RAF Wilmslow - Recollections - Dave Welch

Dave Welch 3525836 was at the camp in 1958.

"I forget which squadron or flight we were in but we were in hut 246. Our DIs were Corporals Jackson and Boulton. Jackson's favourite party trick was to stand on one leg with his beret on the heel of his boot. He would then kick it upwards and catch it on his head. Naturally we thought they were a pair of prize bastards when we first arrived (as was the intention of course) but we got to like both of them and even had whip round for them when we left.

Our Sergeant was Sgt Saint, who was okay but I recall that McClusky as being uneccesarily rude.I once politely asked if I could borrow his biro to sign something and nearly had my head ripped off. Another pretty obnoxious type was a F/Sgt Parr, who was inclined to throw his weight around just for the sake of it. I was usually first in the firing line being appointed 'Senior Man' of the hut, because I had been an ATC Cadet.

Most of the time there was spent cleaning kit, doing fatigues and drill. I didn't need much practice at that - my dad had once been an Army DI and later an RSM in the Military Police. In fact we were taught very little about service history, procedures, administration, etc. The VD film was a good laugh though.

I was in hospital for nearly two weeks during the flu outbreak. Fortunately I did not get 'back flighted', which was everyone's fear.

Our Officers were Flg/Off Joyce, an ex Venom pilot and a Plt/Off Gillette, who was not aircrew. At the time the squadron commander was a Sqdn/Ldr Johnson RAF Regt, and the base commander a Wg'Cdr O B Dias.

After Wilmslow, a summer on a camera mechanic course at Wellesbourne Mountford was sheer luxury, but then most of our course was posted to Cyprus during the EOKA bother. Eventually I retrained as aircrew finally serving in the RNZAF after which I flew for airlines until I retired."

I found this picture of some of the inmates of hut 246 in March 1958.
Names, L- R, back row
Derek McMahon - Richmond  Surrey.  (Ex Army NS)
Gordon Williams (or maybe Williamson)   Nottingham
Jack Staples - Devon
Laurie Warner - Derby
Rex Turner - Notts
John Ward - Reading?
Sid Stamp - Devon
Front row:
Cliff Watson - Sussex
Mac Jones
'Shanghai' Shaw - Coventry
Bert Taylor - Leics
Mac Woodward - Notts
There appears to be someone else behind Staples, but I can't tell whom. Unfortunately I have to admit being the one at the front.

Dave also contributed the photo of the gate guardian.

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