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Thanks to John Williams 5033103 for this photograph of Hut 65, 'B' Sqd, 14 Flt in Nov 1956.
John says "I am fourth from the left on the back row. I have to admit that I have seldom looked at this photograph over the subsequent years, but whenever I have, one character 'looms large'. Corporal Kimberley was just about the most intimidating person that I had ever met up to that point in my life, even though he could not have been that much older than me. He had a voice that resonated well beyond the perimeters of the parade grounds and a personality that you ignored at your peril, but, as a drill instructor, he would have been hard to beat. He marched us in all sorts of weather, yelled at us interminably and cajoled us only when absolutely necessary, no doubt with his sights set on top honours in the end. I seem to remember that we came second in the final assessment, but he didn't appear to be too put out by that.
At a more personal level, I remember that towards the end of our time at Bridgnorth he dropped into our hut for a chat with us all one Sunday morning, but more probably to check if we were polishing our boots to the required standard. He was in civilian clothes and looked rather dishevelled, quite different from when he wore his full DI regalia. I had an informal chat with him, mainly about our lives outside of the RAF. He told me that he came from Kidderminster and that he had spent some time in the then thriving carpet industry before joining up. He seemed interested to learn that I lived near to Stourbridge at that time, because he said that he knew the place well. None of this of course counted for very much when he had cause to admonish me on some matter soon afterwards. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that I could not expect any special favours just because we were neighbours.
The chap second from the left on the back row of this photograph was a super guy by the name of Ken Scriggins. He hailed from the Norwich area and was older than the rest of us, which is probably why he became Senior Man for the hut. Ken was not a conscript and had previous military experience in the army, where, I believe, he had risen to the rank of Sergeant. I suppose his age and knowledge of the ways things were done in the armed forces ideally placed him to be something of a father-figure for the rest of us. I know that he decided to return to the military with a change of direction in mind. I never knew what he had done in the army or 'civvy-street', but he definitely wanted to learn something new in the RAF. Ken, unfortunately, was a very serious smoker, but such a habit was socially acceptable in those days, and I don't think that many people were aware of the damage that could be caused by even passive smoking. Smoking never seemed to be frowned upon even in the RAF, where the order could often be heard, 'You may smoke, gentlemen'. In Ken's case, his first cigarette of the day came at reveille and his last at lights out - the glow from his cigarette was the only light to be seen in the hut by then.
I can name few of the others, but not with absolute certainty in all cases:
Extreme left, front row, Bryce Morrison. Bryce was perhaps an unlikely contender for the smartest man in the Flight, but his enthusiasm for maintaining his kit in impeccable condition was without equal. A nice chap.
Second left, front row, George Masterton. George was a mild-mannered Scotsman, who was an asset to the more social side of the hut. On rare evenings out, he could be relied upon to give an excellent rendition of that old Scottish song, 'Goodnight Irene', and even to this day the title of this song and George have, for me, tended to become synonymous.
Fourth left, front row (behind the board), Thomas Ross. Tom, although fairly slightly built, was a far more robust Scotsman than George, with a love of the favourite North-of-the-border 'tipple'. I can recall little else about him, but a memory of him has nevertheless remained to this day.
Second right, front row, Tim Slater. In many ways, Tim was an unlikely military man. He was very deeply religious, but if he harboured any acute sensitivities or pacifist tendencies he never let on, and he stayed the course right to the end, without demonstrating any weakness. I remember that he even socialised with the rest of us, but was careful not to consume any alcoholic drink. On one such occasion he lost his wallet containing his weekly pay, and the rest of us made contributions to make up the full amount - such was our respect for him.
Extreme left, middle row, Michael Rowley. Mike was a cheerful ebullient sort of character, who never seemed to let anything bother him. His home was in Leek, Staffordshire. I remained friends with him for the rest of our National Service days, but we regrettably lost contact soon afterwards, and I have never managed to find him since.
I regret that I can only name two others with any degree of certainty. Second right, middle row, Bob Neil, and third right, same row, Michael Watson. Sorry, no other information. It's just possible that third from the left, front row is Bill Purcell."
We have tried to decipher some signatures so that the site Search Engine can read them.
M.E Amies, John Ellis, S.B Tracey, Ken Scriggins, J.T Smith, Michael Watson, F W-even?,
Keith Walters, M Rowley, Jerry Wright, R.J Rawlin, Bryce L Morrison, Thomas Ross,
G.C Mar..? Bill Purcell, David Nicholl, John Walton, George Masterton, Bob Neil, Tim Slater.
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