the only thing I remember is going into Bridgnorth and reaching the town via an hydraulic lift."
The daughter of James Taylor from the 1950's, says "I am looking for anyone that may have served with my dad during his National Service with the RAF. He was from Coppull, (Chorley, Lancashire).
I know he went to Egypt, I think via Gibraltar and Cyprus. He was a builder by trade and did his building Apprenticeship before commencing National Service. Any help in the right direction or anyone that served with him, I would love to hear from you. Many thanks in advance for your help."
Ron Hardy 2421218 from 1949, asks "can anyone remember the Sergeant who was called the mighty atom."
Edgar Armstrong 3003000 from 1945, remembers "V J Day - lighting the bonfire on the barack square."
William Griggs 5053369 from 1957 - 1958, says that he did "square bashing in freezing cold weather, camping in the hills for 2 nights and going over the assault course in my best blue's and on return, having yet another bull night.
Thanks Cpl Cheetham for the fond memories, you were tough on us but I honestly would not have missed it for the world."
Graham Inkpen 5066753 from 1959, remembers that "it was cold and there was a major influenza epidemic. Cpl Hoath (known as Ned for some reason) was one of the D.I.s. We were quite a rebellious flight but it was all in good humour.
Visited the site 50 years on and looked at the small memorial. It brought back a lot of memories of the start of what turned out to be two good years of service which I've never regretted."
Victor Golding 3154407 from 1959, says that "I arrived at Bridgnorth on January 23rd 1959, originally in a hut the number of which I am not too sure, although I do have a clothes hanger with Hut 223 on it. The doubt in my mind comes from the fact that I was caught up in the flu epidemic which almost shut the camp down and I was in the sick quarters for two weeks then sent home on two weeks leave and when I returned I joined another squadron and sent to new hut.
The confusion now comes about when I ask myself, when exactly was I in hut 223?
There is a photo of hut 223, 1959, on this site, and I beleive that I am the erk on the extreme right hand side in the back row, the only one with a crooked tie!, sent in by John Sherwood, who I would love to contact [**] to find out if he can remember the date when that picture was taken.
I have two lasting memories of my basic training at Bridgnorth, the first took place on the 25th February 1959, my 22nd birthday.
I suddenly realised that I was the only one in the washroom, so I quickly finished my ablutions and walked back into the billet, where I found every member of my hut standing at the end of their beds, someone began playing a trumpet and they all sang "happy birthday". I was moved then by that wonderful gesture and it still brings a lump to my throat even now.
The second memory was on my return after my leave after the passing out parade, I was assigned to Station flight to await my trade posting, and as such was sent to various sections to carry out whatever jobs they wanted doing, which became tiresome and boring very quickly, but, on the third day about 6 of us were sent to the Sergeants mess, where we given given the job of preparing the kitchens in the mess for redecoration so that the mess could be entered into a competition.
My lasting memory is sitting in the roof of that kitchen scraping years of fat from the timbers, which turned out to be among the worst job I have had to do. Gloves were no good as they became thick with fat very quickly and we got rid of them, leaving us to get get smothered instead!
It did have one compensation and that was we had all our meals in the Sergeants mess, so much better than the grub we were served up in our mess."
[**] Comment by the Webmaster - Like all the others, John Sherwood's email address is on the far right hand side, on the 'List of Surnames' page.
Ray Watson V4263509 from 1961, says that "First thing, we were informed that we would be on the AOCs (first of many) parade honour party and we would be doing an extra 3 weeks at Bridgnorth (Oh joy of joy). The Flight Commander was Fl/Lt Law assisted by Sgt Smith and the lovely couple (they made the Daily Mirror headlines after we left) Corporals Nimok and Duff.
We won the Drill Cup and following this, the training staff took us all out for a farewell beer.
One night we had just returned from a coal raid (it was actually coke, but a coke raid might mean something different to today's generation) when two NCOs burst into Hut 308 and volunteered 4 of us to help them catch a gang stealing coal, needless to say we never caught anyone - stupid sods. Happy days, Ah well in the end Bridgnorth made us a decent generation."
The photograph Ray sent is listed as '1961 - Hut 308'
Dennis Stones 5026490 from 1956, says that
"some twenty years ago, when I first sat down to write my story about RAF Bridgnorth, the content began to grow like Topsy. Even now, more details begin to emerge. I feel sure that many of my own recollections will run parallel with a plethora of the memories of other RAF personnel.
An unequivocal connection with my early Bridgnorth experiences encouraged me to abandon forever, wet-shaving. Conducive also, was being removed from my albeit, rather limited social life and the 'Dear John' I got confirming the end of a rather fragile, one-sided, love affair. I should be thankful to the RAF for that at least. But then again, she did belong to someone else.
In some respects, I also looked upon National Service as an unnecessary obstacle to the progression of my engineering studies. Then again, I had enjoyed being in the boy scouts, so there was perhaps a connection somewhere. By 1956, I had completed a six-year toolmaking apprenticeship, the very reason for my deferment. At twenty-one, just before the brown envelope arrived, my primary hobby was electronics (of the radio and television kind). In those days, transistors had not replaced the glass bottles with fire inside them. Relevance to these comments is hidden somewhere in the text below.
After I had overcome my initial anxiety at receiving the OHMS invitation along with a one-way train ticket to Cardington and, despite three years of deferment to complete my apprenticeship and studies, I was soon to become accustomed to taking guidelines from a different and much less friendly source. As we have been persuaded, I shall endeavour to portray my eight weeks at RAF Bridgnorth and, where my memory allows, to refrain from mentioning those first two days being kitted out at Cardington.
On the train between Cardington and Bridgnorth, we had the opportunity to become acquainted with a few other (soon to become airmen or Sprogs of the AC2 variety), who were sharing the same section of railway carriage. Some played cards which, for reasons most historic and certainly not for publication, holds no attraction for me. Others hid themselves under their greatcoats, trying perhaps to block out the noise and light while they snatched a few minutes sleep. Or maybe they were unnerved by what was happening. The journey was otherwise uneventful on that rather pleasant sunny day in late July 1956.
Suddenly, as we rolled into Bridgnorth railway station with the distinctive squeal of carriage brakes, the relaxed ambience was transformed. From all directions, NCO's were shouting orders at us. They seemed to have come from nowhere, herding us into the waiting armada of slate blue, three ton Bedford trucks with canvas tops.
