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Page 8 - Stories and memories of your time at RAF Bridgnorth.

Write and submit your memories here.


Brian Cottier 4134106 from 1953, says that "my flight did not have a Passing Out Parade but were sent to RAF Uxbridge for the Opening by the Queen of the RAF Memorial at Runnymede which proved to be an unforgetable experience, all for the good reasons."


Albert Forsyth 3515232 from 1953, says "As well as finding an old colleague Alan Ackroyd who was in 2 flight, another old colleague has been in touch Geoffrey Johns from those good old days, thanks to this very good website. Hopefully more will get in touch as time goes by."
 
Comment by the Webmaster - Thank you for those kind words Al.   You were one of the first to register on this web site back in 2003.


See Al's other memories here and his poem about his time at RAF Bridgnorth.


David Jefferson 4259396 from 1960, says "I served in the cookhouse when on R and I camp and remember that while we were pitching the tents it rained. It was July 1960 and hot so we really welcomed the feel of the cool raindrops!
I also remember we had a Cpl Lyness as a D.I. and he was from Northern Ireland so very difficult to understand sometimes and quite brusque (as they were trained to be). However, he turned out to be the one who taught us all the 'tricks' of smart turnout and memorably showed us the drill move known as the 'Queen Anne salute'. This involved a quite complicated set of movements which included reversing the rifle and going down on one knee with head bowed and cap removed to cover the heart. I can remember being quite moved by the sight of this big man performing such a delicate and respectful salute. It's worth saying that, although the DIs were always harsh and disciplined, they had a tough job to do and did it well. They used to noisily awake we recruits at 0615 hours which we resented but I later thought, if they get us up at that hour, when do THEY get up. Not an easy job.
However, going back to the tented camp, I never did find out where they took us. Can anybody enlighten me as to where it was (or still is). Four or five days in the woods and I never asked!
The major memory is Corporal Liness (or Lyness?) His voice was loud but, with the strong Irish accent, often difficult to understand. "Swing those arms or I'll tear them off and beat you to death with the soggy ends!" springs to mind as one of the more memorable niceties of his repertoire.
Firing the Lee Enfield for the first time was an experience too, especially in 'shirt-sleeve-order'. Tended to hurt a bit. Then there were all the 'jabs'; TABT with its ability to render one totally useless in a very short period after being told to 'keep moving until you can't!'.
I remember the food was good enough and the NAAFI provided whatever else was needed. There are so many other fond memories of the place and the people that it is very difficult to write them all in this space but on any contact, it may be pleasing to talk about them."

Also see David's other memories here.

 
David has sent copies of many Standard Forms and documents. They can be found in the 'General photographs' section - 'Documentation' sub section.


John Chenery 2724439 from 1954, says he can "remember Flt Lt Pugh and Cpl DI Lackie, both very decent and enjoyed my Bridgnorth training, now aged 78 years."


David Holland 5069557 from 1959, says that "from Cardington, after being kitted out, we were herded like cattle in the train at the camps station for the long jurney to Bridgnorth. We stoped at a station about halfway to have a break there was RAF Regiment guarding from 6ft away. I was in 37 Flt D Sqd in billet No.313. The Cpls we had were Cpl Widderson and Cpl Humphies. It was hard at the time but it did me good. They never ought to have stopped it."


Jim Tanner 4093812 from 1952, says "our Drill Corporal was Cpl McWinney and Cpl Potter. I was aged 21 when I joined up and Cpl McWinney asked me how old I was? I replied "21", missing out Corporal and what? he bellowed "and 9 months" I replied, he bellowed at me "CORPORAL" I still laugh about it, even now that I am 81 years of age."


Gordon Reid C4263941 from 1961, says he "broke my leg playing football at Bridgnorth and ended up posted to Cyprus while the rest of my intake went to Aden, El Adam and some other sulubrious places. I think it was a case of it being a lucky break for me."


William McLoughlin 2459927 from 1950, says he was "just there for "square bashing". Was in the ceremonies when our camp got the Freedom of the City award. First RAF Station to get this award. Great colourful pageantry."


Peter Mason 3155588 from 1957, says "I was given the job of running the 'Bath Cleaning Team.' As far as I can remember the main benefit was that you could have your own tin of Vim powder.
We were sent on a camp somewhere in Salop in March. Bell tents, weather really cold and in order to keep warm we all slept under all the blankets. Water bowser failed to show up until the second day. Upon return to camp I went down with pneumonia and after sick leave was back flighted to, I think, D squadron..."


Tom Platts 4192345 from 1957, remembers that "first night, I was one who buried my head under the blanket and sobbed.
Then the injections: my arm was agony and the DI made me scrub the toilets. Afer the first week events began to make sense and I began to know the "blokes" in the hut.
During the Flight's first march, we were passed by another Flight who had been at Bridgnorth longer and the sods hissed us. Later, we hissed all junior Flights.
By the fourth week, we had got some in and had became daring. One night, I crept out of the hut and climbed into the Spitfire near the Guardroom. Of course, I was making all the sounds of a fighter pilot - "Bandits at 12 o'clock high" and creating the sound of machine guns. Unbeknown to me, a Flight Sergeant was standing alongide the Spitfire and witnessed my boyhood stupidity.
I am now 72 and if asked, "would you do it all again?" I confess that I would love every minute."


Gerry Marsh 2426389 from 1948, says "obviously, I would like to hear from anyone who remembers me. I must dig out my group photo and list the names on the back - those I can decipher.
I remember that in our group we had the son of comedian Enoch and Enoch watched the passing out parade. No-one was more passed out than me. Enoch's son was named Robinson and he was a professional ice skater.
The Sergeant of our billet was a Sgt Stanley. If you are reading this, Sarge, all is forgiven - now go jump in the lake."


Peter Maskrey F4254756 from 1959, says "I was in 'D' Sqn and it was a tough experience but not as bad as school!
I had a tough time with my hut nco (an acting Corporal DI) who I will call Cpl X. Seven years later in 1966 our positions were reversed when he was posted to RAF Gatow in Berlin as an LAC GD and I was a Corporal temporarily in Pool Flt (awaiting my posting to RAF Odiham) and working with the SWO, Warrant Officer Rose (a marvellous ex-aircrew man). We were preparing accommodation all over the British Sector for a Military Tattoo to be held in Berlin. My former hut nco was posted in and recognising his surname, I looked up his personal records. Sure enough, it was 'my' Cpl X. I put him on one of the working parties I was leading and we went to a former German Army camp that had been closed since 1945. I made him clean the lavatories (a job he gave me many more times than anyone else in the hut because he didn't like the way I spoke) with nothing but his bare hands just as he had done to me seven years earlier. However, it was a hollow revenge and as it went on, I became increasingly embarrassed and ashamed of what I was doing. After half an hour or so, I relieved him of the task and sent him off on lighter duties and finished the lavatories myself.
That evening, back in Gatow, I took him for a drink and apologised for what I had done. He didn't remember me from Bridgnorth and just shrugged. I was 19 at Bridgnorth and I'm 71 next week and I've never forgotten him nor the lesson I learned about revenge. He was vile to me and made my eight weeks at Bridgnorth particularly wretched and only because of my speaking voice. Our other two Flight Corporals knew what was going on and both told me after we had had our passing out parade that I had been the better man for putting up with it. You just can't beat prejudice.
Since those days, I've always tried to be sensitive concerning the things I'm prejudiced about and try to empathise with those I might otherwise seek to ostracise. Perhaps the Cpl X experience had some plusses after all!"

