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National Service

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
I was just thinking about some of the songs we sang, usually after having a bevvy or two!
Songs we squaddies sang.
10 green bottles
knick knack paddy whack
we are the rasc (or whatever regiment you were in )
My eyes are dim i cannot see
Kiss me goodnight sgt/major
A scottish soldier (for the Scots )
Danny boy (for the Irish )
Can`t think what the Welsh sang?
Some of those songs would have a rather rude interpretation
Men of Harlech
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
The one that still sticks in my mind is the RAF General Salute - well we did play it on every parade, both at Stoke Heath and at Shawbury, where we amalgamated with their four players once a month so that they could have a proper parade with music!

Amongst marches we played were the RAF March Past, BB&CF, and the theme tune to the film Robin Hood, known to us oinks as Robbin' B*****d. :) There were many others, of course, but memory is fading when it comes to such mundane matters.

Maurice :cool:
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Had a read through the thread today and looked at my group photo below. We were called up from all over the country pausing our civilian lives for compulsory two years service in the RAF. After seven weeks of basic training with all it's trials and tribulations this pass-out photo was taken. One day later we were posted to different units across the RAF and I never saw any of them again ... I'm third from left, front row ... I remember how we were ordered to sit ... left of the DI, right legs over left legs, and right of DI left legs over right ... closed fists on thighs ... :)
Flight Smart RAF Padgate.jpg
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
The one that still sticks in my mind is the RAF General Salute - well we did play it on every parade, both at Stoke Heath and at Shawbury, where we amalgamated with their four players once a month so that they could have a proper parade with music!

Amongst marches we played were the RAF March Past, BB&CF, and the theme tune to the film Robin Hood, known to us oinks as Robbin' B*****d. :) There were many others, of course, but memory is fading when it comes to such mundane matters.

Maurice :cool:
i thought i saw you in "get some in":grinning:oink
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Reading about all the bs, makes me glad I served, as a regular, in the RAF. However some parts of the RAF - usually non operational - could equal anything the Army and Royal Navy were able to achieve.
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
That was where night shift and band came in, Alan, we were more or less untouchable. Night shift ensured that we couldn't woken in the morning and being in the band excused us all guard duties, fire piquets or other duties! :)

Maurice :cool:
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
All great stuff! What were the special cap badges, oldMohawk? Don’t recall ever seeing anything like that at Hednesford.

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, oM. Where was that again, Padgate? Never saw those at Hednesford (October/November 1954) as far as I recall. Certainly didn’t have one myself. Plenty of other things to worry about though!

Chris
 

Radiorails

master brummie
They were used at Bridgnorth -in the mid 1950's anyway.
Aircraft Apprentices and Boy Entrants also were issued with them.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Chris, yes I did my basic training at Padgate. I listed the camps I was stationed at in a post below when I was younger and a newbie on the forum. I notice I have since posted in this thread over 100 times .... all from just two years in the RAF !!
oldmohawk

National Service ?
I recently heard some one on TV saying they should bring back National Service.
Perhaps some (men) in this section of the forum may have meekly reported for service when in their teens and early twenties.
Today's teenagers would probably simply rip up their papers, refuse to go, and carry on clubbing !
I had a fairly soft National Service, in the RAF, with all UK postings. I was in the RAF because as a youngster I joined the Air Training Corps by the Clifton cinema.

1st camp RAF Cardington in Bedfordshire
The induction centre where they issued the uniforms, and you had your last chance to try and get out by fooling them in a medical.
One guy in our billet convinced them he was nearly blind, and laughed at us as he expertly packed his bags and went home !
They also issued your number, and woe betide you if you ever forgot it. Mine 3150438 is still etched in my brain, but I don't use it as a password !

2nd camp RAF Padgate near Warrington
Reputedly the harshest 'square bashing camp' in the RAF. Initially it was a nightmare with much shouting and everything at the double.
I was an engineering draftsman before my service and a Corporal asked the flight whether there were any draftsmen in it.
I put my hand up expecting do some drawings, but he told me it was draughty and I had to shut all the windows !