Filled with expectant, swaying and lurching bodies, and kit-bags rapidly losing their newness, the trucks moved off in convoy. Wide eyed and apprehensive except for those still hiding under their greatcoats, we took in what little of the country side we could see as we drew nearer to the place specially reserved just for us. Perhaps we were subconsciously noting landmarks and other features which would serve to guide us to safety and civilisation, should we have to organise an escape. The short trip from the railway station and the limited view through the back of the Bedford offered little time for a planned escape. We were soon trundling through the immaculate entrance of RAF Bridgnorth, where sat two aircraft on concrete pads surrounded by manicured lawns. The entourage finally came to rest alongside one of the parade grounds.
'Dismount!!!' screamed an NCO, the sound almost bursting it's way through the canvas. Amongst the usual, often corny jokes like, `Who can play the piano?', we were formed into lines of three's to be marched off to our huts. According to the photograph in my records, 1956 Hut 25 was to be my home for the next eight weeks. At the age of seventy-eight, the memory of our Flight number now escapes me. It could have been Four Flight or perhaps Five Flight. For the second time in just a couple of days, we 'chose' a bed space.
continue reading Dennis's memories here ........
The photograph Dennis sent is listed as '1956 - Hut 25 in Aug'
Jim Cairns 5076795 from 1960, remembers that "we failed drill test as one of our platoon marched to wrong side of rifle on pick up order."
Roy Cotterill 4072470 from 1954, remembers that "we were told by Cpl Semple that we had to buy the floor polish. When it arrived it had WD on it. We were also given the last jab before the initial one. Only four of us were on our feet to prepare for the CO's inspection the next day. As he arrived the lads were propped up on the bed ends. We were OK except that one of the ontourage wiped the top of a door with a white glove and found some dirt. Cpl Semple was told to give us extra drill but backed down when we threatened to see the M.O. about the jabs."
Brian Edwards 4260817 from 1960, says he was "fortunate to do my initial training at Bridgnorth, only eight miles from home in Much Wenlock."
Ted Hayes 5065620 from 1958-1959, remembers being "freezing cold and not having enough coal, eventually we stole from the fuel compound, also not enough food so we stole from the cookhouse - think the RAF intended this. A rough bunch who turned into a very smart group of men with a lot of pride in what we achieved during our square bashing. My shoes still have that high gloss."
Malcolm Horne 2440353 from 1949, says "my time at Bridgnorth was at the end of the Summer of 1949 which was a very good one - very hot and hardly any rain at all. This made it relatively easy to keep the billet clean.
During the week we were due for fatigues, I spent this in the Aircraft Recognition hut as this was my hobby and the NCO's used two of us to teach the airmen while they played cards or just sat in to keep order.
All in all, not a bad time, billet Cpl Williams worked us hard but generally was fair, however I was glad when the Passing out Parade was over and I was posted to Tern Hill. Upon asking where this was located, I was told that the Tern was a sea bird and Tern Hill was in the Shetland Islands, thanks a lot! It was only when I received my travel documents which said 'Birmingham - Wellington - Shropshire - Tern Hill' I realised I been been had."
The photographs Malcolm sent are listed as '1949 - Hut 26, 6 Flt, 1 Wing' and '1949 - 6 Flt, 1 Wing'
Ron Hollins 4147236 from 1953, says "I was National Service but signed on for five years. New conscripts came from kitting out at Cardington by train to Bridgnorth rail station to this posting for basic training (square bashing)"
John Reeder 3515846 from 1953, says the "highlight of my stay was the parade in Bridgnorth for the Coronation the Queen Elizabeth II."
John Coxhead 5051716 from 1958, remembers "arriving at the camp in trucks & buses, being given 5 minutes to get in & out of shower, kit everywhere. But I liked the bath\showers, we never had a bathroom, coming from working class in S.E. London. National Service got social classes, rich & poor, all having to get on together."
Roger Morton 3152894 from 1957, remembers that it was "Bloody cold! As senior man in hut 39, 2 Flight of 'A' Squadron, I joined in coke procurement raids but some nights the stoves went out and breath froze on blankets. Got cellulitis through a cold sore and keeled over on New Years Eve. The Charge Nurse who overdosed me in Sick Quarters had been a Veterinary Assistant at Dudley Zoo. They didn't need survival courses: it was built in to the system.
We marked some hard-boiled eggs in the eatery and they were still there three weeks later. Just before we departed to our postings, the Sergeant Quartermaster was busted for stealing rations and flogging them to the civvies. Benefited from Stalag Luft Bridgnorth nevertheless. The rest of my service was a doddle."
Richard Pease H4256570 from 1960, says "my first two months in the RAF were spent here, under very harsh and tough conditions. Our hut number we lived in during the month of January 1960 to March, was number 10. The weather was so cold that we had to keep the hut stove filled to capacity in order to keep warm and to prevent it from going out during the night!!
I went on to complete a full 23 years in the RAF and enjoyed every moment of service life but RAF Bridgnorth will always hold a special place in my heart and I am proud to say that I took part in its history. Thank you."
The photographs Richard sent are listed as '1960 - Hut 10 in Feb' and '1960 - Pease Flt'
Nick Welburn S4265338 from 1961, remembers "while I was at Bridgnorth doing my basis training, I was billeted in hut 184. I recall that one of the lads was found to have TB and we all had to go to Cosford for X rays. Whether this might jog someones memory I don't know but I hope it does."
Neil McMenamin 4060385 from 1951, says that "after a few days in Cardington, we trained to Bridgnorth for the usual 8 weeks square bashing. We were marched to Station by a rather loud little Scottish Cpl Nimmo whose prime function seemed to be there to make our life unhappy.
We were shown a clean, highly polished wooden hut. Then we were shown a quite different one, dirty and with a filthy black floor. We were then told that in 8 hours the second hut was to be made to look like the first example using soap, hard work and heaps of red "Mansion" polish. This was done with a hell of an effort which took so long we didn't have time for an evening meal. After that things were slightly better, but I did miss out on the pass-out parade due to marching errors."
The photograph Neil sent is listed as '1951 - McMenamin's Hut'
James Sime from 1954 - 1955, remembers "getting a bol..king for smoking in the hospital waiting room, taking off my gas mask in a gas filled room and tears streaming down my face. Weekend camp to Wales when the rain was peeing down. The great camaraderie whilst there. Playing snooker in the mess, getting the bus into town to the dancing."
Douglas Wright from 1949, says "Cpl Sutcliffe (?) was our 'minder'. I had a whitlow on one of my fingers, had to go to RAF Cosford hospital for lancing, then a few days in hospital - delaying my training and onward posting."
Mel Evans 3151019 from 1957 - 1958, says "I worked as a Cook in D Wing mess. Among the names I remember LAC Trevor Jones, Cpl Adams, SAC Farrow, Flt Sgt Tweedie. Stn Commanding Officer was Sq. Leader Tagg. Also a Wolves player named Stobart.