Also see Peter's other memories here


John Waller 3127604 from 1950, says "It's too long ago. I remember there was a 7 involved in the address - Hut 7 Flight 7?"
 
The photograph John sent is listed as '1950 - 7 Flt in July'


Donald Pointon 3106444 from 1947, says "I remember a Sgt Downie - a fine gentleman."


Alastair Whitehead 4188668 from 1956, says "On the 5th Sat we all went off to Wolverhampton for the afternoon, except the senior man as he was tied to the underside of his bed frame! I missed the last bus back and walked all the way back, got in about midnight. As I entered the billet all was quiet and dark I thought, I had worken everyone up when I crashed into placed obstacles then found my bed had been removed and put in the store room! Ha! Ha! they laughed, so I got it out etc. Next morning I found I was tied to my bed up on tables! lots of laughs all round."


Graham Hobbs 5063465 from 1958, says that "Basic Training and drill was hard work but frequently very enjoyable and satisfying. Billet Corporal was strict but fair, the Flight Sergeant rather scary. I remember being told by him that I would catch my death of cold because a button was undone on my tunic jacket.
Rifle drill after innoculations "to reduce the stiffness in the arm muscles" remains a painful memory.
I remember also one evening going around the huts where the latest intake had been billeted to see if there was anyone from my home city (Oxford) and finding that my best school mate, Geoffrey Boyles, had arrived and was able to re-assure him that despite the scary atmosphere of the first few hours at RAF Bridgnorth it was not such a bad place to be at all. He later went on to become an RAF Policeman.
I enjoyed the rugby and the three days in tented camp. In the town I went along to the local scout troop weekly evening meeting for about four weeks and at weekends remember attending the Methodist Church services and going to Toc-H for a cup of tea and a bun on several occasions."

 
The photograph Graham sent is listed as '1958 - 24 Flt in Nov'


Ron Boswell 5080128 from 1960, says "National Service basic training hut 298 with Cpl Host? and Cpl Hoath.
Married just one week when called up on 16 Aug 1960 to Cardington, slow train to Bridgnorth. Weeks passed being shouted at, then to London route lining for the King and Queen of Nepal. Horse Guards and Whitehall. Actually stood at end of Downing Street (no gates then)"


Roger Sayer 4262527 from 1961, says he has "two memories above all others - how cold it was, we stole and burnt furniture to keep warm when the coke ran out! And the ban-the bomb demonstrators who delayed our first weekend passes by laying down to obstruct our military coaches on route to London rail terminals - oh bliss! Still, I stuck it for another 32 years so it could not have been that off-putting."


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Frank Atkinson 4066092 from 1951, says " I remember so well arriving at Bridgnorth from Cardington. I had been pre-warned by others that the first thing to happen, on our arrival, would be an instruction to "fall outside the billet with our knifes, forks, spoons and mugs and that we would then be marched in threes to the cookhouse. Duly warned I ensured that, on leaving Cardington, my knife, fork,spoon and mug would be the last things to be packed in my kit bag. This would mean, on arrival at Bridgnorth, I would probably have the advantage of being amongst the first to "fall outside" and consequently would be amongst the first in the queue at the cookhouse. Sure enough...this did happen. I grabbed my knife, fork, spoon and mug, rushed out and "eureka" was in the first three and right at the head of the squad.
The Corporal then began to march us towards the cookhouse and as we approached I could smell the aroma of food. I was starving not having eaten since breakfast. The nearer we came to the cookhouse the more my anticipation of getting some food grew ... until, to my horror ... the Corporal marched us past the main doors ...shouted halt ...then "about turn" and now, there I was, at the back of the queue. Corporal shouted "Right...get your dinner and out here in a half hour.
Needless to say, being now at the back of the queue, I no sooner had my dinner plate in my hands that it was time to leave. I often wonder who ate that dinner because it certainly was not me."

 
The photographs Frank sent are listed as '1951 - 7 June Parade' on the General photographs page and '1951 - Atkinson Flt'


Lawrence McDonald 4050997 from 1950, says that he "was there in October, very cold, used to raid coal store to replenish our stocks.
In the 1950 November Flight photograph I am on the extreme second row from the front. Another drill instructor was Cpl Dolman, I would like to meet him again! who was also NCO in charge of my hut (cannot remember number) I was in 13 Flt."


Roy Lucas 3518249 from 1954-1955 and 1958-1959, says he would like "to meet up with the D I A.Cpl's when I was above the line Cpl. What fun."


John White 4195202 from 1957, says "What a culture shock on arrival, I remember our D.I was a Cpl Holmes, hut 182, he was human but didn't realise till end of square bashing! Signed for 3 years and ended up on Christmas Island.... happy days and I am still here!!"


Colin Fraser 2776885 from 1955, says it was "Bloody cold. Some misery but some good company and fun!"


Boyd Hyslop 4089943 from 1952, says he "just missed being on the King's funeral - unfortunately in hospital for a week. One of the Royal Tournament club swingers from Bridgnorth 1952."
 
The photographs Boyd sent are listed as '1952 - Hut 25, 5 Flt' and '1952 - 5 Flt'


The Son of now deceased Anthony Bird 3111210 from 1947-1948, says his Father "went in from the Air Cadets in Reading, Berkshire. Bridgnorth was an expansive site, spent Christmas of 1947 on the base, the meal was quite good judging by the menu card although it's covered in signatures, from the NCO's, Cooks, 3 Wing NAAFI staff and AC.2's."


Dennis Whiteman 4098058 from 1952, remembers that "when getting off the bus, I didn't know what had hit me. The Drill Instructors ran us around until fit to drop. But from a rabble at the beginning, we finished up as a very proud bunch, winning the passing out parade trophy.
I would not have missed it, it instilled discipline and a pride in my general being. Many good friends were made in that period, something that would not have happened without Service life. I look back with affection and thanks for the experience."


