RAF Wilmslow - Recollections - Peter Ward

Peter Ward wrote: "My wife and I were both at RAF Wilmslow, which was a Recruit Training Station in Tech Training Command and also an RAF Hospital. The Maintenance Unit was at Handforth, and was known as RAF MU Handforth. It was not part of RAF Wilmslow, though it relied on Wilmslow for medical services (as did RAF Ringway). I was a National Service Medical Officer, and my wife was an RAF Nursing Sister."

Peter Ward

"I was there as a medical officer in 1954/5 , and my wife, whom I met at RAF hospital Wilmslow, was a Nursing Sister (PMRAFNS.) there.

The camp housed a recruit training station for airmen and WAAFs, in fact I think it was the only one taking newly entered WAAFs. The recruit training stations came under Tech Training Command, and took in new entrants, mostly national service men, where they got their basic training and square bashing. Their physical state, aptitudes, intelligence, education, etc. were assessed and after 8 weeks training they were allotted a trade and posted on for further training.

In addition to the recruits young newly commissioned Pilot Officers were there to gain experience as Flight Commanders. They were expected to look after their flight of raw recruits, and with the flight NCOs, take them through their basic training. Woe betide any Flight Commander who did not know all the names of his charges by the end of the first day!

On the site also was an RAF hospital which was under separate command (W/C Blair in my day) though facilities were shared with the recruit station.

There was no maintenance unit at Wilmslow though there was a small MU at Handforth, No62 I think. They had limited facilities and depended on Wilmslow for medical services among other things (as did RAF Ringway). There were two MI rooms (Male & Female) which were the GP services of the station. They also carried out all the inoculations and vaccinations, FFIs and sanitary inspections There was also a chiropody service. Foot troubles were common with recruits wearing new service boots for the first time. The medical Officers of the hospital and the MI rooms shared duties. There were no specialist medical officers on site, but there were visiting specialists from larger RAF hospitals, and we also sent servicemen or their families to local civilian hospitals, usually Stockport Royal Infirmary.

After leaving the RAF I stayed in the Manchester area for 2 or 3 years. I remember going back to look at the RAF camp some time during this period, to find that it had been demolished. Later, of course, the by-pass was driven through the site, and houses built."

These are some more of Peter's pictures:

Inside Sisters' mess Inside No1 MI room Outside the Sisters' mess
Inside Sisters' mess Inside No1 MI room Outside the Sisters' mess
Clerks' office RAF Hospital No1 MI room staff
Clerks' office RAF Hospital No1 MI room staff

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