Anyone recall buying bottles of coffee on Sunday night from the van outside the camp gate?"
The nephew of Leslie Honey 782745 from 1943, says "Leslie Honey (1917-1986) was my uncle by marriage and I inherited his papers relating to his RAF service. He carried out pilot training in Canada and the USA in 1941, was at Bridgnorth at some time in 1943 (evidenced by a Mess Bill) and subsequently at RAF Dyce, possibly on Operations Control. I believe he may have flown the DH Mosquito from memories of conversations with him.
Any further information relating to his RAF service would be appreciated."
George Montgomery 5078098 from 1960, says "regarding Stuart Cook's article re the train journey I must have been on the same train. It seems ridiculous now but we were in terror of this Cpl. Our compartment were told to stand to attention because of some minor matter and we thought we were to remain like that until he returned - the journey took hours and after 1/2 hours we decided to sit down but posted a guard to ensure we would not be caught. When the Cpl returned eventually I think he was surprised to find us at attention and PERHAPS there was a glimmer of a smile for a brief moment!
I also remember him being at a drunken night at the end of the course and leaving fairly suddenly probably scared that someone was going to seek revenge.
I am in Stuart's photo of the flight, on the back row, extreme right, but as yet cannot find the flt no."
George later added this note;
Hi to George Reynolds.
Yes, I remember you. Would be glad to hear from you.
Peter Sterry 2765236 from 1956, remembers that "I was charged twice at Bridgnorth. The first time for having dirty boots on parade. Everyone else in the billet was charged (we had to wear boots on parade at very short notice) and the swo could not be bothered to process 30 forms 252. The second time was for dirty buttons on parade. I had spent the previous day at home at nearby Birmingham and arrived back too late to polish my greatcoat buttons, which were pretty mucky. Another recruit was also charged with the same offence and received 7 days jankers. In the greatest feat of verbal dexterity in my life, not only was the charge dropped, but I managed to persuade the officer i/c our section (who was only 18 years old) to grant me a 36 hours leave pass!! My stock in the billet went sky high.."
Keith Eynon 4118963 from 1953, says "I remember very well being verbally assaulted by our Sergeant Bailie for scratching my nose while on parade. I also visited TOC H in the town."
Edward Gill 3113437 from 1948, says "I joined the RAF at Padgate on 15th March 1948 (65 years ago today) and after a week was sent to Bridgnorth for three months Basic Training. I am afraid we are all pretty old now; I am 83 and quite a few may no longer be with us."
The photograph Edward sent is listed as '1948 - Flt in March'
Tony Regan E3516809 from 1953, says "in my later RAF career, I flew with an DI now a Squdron Leader. We were at Waddington and Akrotiri. Also the late Bill Langworthy, who was Fg Officer at Bridgnorth, a Red Arrows pilot."
On behalf of John Matthews L4270650 from 1962, D.G Hopper says "I'm submitting this on behalf of Taff as he has no computer and being ex MR like me, this is a favour.
John tells me that his mates were Mick and Paddy, one became an Rigger (aerial erector) and the other a Snowdrop Dog Handler. John is now in his 70's and wonders if either Mick or Paddy are out there. I suppose some of his stories make me call him 252. John looks forward to replies via myself. Scouse Hopper 1965-1978 Regular."
In 2017, John added;
"I lived in hut 312 for training with 1 Flt, A Sqd. Is there any troop out there who remembers those days. Cpl Billington and Cpl Davies and Sgt Smith were in charge."
Brian Wroe 3527046 from 1958, says it "wasn't too hard for me as I was in A.T.C for 4 years so was used to drill and basic training. Really had a good bunch of mates in my hut but no memory of names or hut no. Just wish computers had been invented sooner."
Brian has since identified himself on the '1958 - Hut 36 in Dec' photograph.
Peter Bromwich 5071623 from 1959, says he "spent a lot of my basic training refereeing. The Drill Instructor was a keen and good footballer."
Nic Carpenter 4268783 from 1961-1962, says that "during my basic training it was a very cold winter and they had to close our part of the camp, we went home for two weeks!"
The photograph Nic sent is listed as '1961 - 6 Flt 'A' Sqd'
John Hildrew 4260463 from 1960, says "I was at Bridgnorth from August until October 1960. Much of it is a blur now but as a 17 year old I do remember wondering what I had let myself in for at the beginning and then feeling so proud at the passing out parade.
Can't remember many names from then but I have a photo of myself and 5 others with a sign for Hut 136 so anyone who remembers that time I'd love to hear from them."
Ralph Nisbet 5075742 from 1960, says that "the smell of the three b's (bootpolish, brasso and blanco) always brings back memories of Bridgnorth - being humiliated for not obeying SSO (Station Standing Orders no pets allowed in the hut) when during inspection they found a small spider in my locker - the sound of mugs being smashed against the stove."
The photograph Ralph sent is listed as '1960 - Hut 152, 14 Flt in March'
Peter Brokenshire 2775098 from 1955, says that he had a "great time square bashing, good bunch of chaps. My mate was Russel Andrews. The names I can remember; Brierly, Greer, Kinsella, we had two POM with us but can not remember their names. Did have a photograph of all of us signed on the back."
David Tuck 4076069 from 1951, says that "I was in Hut 244, 20 Flt and Harold Willans was in the same Hut. I would like very much to get in touch with Harold Willans, I have a group photo of personnel from Hut 244 and Harold's name is on the back of the photo."
The photograph David sent is listed as '1951 - Hut 244'
Stuart Cook 4259175 from 1960, says "my most vivid memory of RAF Bridgnorth was that of the infamous Cpl Nimmock who happened to be our Drill Instructor! I signed on at RAF Cardington on May 31st. 1960. On June 10th. two drill instructors from Bridgnorth came to pick up our flight. We were formed up on the road outside our huts. "I'm Corporal Nimmock, spelt B-A-S-T-A-R-D", he shouted! I do not remember the sergeants name. After an inspection they marched us down to the Cardington railway station at the back of the camp - as if we knew how to march! On the way, Cpl Nimmock latched on to one particular AC2 who's last name was Charles - a Welshman.
Cpl. Nimmock - "What's your name boy"?
AC2 - "Charles"
Cpl. Nimmock - "Charles WHAT", he shouted.
AC2 - "CHARLES", he shouted, thinking the corporal thought he was saying his first name. This exchange continued a few times, each one becoming more exasperating. Finally Cpl. Nimmock, irritated to his eyeballs, told AC2 Charles to answer, "Charles, CORPORAL". This was only the beginning for Charles. When we finally arrived at RAF Bridgnorth, Nimmock ordered him to scrub the ablutions with a tooth brush - seriously - I remember it well.