Mick Williams C4274353 from 1962, says "No doubt I have very similar memories to everybody else who passed through Bridgnorth in that summer: the shock to the system of shorn hair, the unforgettable taste of the pint-mug tea (did it really have bromide in it?) and the aluminium mess-tins; the physical agony of PT and route marches, constant ironing of blue serge blankets cut into the shape of trousers, polishing of brass buttons, hot-spooning boots and skating on the brown lino floors with foot-rags, the novelty of meeting other lads with different dialects and the growing sense of comradeship and fun....The mysterious creaking of bedsprings during the night, the weight of a Bren gun and the loudness of the bangs; Pay parades in a vast hangar and the interminable wait if your surname was at the end of the alphabet; R & I training at Sleap airfield. The NCO's were hard but also compassionate.
Putting on civvies for the first time in weeks was bliss. Returning home, straight-backed square-shouldered and physically fit invited admiration and praise from the older generations but a new reservedness from former pals......
Looking back, it's amazing how RAF Bridgnorth transformed naive unfit youngsters into fit, self-disciplined individuals ready for the next stages of RAF life. The drill and marching never left me. I still feel gratitude to the NCO's we had then (one was Cpl Wiseman) and would like to feel that I tried to emulate their compassionate efficiency during my later service. I shall forward some photo's shortly. I was lucky to go through RAF Bridgnorth."


Tommy Burrell U4273325 from 1962, remembers "getting up at 04.30 in the morning just to clean your kit and your floor space. After your space was clean, you walked about or slide about, with pieces of pads under your feet just to keep it clean for 06.30 inspection, all before breakfast.
Our Sergeant from Scotland was a very hard task master and never relented, even on our last night before the pass out parade. Cpl Pedrie was a very tough D I but he had a drink with the boys and came to see us off after pass out.
Good times, I enjoyed my time during recruit training at Bridgnorth, nice little town. Good comraidship. Bridgnorth made a man of me."

In 2017 Tommy added
Loved the training, drill squad, rifle range, met a lot of friends from all parts of the UK and Southern Ireland whom we joined up together with from Belfast."


Alexander John MacDonald 4266991 from 1961, says "I think the drill Sergeant was a Sgt Davies. Small in stature but what a mouth and a right tough little B. Doing the bed packs every morning and marching down to the mess for breakfast with mug and cutlery in hands. The cross country runs and the spell spent under canvas. The NAAFI with the juke box."


Geoff Cole 2419037 from 1949-1950, remembers "Square bashing, route marches in the snow, painting the edges of coal dumps with white paint. Drinking my first beer in Bridgnorth. Polishing boots with spit and polish. Sticking bayonets in a dummy with blood curdling shout. After 8 weeks becoming a highly trained drill man."


Ronald Phipps 4066114 from 1950, says "I remember the Sergeant said he would split me into a million pieces if I didn't light his fire. I also remember a young lad was told to run around the parade ground holding a daffodil above his head because he couldn't master his drill. Happy memories."


Maurice Dodds 4258969 from 1960, remembers "going on R & I camp for 3 days which lasted for 10 days, then on return to camp being told that I was heading for London to line the route for the Queen & the Queen of Tonga."


Harland Griffith 4248405 from 1959, remembers "Feb 3rd 1959, when the news broke on the box in the billet about the plane crash! The day 'the music died."


William Stanley 3090687 from 1946, says "I believe the camp was a new venue for square bashing and I met some wonderful guys. The weather got colder and by Christmas the severe winter of 1947 started."


Mick Wood 4249356 from 1959, says that "after intake at Cardington, I arrived at Bridgnorth railway station. I remember assembly in the Station yard, a Sergeant shouted "This way all regulars, on to the buses lads." At the other end, was a line of canvass covered lorries, the Sergeant changed to a rather more hostile and louder tone, shouting "This way National Servicemen" From then on, those on National Service did not appear to be treated as well as the Regulars.
It was something of a culture shock for all of us I think. We soon learned what discipline was all about and I wish that some of the youth of today were put through the same experience. I liked the GDT course....learning about tear gas, using radiation detectors and about atomic bombs, etc. On the firing range, I was lucky to be one of the exceptions to the rule in winning my Marksmens badge with a Bren Gun, rather than a 303 Lee Enfield rifle.
I can remember bulling the billet floor with one of those infernal heavy things with a cast iron weight, called a bumper...they really did shine the lino. I bet you cannot find linoleum of that quality today, it had a hessian backing and was about 6mm thick. Then there were the cast iron coke stoves, two in each hut. One guy had a home made still on one of those and made some wicked spirit stuff, it went on the stove at night and was hidden away under the hut during the day.
I particularly remember a local young lad who delivered papers to the Mess, he offered to show me around the area surrounding the town of Bridgnorth and I found the place very interesting, especially the cliff railway. The young mans name was Michael Kirk, son of W/O Kirk who lived in the married quarters. Michael joined the Royal Navy and wrote to me once from his training camp at HMS Falmouth. Of course we were all embarking on our careers at that time so we lost touch, there were such a wide variety of places we were posted to from No.7 S of R T. I went to Melksham for training as a ground electrician and it led to a career as a self-employed electrical contractor in later civilian life. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who remembers me."


Donald Cunningham 3119545 from 1949, says "I think that I'm on the picture captioned "1949 - Hut ?" submitted by Bob Clews on behalf of Vic Cook. I don't really remember Vic but I wonder if he has a better memory than me. I was senior man in the hut because I had been in the A.T.C. I had to assign the fatigues which wasn't a job that won popularity."


Gilbert Cliffe Taylor 5062367 from 1958, says "after six weeks training, despatched to RAF Uxbridge for eight days to practice for route lining ceremony in London. Returned to Bridgnorth in time for the passing out parade."


Dennis Creasey 2374093 from 1947, says "No.18 Flt. Freezing cold. Night guard to flush toilets to stop them from freezing up. Running around lanes in boots, shorts and vest. 'Aquiring' as much food as possible. One of my fatigues was putting the shine on blocks of buns with a camel hair brush and a bowl of molten butter. Every one of my hut who came by got a block of buns (5x5). No hot water in 18 Flt ablutions. Shaved with a dry razor. When asked by the Corporal if I had shaved and replying 'yes' he would say "Well stand closer to the B....Y razor next time. Unable to use firing range, too much snow. There was only one radio between four huts and the hut deemed to be the best on inspection got it for a week. Despite everything we had a lot of laughs."


James Rutland 4267710 from 1961, says "I got back flighted due to a reaction to the smallpox jab and a few days in sick quarters.
Got sent home when all the pipes in the camp froze and burst during Christmas. The passages next to the ablutions were inches thick with ice where the water had flowed down them. It was too cold for us to go out sleeping under canvas thank goodness.
I have never been as fit as I was when I left Bridgnorth. I am sorry I cannot remember what hut or flight I was in."


Lyn Morgan H4272428 from 1962, says "I joined in July 1962 fresh from the Welsh coal mines. I was in 13 Flt, hut 130 and our overseer was Sgt Haddon. I would love to get in touch with anyone who was in the same Sqn. at that time.
I started off as a radar technician, but was soon told to join the station band as I could play a brass instrument. I was then instructed by W/O Ritchie to attend an audition for the RAF music services at Uxbridge which I duly did and this changed my life."


David Stevens 3154998 from 1959, says it was "tough but what good company and comradeship. Would go again if I had a choice."


Michael Turner 4172844 from 1956, says "it was great to get out of camp and go into town but money was very short in those days and you were lucky to go down town one night."