3rd camp RAF Melksham in Wiltshire.
Here we spent 6 months in classrooms training to be instrument fitters. A test exam with a pass rate of 70% each week.
Less than 70% two weeks running put you off the course and you might became a cook.
We used to drink a cheap local brew called 'scrumpy', one pint horrible, second getting better, third pint you didn't care.

4th camp RAF Topcliffe in Yorkshire.
This camp had airplanes we could work on and sometimes had to fly in them to ensure we had serviced them correctly. We did have parachutes though.
I had a look at this camp a few years ago, but a soldier at the gate pointed a gun at me and rudely told me to go !

5th Camp RAF Feltwell Norfolk
Here we were clearing out RAF stuff so that the Americans could install their Thor Nuclear Missiles. There is one at Cosford Museum.
I think Thors could just reach Moscow, but took so long to fire up, the Russians would have got theirs here first.
I had a flight where the pilot told me to collect all the rubbish us servicing 'erks' had left on the floor as he rolled the plane upside down and the rubbish dropped into the perspex canopy.

We met many people from all over and could not understand why they found our 'brummie' accents so amusing, just like Anne Robinson does.
We met 'Geordies' from Newcastle - difficult to understand, 'Jocks' from Glasgow - very difficult to understand.
They were all good types and we had much fun.

Apologies to any lady forum members for this rather male oriented post, but we did use to rush home weekends on 36hr passes to see our girl friends, and if not, used to write letters, and occasionally they would send 'dear john' letters back, but we would then encourage the recipient to go out to meet the local lasses.


Sorry about the length of this post now I look at it
But Rod did say we could post memories
oldmohawk
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, oM.

Alan's mention of Boy Entrants reminds me of my journey, via Shrewsbury, from Shawbury to the furthest eastward reaches of Lincolnshire to where I had been posted, following completion of trade training. There was a group of three or four of us and as our train drew up at Cosford station we were inundated by a horde of uniformed pipsqueaks aged around 16 who were off somewhere, on leave or elsewhere. We looked down on them loftily from the height of age and of three months' service in the "proper" RAF and kept our distance.

One thing did worry us a bit, though. You got a bit paranoid after weeks of oppression, even though square bashing was becoming a memory. What we weren't quite sure about was whether the two or three in this group who were not only the most bumptious but were also wearing sergeant's stripes had any power of any sort over us. We stayed mum, never put it to the test, they disappeared at Wolverhampton or Birmingham and we continued our tortuous, day-long journey into the wilds.

Chris
 

Smudger

master brummie
Hi Chris, yes I did my basic training at Padgate. I listed the camps I was stationed at in a post below when I was younger and a newbie on the forum. I notice I have since posted in this thread over 100 times .... all from just two years in the RAF !!
oldmohawk
oldmohawk, I`m surprised you can remember drinking 3 pints of scrumpy. I was stationed at Yeovil, & we were warned about the scrumpy but being young & stupid we took no notice & hence got horribly drunk on the stuff. Never touched the stuff after that.
I took a Air-dispatch course at RAF Abingdon, learned how to pack a parachute & drop stuff from the plane ( Hastings ) without a chute. All good fun & got paid an extra 15 bob a week danger money!
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
I always remember arriving at RAF Yatesbury after square-bashing at Hednesford in 1955. We were still very apt to use "Yes Corporal" when answering a question. We were immediately told to forget all that rubbish and reminded we were no longer at square-bashing. This was compounded even further when I was eventually posted to RAF Stoke Heath and the two education officers were at university with my Brummie mate Alan. From then on it was Fred & Joe (whatever their names were as it was a long time ago) and we never saluted them! :) Unfortunately they couldn't use our NAAFI.

Maurice :cool:
 
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