At one point during our journey to Bridgnorth, we stopped and got off the train - I think for refreshments. Cpl. Nimmock's demeanor seemed to escalate. While on the station platform he continued to belittle us shouting commands, so much so that a civilian on the platform told him to shut up and be quiet. Once we got back on the train we were made to sit to attention for the remainder of the journey.
Halfway through my square bashing stint, I came down with acute tonsillitis. My throat so swollen I could hardly swallow or breath. I reported to the office at the end of our hut where the Sergeant and Corporal hung out. There, I was made to stand and stare at a dot marked on the wall three feet above the Sergeants head. To be sure I was really sick I was taken outside and told to run up and down the pathway. I almost collapsed at the end and was admitted to sick quarters where I spent a few days, much to the annoyance of Cpl. Nimmock - He didn't like having an odd number of airmen to march about.
While on parade, if you coughed or sneezed or even worse farted, he would confront you and grind his boot on the toe of your boot, all whilst screaming two inches from your face, "You 'orible little man you, what are you"? That evening was spent trying to rectify the scuff marks.
There were numerous occasions of abuse and bullying - far too many to mention here.
In May 1961, he was Court Martialed for his behavior, given 42 days detention and reduced to the ranks. The five offenses mentioned in the Court Martial were relatively minor compared to the antics he got up to while I was there.
In reading through the memories pages, I found it interesting that Alan Preen, 4259167, remembered Cpl. Nimmock even though he was not his D.I.! He referred to him as a real terror and possibly a lion tamer in an earlier life! Made me smile. Alan's service number is only 8 numbers from mine (4259175) so I'm sure we shared the same train ride etc. I would love to hear from him or any other folks who were there at the same time as myself."
The photographs Stuart sent are listed as '1960 - Cook's Hut' and '1960 - Cook's Flt'
Stuart also sent a copy of the newspaper article detailing the Court Martial of Cpl Nimmock in July 1961.
The article can be found at the foot of the page 'RAF Personnel in the local newspaper.'
John Eddisford 4250276 from 1959, says that "my last two weeks square bashing were spend at RAF Uxbridge as part of the route lining party for the Shar of Persia's State visit to London."
Terry Martin 3525367 from 1959, remembers that "almost all the camp had flue virus but we had to tend others after 2 days in sick bay. I remember pinching coal on night sorties from other huts. The one lasting memory is a Scottish D.I. do small but very large in character and turned boys into men in 8 weeks."
Frederick Smith 4089574 from 1952, remembers that "my first memory of Bridgnorth was a D.I. Corporal bashing the tailgate of the truck with his swagger stick to get us to hurry up....for no obvious reason.
The King died whilst I was there. I lived at Tipton, about 15 miles away, we had the usual weekend pass for getting the floor polished, but the buses where off due to the snow, so I walked into Wolverhampton and caught a bus home."
Allen Hartland U4267287 from 1961, says "it was a bit of a shock and it was a trial but I survived to get a good Trade !
I'm just turning 70, many memories."
Michael Mudge S3527524 from 1959, says "I was in 18 Flt, B Sqd, hut 208 at RAF Bridgnorth, from 2nd Feb to 26th March 1959. Our NCO i/c was Sgt Cawley, DI's Cpl Archer-Crump RAF Rgt and Cpl Howard. I remember our Senior man was Bill Marsden, I believe he was from Keighley, Yorks. Also Jock Ogilvy, Phil Mllard, Colin Lines from Leeds and Ian McFaden, our Deputy Seniorman. I seem to remember he went on to Officer training after Passing Out Parade. Fond memories, tough times, becoming fit, meeting good comrades and becoming a man. Very proud to have served with them, also very proud on "Passing Out"
John Hope 3522436 from 1956, says that he "played football for 27 Flight, C Squadron. Remember local ladies being bussed in for Wednesday night dances on camp."
Former Cpl. D.I. Bernard Lees 2503051 from 1951-1953, says "Cpl John Pinnington was my best friend at Bridgnorth. He was in charge of hut 8. Unfortunately he has now passed away. We had some good times in the Cpls Club around the piano playing "Blue Moon" and on the Snooker table.
I remember a Naafi girl called Iris who married Alf Hamer. Flt Sgt Williams, Sgts. Neary and Burns, Cpls Rastrick, Lantaff, Evans, Oakley, White, Trehearne, Bingham and Pitts.
Contact from anyone would be most welcome."
Bernard sent a collection of ten photographs from 1951 and 1952 of 1 Flt, 1 Wing.
Henry Morris 4175884 from 1955, remembers being "in charge of exercise at Wenlock Ridge, Jan 1956. Asked if anyone could cook. No takers. I cooked the tins left, and everyone else went on exercise."
Joe Hall W4262770 from 1960, says that "Sgt Harvey was our flight Sergeant in Hut 125. At the time it seemed tough but when I look back it was great."
Ian Broyd 2776764 from 1955, remembers that "it was a cruel Winter. I recall that we had to 'lift' coal from the station coal store to fuel the barrack room stove to keep from freezing during at night."
Brian Poole J4273021 from 1962, says "I enjoyed my time in 18 Flt, 'B' Sqn at Bridgnorth, April to June 1962.
Having been in the ATC and the Royal Engineers TA, I had a rough idea of what to expect. I was with a great bunch of blokes and the only regret I have from that time is that I wasn't able join them on the field camp in Wales due to foot problems. I had to spend the time on Station Duties and me and another lad were told to report to the Catholic Church. We were met by the Sexton who explained that the church needed a good clean. We set to with a will, treating it like we did the billet bull nights, shifting all the furniture, washing and polishing the lino floor and lining all the chairs up with a string after we had finished, and washed the paintwork, etc. By the end of the day it really was gleaming. The Sexton thought so too and said that he was sure that the Father would like to thank us personally when we came to church on Sunday. He was somewhat dismayed when we told him that we wouldn't be there as we weren't Catholics. The next day we got a different job and we never did get our 'special vote of thanks'!
My foot prob's also prevented me from taking part in the Passing Out parade, so I had to do 'Baggage Sentry' duty at the Flight Lines instead!
Good luck lads, wherever you are now!"
John Aynsley 4190446 from 1956, says "it was hard but it made a man out of you."