Ronald Stempfer 5037604 from 1956, says that "as a racing cyclist I took my training cycle back to camp on my return from Xmas leave. I had arranged with the NAAFI manageress to store my cycle in one of their out sheds. On Wednesday sports day I got a pass to go out of camp to do road training, during the week after doing my chores, I spent a session in the Gym on a workout on their training rollers."
 
The photographs Ron sent are listed as '1957 - Hut 180 'C' Sqd' and '1957 - 28 Flt in Feb'


Edward Newman 5079675 from 1960, says "First Monday on camp my 22nd birthday still did drill boo hoo."


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Michael Kidley J4262825 from 1961, says "I remember leaving Cardiff recruiting office with 5 others to go by train to Raf Cardington. We were picked up from the Station and taken to Cardington where, believe it or not, we had some Flt Lt showing us how to make bedpacks. We spent the next three days getting our uniform and thinking, if this is the RAF, then give us more. Wrong we got on the coach to go to RAF Bridgnorth, singing bawdy songs all the way.
We got to Bridgnorth and there was a welcoming party there and they were all shouting at us. We thought what have we let ourselves in for, we want to go home. Six weeks into the square bashing and we were packed off to see a Charlie Chester Show in the gymnasium.
Next day I was called in to the Sgts office with two other mates and we were told that we were going to be backflighted for insubordination by four weeks. We only asked why did they have to shout and they didn't like it.
I remember the first Indian person to wear a turban with the RAF badge on his name I think was Duljeet Hassis. He said that he was friends with a girl called Donella Webb. Later I found out that Webb was Cliff Richards name and this was Cliff's sister.
Survived my back flighting and passed out successfully twelve weeks later instead of eight. Now I am a Flt Lt in the RAFVR(T)"


Alan Dumbell from 1960, says "always remember being so proud on my passing out day parade. We were awarded best flight of that intake. Unfortunately cannot remember the precise flight number, but pretty sure it was hut 36.
I joined in January 1960, so guess I was at Bridgnorth around early spring."
In 2013, Alan added;
Didn't really enjoy basic training, but looking back, had a real good laugh, very like a 'Carry on' film.


James Purkiss 3160995? from 1953, says he remembers "marching through town with fixed bayonets."


Tommy Hunn 5091483 from 1960, says he has "just discovered the photo of 38 Flt 'D' Sqd posted by Colin Clarke on 12th Sept 2010. It certainly brought back good memories. I even recognised and remembered the names of some after all these years."
 
The photograph Tommy sent is listed as '1960 - Hut 313, 38 Flt'


Kevin Price S5076753 from 1960, says "I'm afraid I don't remember the hut or Flt I was in but do recall being made SWOs' runner for a day, wearing a special waist belt with the RAF Crest as the buckle and sitting outside his office, awaiting the various jobs he may allocate!
I also played cricket for Bridgnorth, I think it was away, against RAF Cosford. Our D.I's were I think Cpl Latcham, RAF and Cpl K Barnes, RAF Regt."


Bill Naulder 5021427 from 1956, says "I remember our Drill Instructor Cpl Archibald (a really nice guy) who taught us (among other things) how to iron our uniforms. He did it so well that I still iron all my own clothes to this day. My 'Better half' will always be eternally grateful!"


Derek Broughton 4098042 from 1952, says "I won the long distance in the sports day to take the cup for 24 Flt."


John Bird G4245022 from 1958, says "not sure of the names, it was a long time ago. However, there were ten of us and we were known and photographed as 'The 215 Rebels'."
 
The photograph John sent is listed as '1958 - The 215 Rebels'


Arthur Bennett 3123420 from 1949, says he can "remember being on guard of honour for Arthur Henderson MP Secretary of State for Air and on Armistice Parade into Bridgnorth."


Bryan Pearson 5061059 from 1957, remembers the "same day after needles at the M.O. going to see Wolves football game in a packed crowd. Thanks."


Tommy Mirfield 5039989 from 1957, remembers that he "boarded train at RAF Cardington - arrived at Bridgnorth Stn. 5 canvas covered wagons took us to RAF Bridgnorth. They parked up under an open fronted hanger and then it started - D I's screaming and shouting - most of the lads wondered what had hit them - one lad said to me "who the hell are they shouting at?" - I said, I've got a feeling it's us. Our feet never touched the ground for about a week - good stuff. Fantastic memories when I look back."
 
The photograph Tom sent is listed as '1957 - Hut 11 in April'


Chris Fox 4272946 from 1962, remembers the "first two weeks spent carrying coke in dustbins to the barrack blocks."


Bernard Alderwick 4116257 from 1952, was "made to work hard polishing floors, march in step, jump to orders, oh and fire a 303 enfield rifle. Came here as a jumped up teddy boy, left as a man. Gosh we were smart. What I learnt there has help me all my life."


Michael Stuart M4255945 from 1960, says "I was in D Sqn Hut 219 January 1960 till April 1960. Drill instructor's Cpl Orange & Cpl Nimick, NCO Ic Sgt Rankin. I have many happy memories of my time doing square bashing. Our D Sqn won the Drill Cup which was a highlight."


Robert Douglass 4260178 from 1960, says "It was a chore but looking back it was very memorable and afforded many good laughs."


Alan Clegg R3528152 from 1959, asks "Where am I on all those hut photos ????"


Brian Chapman 3524217 from 1957, remembers "Cpl Phillips "I am going to hammer you" - presented with rubber hammer on passing out."


Dave Irwin Q4264626 from 1961, says he remembers "being driven through the main gates in the boot of a car, along with about 4 others.
All of us ganging up to help a guy who was being picked on by the 'orrible corporal wot kept shouting at us'..."

 
The photograph Dave sent is listed as '1961 - Irwin Flt'


Colin Tunstall 5026313 from 1956, says that "having revisited the site of the former RAF station for the first time since 1956, memories came flooding back, particularly the times we would walk into Bridgnorth for the nights entertainment (pubs/dances etc) even though the camp itself was a considerable distance from the town. (Things you do when you're young and probably intoxicated)"


Ray Rooks 3149404 from 1956, says he "looks back fondly although it was tough at the time! Was selected for trade "Science 3b" Didn't know what that was but it was preferrable to kitchen asst. It was an early attempt at time and motion study."


John Halligan L4200601 from 1957, says "It's not easy to remember incidents after all these years. However, I don't suppose any Serviceman forgets the D.I's that trained them. Our first D.I's were Cpl Pottinger and Cpl Louch. Later they were replaced by Cpl Hayes."


Dimitri Harris C4269133 from 1962, says "I joined up on the 1st Jan 1962, travelled up to Wolverhampton from London on the same day, was a cold day and it had snowed. I was picked up along with several other new recruits from a bus shelter specifically put there for picking up recruits. My first week or two was spent in Holding Flight? until I was then listed to 10 Flight A Sqdn.
I do remember another recruits surname, I think it was Blenkinsop. I was in the first hut closest to the road. We had a ex national serviceman as the head of the billet, he was a very nice gentleman.
I also recall an incident that happened, We had to go on a two or three day field camp where the whole of A Sdn was taken to some old disused airfield and we had to set up tents etc.., the weather was so bad that the exercise had to be called off and we had to wait until transport came to take us back to Bridgnorth.
Myself, Malcolm Froud and a third Airman, name forgotten, as we were the tallest, led the flight onto the parade ground. We won the Drill Cup. One of the drill corporals was Cpl Billington, I think the other Cpl was Smith. There was a Sgt whose name I have forgotten. Can anyone recall the names of other Airmen in 10 Flt, I remember a Dave Roti, a Davis.
If you have any photos of 10 Flt could you please post them.
If my memory is correct, I think our passing out parade was in April or May, I then went on a weeks leave and returned back to camp awaiting posting to RAF Compton Bassett which happened in the month of June. I do recall another surname, Garreth. Yes I spent about 6 months at RAF Bridgnorth.
I remember going into Bridgnorth town to see the film the Young Ones. They are very happy memories of happy days. I also remember a permanent staff member who worked in the leave and pay records, his name was Derrington White.
I now live in Melbourne Vic Australia and would love to find any news of 10 Flt A Sqd. Dimitri Harris, ex Airman, origins from Ceylon."


George Upton 4087960 from 1951, says "I arrived at Bridgnorth on a cold December day and for the next 8 weeks I learned the meaning of discipline with tyrants (sorry nice drill instructors) convincing me that I had never had a father and then describing what I looked like in my greatcoat and webbing belt. I think a sack full of **** tied up in the middle with a piece of string comes fairly close.
I quickly learned to guard my eating irons (cutlery) as they were liable to disappear if someone else lost theirs.
I recall the first time we were given leave. I had palled up with a lad by the name of Ron Pennycard from Brighton, we had met when travelling up on the first day. We had agreed to meet on Brighton station (I was travelling from Hastings) my train was delayed badly but good old Ron waited for me so when I eventually arrived, we had missed all our connections. When we got to Wolverhampton station it was gone 11:00 p.m. The RAF transport had left, we had no money so we walked from Wolverhampton to Bridgnorth, I believe about 11 miles. We arrived a little before 6:00 a.m. and not wanting to be charged with being A.W.O.L. we climbed over the back fence, dodged the guards and crawled into our beds. 15 minutes later in came Corporal "outside in 3 ranks in 5 minutes" I still don't know how we kept awake that day.
On the good side, I left Bridgnorth as fit as I have ever been in my life. Nice memories. Ron hope you have had a good life."

 
George later added this note;

Searched the hut/flight photos in the hope of finding one of myself and failing, I was extremely delighted to receive a copy of this via e mail, sent to me by Colin Underwood 4087933 and I see this is now on your pages as '1952 - Underwood's Hut'. I think I recognise the chap sitting next to the D.I. on his right as the senior man, unfortunately can't recall the hut number, D.I's name or much else.
Only other thing I remember was another D.I. who used to march around with his fingers outspread, very much like Edward Scissor hands in later life. Anyway, thanks very much for your interesting pages and especially thanks to Colin Underwood for the photo.


Terry Bennett 5068006 from 1959, says "I was in the Radio engineering unit. I also played the organ at the camp church."


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Christopher Walker 4273330 from 1962, says his "DI was Cpl Child-Freeman, the Sgt. was called Sgt Orange. I seem to remember he died in a motor bike accident whilst we were in training. I met up with Child-Freeman in 1964 at Akrotiri, whilst on the yearly arms training, what a changed man. After square bashing, I was posted back to Bridgnorth fire section, to await a course at Compton Bassett. It was great to wander around camp without the coloured disc behind the cap badge."


Terry Bunce D4249105 from 1959, says it was the "coldest winter known for many years. Many trainees coming down with flu. Half the camp sick at one time or another. Lining up for meals, over 200 in training at the time. Mad Mary the cook house Flight Sergeant. So disappointed when I had to leave early to commence trade training and therefore missed out on the end of course parade."


David Welch E4275308 from 1962 - 1963, says "I arrived at Wolverhampton station late afternoon on 29 October, 1962, where I had been told that transport would take me to RAF Bridgnorth, I was the first of the recruits to arrive but was soon joined by Gill Singh, from London then Nick Parry and Brian Murphy, from Liverpool. Others then started to arrived from various places throughout the British Isles (yes, even southern Ireland).
A coach eventually arrived and took us on the journey to Bridgnorth. I seem to remember that we were taken straight to 22 Flt HQ, B Sqd, where we were met by Cpl Willis, our DI for the next few weeks. He called our names and allocated beds in the three huts belonging to the flight, then, sort of marched us down to the mess for a meal, after which we made our way back to the hut where we waited for his return. He explained a few essential things to us and explained that when an NCO or Officer entered the room whoever saw him first had to shout out NCO PRESENT and we all had to stand to attention. The rest of the evening was spent in the NAAFI, I think.
The following morning I think we were addressed by several people including the bandmaster, I joined the station band, a good move as I found out later! I suppose that our training followed the same route as those who had been before us. Corporal Willis, was a good DI, firm but not aggressive towards any of us that I can remember. He did, of course throw the odd bed pack on the floor and the blanket with all of someone's kit laid out on it.
Reading other memories on this website, it seems that everyone's winters at Bridgnorth were cold, ours certainly was at the end of 1962 and beginning of 1963. I recall that the coke in the two coke bins in the hut was not allowed to be used as it was laid to perfection at just the right angle, instead there was an old rusty bin out the back of the hut that we had to take to collect coke from the fuel dump.
I think that we had to do station duties during the third week, I was detailed to polish the B Squadron HQ floors which were easy to do whereas some were detailed to the mess kitchen or on working parties around the camp.
I remember doing Ground Defence Training but can't recall having to wear a respirator or going in the Gas Chamber, I think we just had to throw ourselves down on our stomach, put our hands under our chest and push our faces into the ground in the event of a Nuclear Attack!!! We had to fire on the range, of course, which I think we all enjoyed.
I think that it was during the last week of December, having returned from our Christmas break the flight went off for their field trip for a few days, in the snow! As I was a voluntary bandsman, I didn't have to do this because of the Senior flight's passing out parade on the Friday.
After the others returned from their field trip, I seem to remember that the bull in the hut was greatly reduced and as long as everywhere was kept clean and tidy, that was sufficient.
Then the first week of January it was our flights turn to pass out. I can't remember whether it was snowing but the parade was held in the drill hanger, so only some of the bandsmen were required but not me, so I missed my own pass out parade (does this mean that I never really qualified as an AC2? I hope that if the powers that be read this, then they don't call me back to complete my training!!!)"

 
The photographs David sent are listed as '1962 - Hut 206, 22 Flt' and '1962 - 22 Flt'.


Victor Ford Y4254983 from 1959, says "my main memory is charging off to the NAAFI every evening for extra food!"