Brian Noton 5081500 from 1960, says he "rather enjoyed my time there. After only a couple of days, one evening a very friendly Flight Sergeant came into the billet and asked "If any of you lads would like to go to a football match, I have some Tickets to see Wolves play Moscow. The bus leaves the gate in 10 minutes, and you go in best blues". We got back after 11pm, to find that there was a full kit inspection the next morning. Got to bed about 1 am.
On another occasion, a few of us missed the bus from Wolverhampton (to arrive at camp before 12pm). Only permanent staff could arrive later. I expected Jankers, but on the way to the Guard Room, the guys in front of me suddenly set off running for the billets at a gallop. So I did the same. I wasn't caught, but I don't know about the others.
Signed on for 3 years to get Air Wireless Fitter, (the trade I wanted). One day our DI Sergeant and a Flight Sergeant asked our flight if there was an Electrician amongst us. I put my hand up. "Come with us". Off we went and finished up in an office. "The kettle won't work, can you tell us what is wrong with it?" I said it could be the wall socket, the lead or the element. "Can you test it?" I had no equipment, and was about to say 'No' and had an idea. I asked if there was a screwdriver around. They produced one from somewhere, and before they knew what was happening, I was on the desk, and I took the ceiling light flex and lamp holder down. I put the flex ends into the kettle adaptor, and the bulb lit. To their disappointment, I said that the element was probably duff. I started to put the ceiling light back, and I could see that they were agitated, and were telling me to hurry up. It turned out that the owner of the office (some Officer) was at a meeting and they were sneaking a cuppa while he was away!
I was put into the Pool flight for a couple of weeks, because of my change of trade, and drove the Salvation Army Refreshment van around the camp for a young girl in SA uniform who served the lads.
My wife and I visited Bridgnorth town a few years ago. While the camp is now an industrial estate, the Visitors Information office has all the camp records stored. Looked through some of them, and wished that I had had more time."
John Fraser 3151462 from 1957, remembers "the hut next door and the incident with the milk bottle. Details not suitable to print."
Peter Bishop X4197177 from 1957, remembers a "pleasant, casual train ride from Cardington to Bridgnorth, but, as the train stopped, the shouting started!! D.I.'s all over the platform chasing bewildered airmen, trying to get us into files ( What are files?? ). A group of local women were protesting to the D.I's because of their behaviour but they took no notice. I don't think we stopped running for weeks, by numbers this-by numbers that but gradually we became fitter and I think happier. The lack of self discipline is so obvious these days."
John Burkitt 2781357 from 1956, remembers that "Winter of early 1956 John. An officer brought his daughters sledge and the lads had a great time. We also nipped to the local pub but we also went to the cinema and watched a film called "The Bed" of all things then back to camp and a bivouac of branches and two blankets between nine of us - brrrrr.
We were in the Flight that was second choice to line the route of Lord Trenchards funeral. Fortunately, the previous Flight was chosen and unfortunately, I believe they lost some of their leave quota."
Gerald Morris 4178810 from 1956, says "I remember vividly how cold the winter of 1956 was and the problem we had trying to keep our hut warm."
David Hayman 2481946 from 1950, remembers "falling asleep in the gas lecture and being taken for a run with a little Corporal who I ran in the ground because I was a time trial cyclist from age 15 and fit."
Alan Richardson J4273139 from 1962, remembers "unloading ammunition at Bridgnorth Station. Smashing you tea mug on the cookhouse wall after passing out parade."
Walford Davies 4149562 from 1954, asks "does anyone remember our flight was picked? to go to RAF Uxbridge for advanced training and missed our passing out parade, next few weeks were a killer !!"
William Tipping 3154536 from 1959, says that "being ex ATC, I was pre warned, also my father had been in the RAF during WW2. It was very tough for those who were ignorant of what to expect.
I was in D Squadron, 31 Flt. My D.I. was Cpl Elton, nice fellow. Whilst there I converted from N/S to a 5year reg. Being ex ATC I was up flighted to 16 Flt B Squadron. After a few weeks at Bridgnorth I believe we all came as better people."
John Young 3156159 from 1960, can remember "leaving camp under wire to use car parked in farm yard and visiting RAF Cosford Hospital."
The photograph John sent is listed as '1960 - Hut 178 in Sept'
Tom Deakin 5069096 from 1959, remembers "being at Bridgnorth in the glorious Summer of 1959, from the end of May to July. I was in 6 Flt and in hut 77, along with some great guys namely Peter Green, Albert Dixon, B Badger, J.B Blewitt, B Duncam, Diprose, R.G Cotterill, G Brooker, R Allen, G.D Bignall, A Dodson, R.J Davey, M Connell and I.G Deacon.
Our drill instructors were Cpl Vane and Cpl Jones who led us on to win the drill cup. Did our under canvas in Oswestry.
If any of you are out there and read this I would like to catch up with you. Many thanks in anticipation."
The photographs Tom sent are listed as '1959 - Hut 77 in July' and '1959 - 6 Flt in July'
In 2017 Tom added
"still trying to find or contact anyone who did their basic training at RAF Bridgnorth from end of May to middle of July 1959. I just can not beleive I am the only person from that time at Bridgnorth that visits this great web site. I know it is a very long time ago but surely and hopfully there is still around that was there fingers crossed."
Michael Hogg 4256250 from 1960, says his "main memories are of being permanently cold and of doing rifle drill wearing woollen gloves, though no-one dropped their rifle."
Ralph Bedford 5091358 from 1960 remembers "getting off the train from Cardington on a cold dark February night, wandering about looking for the hut we had been allocated. Meeting Sgt Dryden who if I remember, was a short stocky man, with a very loud voice.
Being draged out of bed at some unearthly time and having to get washed and shaved in cold water. We were told by D.I. Cpl Dave Bryant (I think that was his name), that we would forget the bad times and remember the good, that was true.
I remember getting a 48 hour pass to go home and collect my artist brushes, the powers that was needed some signwriting done and I volunteed, I was not too popular with the other lads in the hut (you were not supposed to have any leave while training.
Too many good times to write down. Sad day when we passed out and all went off in our different ways. Seem to remember smashing our mugs on the canteen wall on the last day."
The photograph Ralph sent is listed as '1960 - Hut 249 'C' Sqd'
? France 4172876 from 1955, remembers "the five star billets! Going on coal and coke raids. And of course the injections followed by rifle drill. Looking back it was the making of me."
William Nolan R4202026 from 1960, says he "can't remember which flight I was in but we had a little Indian who used to march with both arms swinging at once."
Joe Wallbank 4112097 from 1952, says he was "billeted in hut 41, heated by two coke stoves, hardly enough to keep us warm during that cold winter of 52/53. Up early each morning at 4.45am for a wash and shave to catch the limited hot water in the ablutions.