Peter Charnley 2536759 from 1952 - 1953, says that "after trade training at RAF Hereford I was posted to Bridgnorth. I resided in Hut 7 and was employed in SHQ Central Drafting Office as the POR Clerk for the permanent staff. My colleague, SAC Ted Sisterson was the POR Clerk for the recruits on the camp. Our supervising Sgt was called Sgt Radford who had been a Jap POW during the war. Other members of our staff were LAC Joe Muir, a good footballer who had played for Third Lanark prior to his National Service. LAC Derek Reeves, LAC Ian Irvine and LAC Dennis Devine. Sadly the last three mentioned are now deceased. All the Clerks were housed in hut 7 and next door in hut 8 were based the Store men who included two well known footballers of the time namely Peter Broadbent and Ron Flowers, both of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Needless to say we had a good Station football team."


Daniel Paterson 4090693 from 1952, says he has "memories of a very cold Janurary day, snow and ice on the ground and Cpl Masters, he also had another name (unprintable) throwing our kit bags at us, causing us to go flying on our rear ends, while he stood on the rear of the truck having a great laugh. How we wished for a strike of lightning.
Other than that I quite enjoyed my time and the company in our hut. I would like to hear from any of the lads who were there at that time in hut 218 and were posted to Egypt before we finished our training."


James Turnbull 2782873 from 1956, says his "memories include a cold January, meeting new friends all in the same boat, a bit nervous but met some great people.
I think we were F Flt? Have the hut photogragh with all the names including Eddie Davidson from Glasgow, Malcolm Sykes - London, Ray Parry - Chester, Robin Jackson - Windsor. Many others, in fact all who shared that hut with me in Janury 1956. Hope someone out there remembers."


Robert Walton F4192057 from 1957, says he remembers it being "cold, had to keep stove fully fired up. Cpl Britain & Sgt Spearman. He was demobbed at end of course, clubbed together to buy him an inscribed lighter.
Other AC2's were Brian Noakes, Brian Twelvetrees, Dave Smith, A.S Bellhouse, W Farncourt, A Wears, M Bristol, Chas Smith. Other faded signatures, unable to translate.
Lucky me, next to stove, only had to get up through the night to stoke it up. Also the daily battle for the ablutions with other huts, hunting for stiff carboard to reinforce back packs and bed packs, happy days!!!!"


Sydney Patience 5061796 from 1958, says "we had a Corporal in our barrack, his name was Cpl Eden. We had a Carl Ruhew (Austrailian) R Pringl, L.W. Phillips, best mate Don Marshall from South Shields came home with me for the weekend before transit to Germany.
We lifted some snoring sod in his bed and placed him on the parade ground, name I can't remember.
Would like to get in touch with Don Marshall, Reg Benjamin? or Reg Betterridge? Colin Vance 4242327, I live in hope, thank you."


Martin Dredge C4275637 from 1962, says he was "part of 19 Flt. We were the last flight to train at Bridgnorth. I well remember David Winter and wish him well."


Former Plt. Off. Grenville Williams 3122758 from 1950-1951, says "a week at Padgate in September 1950 was my first experience of National Service life in the RAF, followed by 8 weeks of 'square-bashing' not at Bridgnorth but at Wilmslow where I think conditions were pretty much the same. Shortly after arrival I was made 'leading cadet' of my Flight by the Sergeant (Blackman) - not a great advantage for I had to take the 'flak' when things went wrong. But in the third week I was lucky enough to be fished out of the Flight to be interviewed by the C.O. to see if I would be suitable for a commission - and so it came about that after 'passing out' with the gang at Wilmslow I went for OCTU training at Kirton-in-Lindsey before receiving my first posting as an officer - to Bridgnorth as a Flight Commander. Another National Serviceman who followed the same route through Wilmslow and Kirton-in-Lindsey to Bridgnorth was Ron Hinings; he was allocated to 3 Wing and I to 2 Wing.

Because I had acutely remembered how the drill corporals had treated us recruits at Wilmslow I was determined to try and give new recruits in my Flight at Bridgnorth a reasonable time there. I had realised that the discipline and physical training had had a beneficial effect on me and many of my fellow-recruits - had made men of us - and so those elements had to remain; but the way of DIs treating recruits like dirt must be avoided if possible. I was given charge of 10 Flight in 'C' Squadron, 2 Wing and during the 18 months I was there they won the passing-out parade cup several times. On one intake in March 1950 I had a double problem - trying to identify two sets of identical twins - the Hepburns and the Taits; quite difficult on pay parade. The NCOs that I had with me at different times on 'C' Squadron were F.Sgt.Downie, Sgts. Jordan, Fox and Clowes and Cpls. Blight, Dolman, Ostler and Hagerty; they were on the whole a good bunch and made my life as a relatively raw flight Commander a good bit more agreeable. Our boss was Sqn Ldr Pickett - a very good-natured West Countryman; you couldn't ask for a better leader - a blend of firmness and compassionate understanding of human nature. I had found that the best way of getting to know the recruits was to go in plain clothes to visit their huts of an evening, and I came across all sorts of men with such different aspirations of what they were going to do after finishing their National Service. I always tried to attend each course's passing-out party in the NAAFI and aimed to make myself useful by playing the piano for their sing-song.

On 29th September 1950 I heard that a recruit on 13 flight who had become ill and had been taken into hospital, had died overnight. I, along with most of the Permanent Staff, were a bit shocked, but I thought no more about it until the following Monday morning the Station Adjutant (Flt.Lt.Stafford) rang me up to tell me I had been detailed to attend A/c Thomas' funeral with Flt.Lt. Rothwell. I thought it was a bit unfair as the airman was not from my own flight and I really did not know him. However off we went the following Tuesday in Dougie Rothwell's Bond Minicar. It's a 3-wheeler and a form of transport I would not recommend! In it you feel very close to the ground and it's not the most reliable of cars - it stalled once or twice and was reluctant to get going again. But we eventually reached Gloucester and the following day duly visited the bereaved family at Dursley and led the funeral cortege to the local church and graveyard. On the return journey to Bridgnorth we were following a big lorry (in the Minicar) when it suddenly needed to stop without warning; the only alternative to going under the lorry was to go round it - so Dougie headed for the path. Our nearside rear wheel caught the kerb and projected us in the air; we made a fine 3-point landing on the path and came to rest with a hissing sound from the rear wheel. After changing the wheel we were again on the road and eventually reached camp in time for dinner.

Another outside duty was to appear at the Magistrate's Court in Bridgnorth to testify to the accused airman's service character. A/C Hooper was the airman and his case was the last to be heard that day; the bench of magistrates (which I noted in my diary consisted of 4 old men and one deaf woman) were by then tired and they gave poor Hooper 3 months and a 2.8s.0d fine.
 
  Continue reading Grenville's memories here ........

 
The twenty one photographs Grenville sent are listed as;
In the 'General photographs' section -
'1950 - View of SQH'   ,  '1950 - View looking East'   ,   '1950 - View looking North East'
'1950 - View looking South East'   ,   '1950 - Aerial view of SQH'   ,  '1950 - Aerial view of 4 Wing'
'1950 - Astra cinema'   ,  '1950 - Inside the Astra'   ,   '1950 - Remembrance Day'
'1950 - Remembrance Day salute'   ,  '1950 - Fire Section'
In the 'Photographs of People' section -
'1950 - 10 Flt, 2 Wing'   ,  '1950 - Athletics'   ,  '1950 - Cycle Sports'
'1951 - 15 Flt in Sept'   ,  '1951 - Education Section'


Melvyn Freeman H4275068 from 1962, says he realls "good times and bad times. Remember Geoff Phillips and Clive Andrews. I can recall one day the Corporal asked if any of us knew anything about lawn-mowers and having previously worked in a lawnmower shop, I immediately bellowed out " Yes Corporal". The Corporal then pointed to the grass area outside the hut and bawled out "Then you can bloody well mow this grass this afternoon".
Happy times, made me a man, gave me a sense of discipline and respect. I went on to serve almost 23 years in Air Traffic Control."


Keith Deakin 3148198 from 1955, says he "arrived from Cardington for square bashing, a shock to the system, will never forget the first kit layout the following morning, the hut looked like a bomb had hit after the inspection carried out by our beloved sergeant and two corporals, but from fear things gradually got better.
I remember two nights on Wenlock Edge sleeping under tents made from our gas capes, this being January and very cold and wet.
I can also remember a very cold period with water mains freezing leaving only one ablutions block in use, those were the days I will never forget."


Robert Phillips 5090146 from 1957, says "I remember the Passing Out Parade when I literally passed out. I also remember the smell of the adjacent sewage works when we were on the rifle range."


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Donald Wray 4174173 from 1955, found it "rather daunting at first but I made fantastic friends - sad to leave them after square bashing - the youth of today would benefit from the discipline we had."


Graham Booth 4261353 from Nov 1960, says "I can remember quite vividly when we arrived at Bridgnorth been chased into our hut. I went flying on the floor even though it had been roughed up by the outgoing flight. What a way to start. I seem to remember that we were in with the last National Service conscipts. Like everyone else, looking back it was a great time but so was my RAF career.
One of my worst memories was drawing the short straw when we where all allocated jobs to do for about 3 days. Mine was the 'tin room' in the canteen.
I seem to remember having the TABT jab on the Saturday and then having the Sunday off to recover. There again it might be my memory failing again.
Also being dropped off miles from anywhere with a list of 6 tasks to do before returning back to camp. One of the these tasks was to find a fly. Sounds simple but this was the middle of December.
After Bridgnorth I was posted to Yatesbury for Radar training then on to Valley (4FTS) and Oakington (5(FTS) finally to Lyneham."


Frank Abbott 2768721 from 1954-1955, says it was "quite amazing. In an idle moment I put in Frank Abbott Peterborough into the Internet over this Christmas and the only reference to me was connected with Bridgnorth and pressing the key a photograph of all my hut companions in October 1955 appeared as if by accident. I could even remember all the faces.
I have many memories, not the least in learning all the verses of both Protestant supporter's football songs from a Rangers supporter and Catholic supporter's songs from a Celtic supporter. All of us in the hut being the best of friends.
We were rubbish at drill, but for some unknown reason we had very good expertise at the funeral march discipline and our flight ended up being complimented on that element of our drill.
I remember the reception on arriving at Bridgnorth on the lorry bringing us from the station from Cardington, when we believed the threats of the welcoming committee, ie drill instructors, that we could end up in a military prison if we did not obey their yells of command. There are so many memories it would be boring for other readers to see, as I am sure we all have fond and not so fond memories of our service days."


Mike Coady 3529177 from 1960, says "I had a great time while at RAF Brignorth and enjoyed the whole stay. I was delighted with the meals in the camp cookhouse and I had no complaints at all.
I seem to remember it was 40 flight D Sqdn,(Yellow disc behind beret badge) that was my intake, but can't recall the hut number. I also think it was the last of the delayed call up intakes, (for those that had just finished a time served) apprenticeship.
I remember the arrival on the train and the locals who seemed to gather at just right the time to watch the fun, watching as the recruits were shouted at getting off the train. I also remember well, the ride on the bus into the unknown to the camp which was a bit of a guess too, but soon settled in to the routine, once we were marched away and we were given a hut.
I wish I could do it again now and have a bit of fun as we did then. Bridgnorth was a nice little place, but I did not get the chance to spend much time there. Those times for me were happy days, young and full of ambition.
It is a pity the National service short call up finished, for these days I am sure, most of our young folk would enjoy it and to have the choice of a two or three year spell, would do a lot for our younger folk and give those that went in, a good start and open up an opportunity to become proud and it would stand them in good stead for the future.
I was sad to find out that the RAF station had closed down. Best of luck with the future to all of the old guys out there and also my kind regards to the residents of Bridgnorth."


Les Cooper 4161291 from 1954-1955, says he can "remember having food poisoning and 2-day camp somewhere in snow-covered Shropshire hills, making own tents with ground sheets, ball of string and ferns as base for bedding. Applied for posting to Germany after training, but was sent to Shawbury (until November 56) and finished at Stafford as Corporal in SIRS department (demobbed November 57."


Brian Pluse 5064854 from 1958-1959, says he can "remember the passing out parade, 20mm of snow fell whilst we waited for the CO to arrive."
 
The photograph Brian sent is listed as '1959 - Hut 85 in Jan'


Ivor Browne N4202452 from 1961, says "I have just been reminded by former Bridgnorth recruit, Ambrose Glackin, that it will soon be 50 years since we passed through the portals of Bridgnorth for basic training in February 1961. It seems like only yesterday, or did it happen to someone else that I don't recognise in the mirror anymore. We would love to hear from anyone from Hut 319 or the squadron - see my photos submitted earlier. Ever consider a reunion you guys??"
 
Also see Ivor's other memories.


Phil Williams F4262974 from 1961, says "I was 17, never been outside Wales before. At Bridgnorth, after the initial shouting and general abuse, found myself billeted with a bunch of jocks and geordies. Likewise these lads had never been out of their habitat either. It took a week or more before we could converse properly - hilarious.
I also remember pinching coal from everywhere to stop from freezing, god, what with that and R+I camp, I can't remember ever being so cold. Our D.I's were tough but fair as I remember, except for one Irish Corporal, who used to throw all our mail into the mud and make us fish for letters.
After training, I went on leave, prior to trade training, my dad didn't recognise me when I walked in. The training had turned me into the fittest I'd been in my life and boy was I smart. I went in on a 3 year stint, by the time I left Bridgnorth, I'd signed for 9 years, so I must have loved the life lol. A great bunch of blokes and everyone pulling together, a great experience, which I miss to this day. I'm in contact with quite a few of the old erks, lifelong friends. Thanks Bridgnorth."