Memories of Sgt Oaten, our drill instructor in charge of 6 Flt. Vaccination jabs in each arm and visits to the Station dentist. A welcome 48 hour pass, also a Saturday afternoon trip into Wolverhampton with the lads to watch Preston play Wolves at Molyneaux followed by a meal and an evening at one of the town cinemas.
Altogether a very happy eight weeks with lots of fond memories and good friends."
In 2015, Joe added;
Whilst browsing thro' the RAF Bridgnorth photo's, I came across a group photo of my intake (6 Flt) taken during the winter of 1952. I am pictured in the second row from the front, 2nd from the right. Also I recognize in the photo our DI Instructor Sgt Oaten and the Hut 41 Senior man Derek. Other faces are also familiar remembered from my 8 weeks training at Bridgnorth. Joe is refering to the photograph now titled 1952 - Baldwin's Flt [ 6 Flt ]. He continues;
Some time shortly after my arrival at RAF Bridgnorth, I was detailed along with a few more lads from 6 Flt to be taken out to Brown Clee Hill where sadly a light aircraft had crashed into the hillside. We were on site to deter sightseers and souvenir hunters and guard the remains of the aircraft. To our delight, a mobile field kitchen had been set up nearby, so we were able to eat al-fresco!
Our main concern was for the sorry looking state of our bulled-up boots after a full day tramping around a muddy hillside. When we dared to voice our thoughts to the NCO i/c - a Flight Sgt, I recall - we were told quite firmly that any repercussions arising from our day spent in the Shropshire countryside should be referred to him. In the event, we cleaned our boots and never heard another thing about our day out on Brown Clee Hill!
Haydn Trezise 2722312 from 1954, says "I remember vividly the experience from Cardington to Bridgnorth, a bit scary to say the least. I did eventually enjoy the whole square bashing thing. The DI's did their job well and between the 3rd and 4th week you soon had things worked out. Their bark was worse than their bite.
I enjoyed getting one over on the new intakes due to tricks we all picked up along the way.
I didn't get to a passing out parade. Ended up in Uxbridge, additional drill instructions etc for route lining the UK visit by the King and Queen Gustav of Sweden. We paraded on the Oval Cricket Ground and then marched on to our posts in Fleet Street, a memorable experience. Does anyone else remember this?
I have managed to make contact with two other sproggs from those days. Don Davis and Denis Jarvis. Would love to hear from anyone else. Trezise is an unusual name, although 1954 was a long time ago.
There was H Payne (Moon from Wembley) B Lawrence (Northampton) W Blakemore (Coventry) Ken Higgens (Scouser) B Williams (Sheffield) Any sq. bashers from C Sqd, 10 Flt, Hut 158."
Frank Beck 3529393 from 1961, remembers "Ivor Browne, Cpl Forward and Cpl Cedric Brown, he was doing his university degree as well as his National Service as a D.I. and the same Cedrick Brown went on to become Cedrick Brown The Chairman of British Gas.
I did enjoy Bridgnorth, will never forget the tanoy on the cold Febuary mornings when another hours sleep would be heaven. Marching off for breakfast with my pint white mug. The smell of the mess was with me for years. On leaving Bridgnorth, six of us went to the Air Ministry in London billeted at RAF Hornchurch for a week then we went to RAF Weeton."
Frank is on the photograph listed as '1961 - Hut 319'
John Fitzgerald 3154722 from 1959, says he "missed out on some of basic training eg funeral drill and the tear gas thing. Reason was that some of us were temporarily posted to RAF Uxbridge for route lining training for State visit of Shah of Persia."
The photograph John sent is listed as '1959 - Hut 290'
Robert Sinclair 2742033 from 1953, remembers that "while we were there we won the best billet prize (36/48 hour pass ) seven weeks out of eight. The one week we didn't win it, we got hell from the Sergeant Rice? because he didn't get the weekend off either.
I remember stopping at Preston station where Ted's dad asked me to keep an eye on him - a waste of time - Ted was up earlier than me and finished the race over the hillocks well before me.
I do remember when we went for meals that depending on how big your hand was, you grabbed as much bread as your hand could hold and rapidly spread it with butter. Whoever had to go back and ask the cook for more, got a volley.
On pass out day it was so bloody cold - minus six I think that I was not sure if I could feel the rifle or not. On the 'dismiss' call, one bloke threw his rifle over his shoulder. Clever as you were no longer an airman attached to Bridgnorth or arrived at your new station.
For sport I tried football - conditions were not good - then cross country - worse - then boxing, but I was not keen mixing it with a guy of fifteen stone since I was about ten stone ten. Yes, happy days. So on to Locking."
Robert is on the photograph listed as '1953 - Jan / Feb'
John Kennedy Q4201680 from 1959, remembers that "a deferred Surgeon (Doctor) took me into Wolverhampton in his sports car - it might have been an MG. He had permission to be out late but I had to be back before 10pm"
Martin Kincaid S4266180 from 1961, says he can "remember Flt Lt Hobbs, Sgt Saunders, Cpl Warwick, Cpl Fisher RAF Regt.
Also, what was the coffee bar in Bridgnorth on left as you went into town?"
Stan White H2679013 from 1957, says "our D.I. was Cpl Kliezer 'A' Sdn. As a Duty Cpl, his visit to the NAAFI gave us the chance to hoist his bike up the flag pole. We was also involved in moving the aircraft onto the roads ready for take off, are there any gang members out there who remember? I can't recall any names or hut number, we often raided other huts on bull night and left a mess. The other Cpl who remains nameless, was demobbed and became a teacher in Bedford. Happy days to you all."
Brian Read 5017587 from 1956, remembers that "the NCO's were Sgt Harris and Cpl Broadhurst. We bought the Cpl a cigarette case at the end of training. Remember me? I was excused boots."
Philip Cartwright 5076692 from 1960, says "one of our drill instructors Albert with the big moustache and gravelly voice. I remember him bawling out 'Cartwright get in the ranks, you are marching like a pregnant Penguin."
John Williams 5025663 from 1956 says "I did my square bashing at Bridgnorth. My PTI was Cpl Reames or Reaves, I'm not quite sure of his name but he was very strict."
The photograph John sent is listed as '1956 - Hut 247'
Ray Beardsmore 5065421 from 1958 - 1959, remembers "a very cold Dec and January for basic training. Remember spending overnight on Wenlock Edge and chopping up cabbages that were frozen solid in cookhouse. That was the last time I ate baked beans."
Ray is on the '1959 - Hut 44 in Jan' photograph.