Don Williams 4242779 from 1958, says they were "Good times. Enjoyed the runs (cross country and mountaineering had been my sports)"


Mike Perkins 4078400 from 1951, says he was "an only child revered by his parents never went further than Clacton and then pitched into RAF Bridgnorth for an 8 week experience of a lifetime, wonderful passing out parade, very moving and as fresh is my mind as 60 years ago."


Vernon Potger 4171066 from 1955, says he was "probably the only recruit with a Ceylonese background, at that time. A tough but wonderful introduction to five years of nostalgic Service in the Royal Air Force. Friendships made at that ime, were unfortunately brief. Re-newed contact appreciated."


Terry Pettitt 5059059 from 1958, says "I was in Flt 32, D Sqdn, hut 258. Our drill instructor was Cpl Widdowson and he slept in the room at the end of our hut, sometimes coming in late and practicing his guitar.
Looking back although we didn't appreciate it at the time we had some good laughs especially at the cpl's remarks such as tick tock man for swinging the wrong arm. Our stay there was from late March to early June extended due to Easter and Whitsun leave.
My initial memory of Bridgnorth was arriving at the railway station which ironically I now see quite often as our eldest daughter and family live just outside the town.
The only name I can remember from our flight was John Lowther who came from Lancaster.
While at Bridgnorth I was diagnosed with flat feet and did all the square bashing in shoes and was given an excused boots chit which naturally caused a lot of teasing as the tv comedy the Army Game with excused boots Bisley was popular at the time."

 
The photographs Terry sent are listed as '1958 - Hut 258, 32 Flt' and '1958 - 32 Flt 'D' Sqd'


Switch Hilton 2743741 from 1955, says the "site lists Cpl Reames in year 1957, but he was my DI in 1955. I have photo of the squadron including Cpl Reames which is not on this site. I am still in contact with Eric French who served at the same time."
 
The photograph Switch sent is listed as '1955 - 14 Flt, 'D' Sqd'


Oliver Scott 2426445 from 1949, says "I remember a fight with my mate called Smith who spilt crisps around my bed and wouldn't clean them up. Next morning on parade we were good friends again with swollen face and black eyes, needless to say we had had a good night in town.
Never seems to be any others square bashing at this time. I have never seen any other messages from the period March to June 1949.
The only names I remember are DI's Tom Guy and Cpl Frewin. My young nephews destroyed my group photo. Great times really."


Edwin Roberts 3145283 from 1955, says he can "remember camping in the Welsh hills in snow in home made tent."


David Barber 3153731 from 1958, says he can "remember the square bashing and the bull especially the cross country runs and the gas chamber training when I knoocked nyself out jumping off the wall then entered the gas chamber - didn't know where the hell I was for several minutes.
Sgt Wilson wasn't such a bad chap after all!.
Posted to Hereford for trade training and lost contact with Dave Cutts 3153732 for a year or so until I bumped into him at Cambridge rail station in 1960 just before demob. Please get in touch."


Stuart Paterson 5056929 from 1958, says that "Flt Sgt Dark was NCO in charge of our flight in January 1958, humane man, can't remember him ever shouting, even at the worst recruit. Coldest place I had lived in, constant search for coke for pot bellied stoves.
With flu rampant, I got the camp's only case of German Measles. Positive memories of time spent at Bridgnorth."


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Arthur Lanceley 5019595 from 1956, has "memories of the open air swimming pool situated along the Wolverhampton Road, which we attended during the summer of 1956.
Experiences in the gas chamber which I found rather frightening!
Does anybody remember a Cpl Morton? One of the more obnoxious drill instructors."


David 'Chalky' White 4262310 from 1960-1961, says "I was in "B" sqn hut either 210 or 211. I have never been so cold as that January, 2 bags of coke per week for the two stoves to keep the billet warm. At the end of January flu arrived on the camp, a lot of recruits ended up in sick quarters, the coke ration was trebled after that it saved us stealing coke from the boiler house across the road at night to try and keep warm."


Bill Hallett 4237925 from 1958, says he did "Intensive practice in band - my embouchure has never been so good! Did a painting for the Seargeants' Mess! Reported AWOL after missing train back after 48 ..."


David Crocker 5042596 from 1957, says that he "spent most of my basic training being prepared for two events; the AOCs inspection and the imminent demise of some Air Marshall. Only the inspection happened whilst I was at Bridgnorth. For the inspection we spent much time cutting grass and painting stone objects. For the Air Marshall we did a lot of funeral drill. We were due to have gasmask training when the inspection was taking place but we never got it as the facility had been "bulled up". We were obviously expendable in the event of a gas attack."


Bryan Crane 3105270 from 1947, says "six of us from Padgate plus Scots. Cpl. was a right ****. Remember on short-cut to town there was as little shop, shopkeeper had a great knowledge of the town. A coffee shop in centre of 'Hightown'."


Stanley Howard 4131780 from 1953, remembers that "in that year there was a large intake of youngairmen. I recall our drill Sergeant was Sgt McGuire and Cpl Shepherd was D.I. I cannot remember many of the intake but there was a Scotsman by the name of Murphy and Robert Gore who went to Dumfries with me.
The 8 weeks basic training I enjoyed throughly and recall to this day, we ended up in Pool flight waiting for posting. I have a photograph of the picture taken outside Hut 84 and have searched for it on this site to no avail. I have lived in Australia for 41 years and I have found the website interesting and have brought back a lot of memories."

 
The photograph Stanley sent is listed as '1953 - Howard Flt'


Phil Wherry 4248210 from 1959, says "I was in hut 181. Can't find any info on the hut or the names of those who were there when I was from Jan 8th 1959 to 1962. Would be grateful for info."


Wilson Lendrum F4273413 from 1962, says that "my memories of RAF Bridgnorth are as vivid today as they were in 1962.
I served out most of my training as a member of the Station band, and I was present at all the passing out parades including my own. I was a drummer during my time there and became lead drummer towards the end of my training - happy memories indeed."


George Munroe 4259162 from 1960, says that "it was the worst and best 6 weeks of my life. The worst being put into a hut and doused with tear gas. The best, the comraderie and the lifelong benefits of learned discipline. I could do it all over again. I now live in Canada and still do a bit of flying on a Cessna 172."


Walter Moscrop H4261425 from 1960, says he "enjoyed my time at Bridgnorth. Hectic to start with but the day we all went onto the parade square and won the drill efficiency trophy, very satisfying, probably could not do it now, seventy now."


Ian McDonald 4197672 from 1957, says he "served a total of 32 years in the RAF/RAAF around the world reaching senior rank, a little odd considering that after 2 weeks at Bridgnorth I wanted out!
Good website, well done."


Michael Jepson 5062279 from 1958, says he "played in the band (am back row far right in photo). Cpl Bell hated bandsmen. Once threatened to shove my euohonium in an unmentionable place. Met him later when he was "mine host" at a inn near EM Airport. Much more pleasant greeting!! Was in hut 24 A Flt. Mike Miles was senior man."


The views expressed on this page are those of the contributor and the opinions
expressed are not necessarily those of the web site and / or Mr Gwynne Chadwick.

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