Brendan Cottrell 4079536 from 1951 - 1952, says "my memories of my 'squarebashing' are good but unfortunately my memory for the names of those with whom I shared a billet is awful."
John Routledge 2779412 from 1956, remembers that he "was at Bridgnorth in one of the coldest Winters when we had 11 degrees of frost, the air froze in your nose.
We spent three days doing R & R on Wenlock Edge. Did a bad bivuack out of branches and ground sheets running it down hill. I remember starting the night at the top of the hill and woke up right at the bottom. As each airman reached the bottom, they went to the top of the line. It poured rain all the next day and the guys were divided into four groups and then elected a 'cook' to stay back and make a meal for the others when they returned. We discovered our 'quarters' were not as waterproof as we would have liked and eventually the Cooks gathered in the most leaking and had a good old chat whilst holding billy cans under the drips.
That night, the Seargent said it had been a cow of a day and we all went down to the local village pub. One of those great old pubs where everyone had their own glass hanging on hooks above the bar and a great open inglenook fireplace roaring away. We didn't remember what happened that night but in the morning all the puddles on the roof had frozen solid. The hardest thing was trying to fold the groundsheets in the morning.
After that stint of square bashing, I went off to Kirkham and spent a rather enjoyable period going to Blackpool. I am now 78 and I started my National Service a bit later than most as I had to finish my Apprentiship which made me 21 when I began, what I think was a time that stood me in stead for the rest of my life. I still stand errect even at my age. Maybe someone may remember that Wenlock Edge weekend?"
Ian Bowlt 5018142 from 1956 - 1958, says that "reading the letters on the website brought back many memories of my time at Bridgnorth. I did my square bashing there and it was also my permanent camp working in the P.B.X as a telephonist. I well remember the lads I served with Cpl. Jock Moores (a great bloke) was in charge. Ray Litton (from London soon to be demobbed) Bobby Thomson (played for Wolves) Len Dick (played for Raith Rovers) Roy Lambert (from Birmingham) Alan Tomlinson (a big Benny Goodman fan) Robin Harrison (folks had a fruit and veg shop in Brum) They were a good set of lads and we worked well together. All except one, a right creep not worth further mention. After Ray was demobbed I was lucky enough to move into the hut he had next to S.H.Q. It was supposed to used by Cpl Moores but he lived in married quarters so I was next in line.
Adjoining was the Tannoy room that had, for the time, a superb turntable with two huge speakers where I used to play my own record collection. One night I thought why not play them over the Tannoy System? So for a couple of nights the billets reverberated to, Little Brown Jug, In the Mood, Chattanooga Choo Choo, String of Pearls, It must be Jelly,etc, closing with Moonlight Serenade, sadly it all came to an abrupt halt. Apparently unless a "Senior N.C.O was present to supervise, this had to stop!" Someone was obviously a Victor Sylvester fan.
This is where Bill Butterworth comes in. Yes Bill! I was the one who bought the trumpet and when you mentioned swapping your old one, plus a fiver you must have forgotten the signed photo you also gave me! I hope it did you proud Bill and over the years, all 56 of them, my Glenn Miller collection has grown and grown. By the way, I paid the final instalment on the trumpet two weeks ago! It was a huge relief to get the furniture back!
Comment by Webmaster - Bill remembers selling the trumpet. His memories will be found here.
You were spot on about the constant stream of visitors from along the corridor dropping in for a skive and the occasional outside line. During the day of course the P.B.X wasn't locked so anyone could wander in. Come to think of it, anybody watching the P.B.X on any given day would probably be asking themselves, "Just how many telephonists are there?" When on night shift it wasn't unusual to hear a furtive tapping on the window to let some late comer in for a cuppa and a sarnie. The packed meals on nights were really good. To be honest as the P.B.X was locked at night with grills on the windows it was only the lads we were pals with that got in. It was out of bounds to everyone except the duty telephonist. I'm pretty sure the Guard Room knew but as they were on occasions, the eager recipients of an outside line (remember Grubby Grimes, a top cop!) they didn't really bother to much.
One night I could have ended up in real trouble, there was a bed in the P.B.X so if you fancied a kip during the night that was O.K as long as you set the alarm so if a call came in it would wake you up to answer it. Unfortunately I forgot to switch it on and at about 07.45hrs, I awoke from my slumbers to see the switchboard alive with flashing lights. I answered each one with the excuse,"That it was unusually busy for this time in the morning." No one seemed to mind but one Pilot Officer wanted to know why it had taken so long and asked for my Rank, Name and Number, he wasn't to chuffed when I told him we were ordered never to give information on any R.A.F personnel over the phone. I did tell Cpl Moores and he said if anything came of it he would sort it out with the Signals Officer Flt.Lt. Fleet, a great Officer I/C and a true gent. It was never mentioned again and naturally the alarm was always switched on.
Another good pal was Hugh (Jock) Gibson who was a clerk in S.H.Q and we both went to Liverpool for John Robert's 21st. John was, and probably still is a top bloke, a real Scouser. We had a great time and I'll always remember being on stage with John and his brother murdering Blueberry Hill! I still say that piano needed a good tuning. In his letter John mentioned my name and it would be great to hear from him and if anyone else remembers me it would be great to hear from you as well. It's amazing how things turn out, I wasn't relishing the thought of N.S and being dragged kicking and screaming to do two years in uniform. It had no appeal whatsoever but you know what, I had a terrific time and looking back, I wouldn't have missed it."
Brian Hargrave T4273378 from 1962 says "John McDonagh (Mac) and I stayed on after the basic training until September when we went to Coltishall photo section for pre-trade training placement. I remember that as we had a lot of time on our hands, we made a few bob from the next intake by starting off their boots for them."
The photograph Brian sent is listed as '1962 - Hut 134 in June'
David Clayton 3528783 from 1960, says it was "the best social education ever invented. If the company is good, everything is enjoyable. After 8 weeks, I knew 21 people better than some of my family.
Am still in contact with the former Senior man (after losing contact for 30 years) The regular telephone calls still have the same humour and laughter. It is a shame that the "human rights" will not allow the return of National Service so will not give young people the chance of the experience of standing on their own two feet."
Derek Charlton 4263598 from 1961, remembers "the comradeship, the training discipline and the feeling of achievement.
Got off the train at Bridgnorth, greeted by a blond DI calling us names [not to be printed). Taken to hut 13. DI Cpl Fulbeck who made us into men, hard work, discipline and comradeship an achievenent.
Went with a mate to his home in Newton Abbot by car but his car would not start for the return to camp. We made our way back by walking in uniform, what a weight. Torrential rain through night. Charged with A.W.O.L guilty! So much for initiative!"
Roy Crane 4269304 from 1962, has "fond memories of weekend leave, going to the upper part of the Bridgnorth, with guys that I have lost contact with and forgotten names."
Colin Slaughter 5050680 from 1957, says his "best memory was the tea breaks with the 'Sally Ann'."
Bob Reid 5071676 from 1959, says he "had a good time at Bridgnorth, great set of lads, firm but good NCO's. We won the drill cup and all celebrated at the Golden Lion, High town, Bridgnorth. Six of us came back to camp on Cpl French's 350 BSA combination. A Police oficer pulled us up and made three of us get off. Cpl French was waiting for
us at the river bridge, Low town, where we all got back and made it to the gate. Great days."
The three 'bull night' photographs Bob sent are listed as '1959 - 3 Flt 'A' Sqd'
Ken Drewery P4274604 from 1962, says that "we won the marching competition and were given a night out at Boots christmas party as a prize. Our Cpl was Cpl Beetcham."
Mike Slipper 2356220 from 1947, says that "halfway into basic training, twisted knee in pillow fight after 'Bulling' hut. Sent to hospital RAF Cosford, returned to complete training with different Group."
Arthur Towner 5048584 from 1957, says that his time in the RAF "changed my life completely. Made me more confident."
Norman Adams 5059570 from 1958, says "I have a photo of hut 86 with signatures on the reverse. I was only there for 6 weeks training in April on National Service."
Oliver Conway 4272764 from 1962, remembers "getting soaked during route lining for Her Majesty and President Tubman of Liberia."
David Taylor 4199173 from 1957, says Bridgnorth "was a great experience at 17, realy enjoyed my 8 weeks at Bridgnorth. I was in A Sqd, a Sheffield lad, anybody remember me?"
George Ballard 5081569 from 1960, would like to contact Bob Innes, Pete Coles and Johnny Parsons. George says "they were not in my hut but did training at the same time at Bridgnorth. We all served together at RAF Gielenkirchen, West Germany BFPO42. Bridgnorth was very cold, very hard and very funny. Great friends."
The family of Arthur Rowe 4118872 (deceased) from 1953, say "my dad Arthur Rowe did his basic training at Bridgnorth. He was in hut 155, 17 Flt, No 3 Wing, E Sqd. It says on his marriage certificate that he was a driver.
My dad died very young aged 35 when I was nearly 11. So I've never known anyone that knew him. Also I know he served in Egypt but my sister and I are trying to work out if he was based in Cambridge or some where near Corbridge at the end of his time in the RAF which would have been at the end of 1957 or early in 1958. He was in married quarters after marrying my mam in October 1957. If any one knows or can throw any light on where he would have been stationed before leaving the RAF that would be great."
Stewart Robertson 2735923 from 1954, says the "one thing that I remember about Bridgnorth is that it rained all the time. Played badmington for the camp, usually on Tuesday and Thursday nights, brought sanwiches and cakes back for the lads in the billet. Unfortunately I had four days in hospital with food poisoning and while in dock I was sent home on embarcation leave. I only had six weeks at Bridgnorth."
Mike Windle L4252882 from 1959, remembers the "long hot summer. Flt Lt Bill Langworthy and Cpl Edgington."
Boswell T4274348 from 1962, remembers that "on my 1st day that I went to the mess, went outside to clean your cup, without towel to wipe it ...... funny."
William Black 5051891 from 1957, says "my abiding memory is on arrival at camp we were told to take a shower at the double. In our panic, we as a whole hut rushed outside stark naked, only to be confronted with wives of the Permanent Staff taking their offspring for a stroll who preceded to fall about giggling. On reflection, I think this had been a set-up. Happy days !!!"
Deni Denison M3529270 from 1960/1961, says "I was kitted out at Cardington and we were bused to Bridgnorth on a wet day. I put my brand new SD hat on the overhead rack but didn't realise that kitbags squashed it from either side. At Bridgnorth a DI, (Cpl Bryant I believe), was screaming at everyone to get of the bus. Hastily I grabbed my hat, stuffed it on my head and made to step off the bus, my foot hadn't even reached the ground, when I was bellowed at, "Who do you think you are with that curly hat, a bloody yank, GER-A-NEW-AT!" After Bridgnorth, I next met him when he had just become a Beefeater and I was a Warrant Officer!"
Keith Lewis 4263716 from 1961, says he is "looking for photos, only clue I can give is my Number. I remember a couple of Scots lads in my flight who had served with a Scots Regiment. Any info would be useful."
Frank Tewkesbury 3154910 from 1959, remembers "Cpl Ray Pope from Paddington, very tough but very fair, who told our colleague "Go lightly" to "Stick to bayonets son" after his display on the 303 range.
His favourite expression was to look you straight in the eye and ask if you were in pain? No Cpl. "Well you bloody well should be, cos I'm standing on your hair!!!!!!"
The photograph Frank sent is listed as '1959 - 14 Flt 'C' Sqd'
Ivan Highcazony W4273182 from 1962, says "I remember because of my name, my mail was left till last, then my name was first for latrine orderly."
Doug Lovatt 4182793 from 1956 says "Cpl Yates was our D.I. a good bloke. I remember going dancing in Wolverhampton in best hairy blue."
The photograph Doug sent is listed as '1956 - 33 Flt 'D' Sqd'
Victor Lucas 4248835 from 1959, says he "went for a weekend visit to Chester with my friend Dave Thomas, stayed with his family in a lockmasters cottage as his father was a lockeeper on the canal. Does anybody remember him we were stationed at Bridgnoth at the time."
Eric Stokes 4239052 from 1957, would like to hear from "anyone who was voluntary bandsman in that period. I played the alto saxophone. I had a great time. Love to hear from anyone in at that time."
Jeff Odell Y4195015 from 1957 says "I remember going to a garden party on behalf of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry with the Station Band and on one occasion being made to carry a Bren Gun above my head around a circuit when I reported for firearm traing with my original Flt, (apparently because I was a Band Flt member !) The Red Shield Club was truely a God send. I would not have missed the whole experience for the world or the comaradery of the Service through the subsequent 22 years of service in the Royal Air Force."
Keith Ward Y4274100 from 1954 says "I clearly remember the many bull nights to keep up to scratch and one night someone forgot to shout NCO present, ten minutes later full bedside parade in which the Cpl only took the mic out of someone from whome he obtained some girlie mag's, then he left.
Our flight No.12 was laughed at for our drill but we had the last laugh as in the end we won all three cups, our Cpl and Sgt were beaming on the day. One wimp left before the end but the rest of us were knocked into shape and moulded us for our future's."
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