39th Boy Entrant Entry

No.2 SCHOOL OF TECHNICAL TRAINING “Victory in the air by dint of work on the ground”

ROYAL AIR FORCE STATION COSFORD “Only the beginning is difficult”

Boy Entrants of the 37th Junior Entry September-December 1959, training to be photographers at No.2 School of Technical Training, Royal Air Force, Cosford.
They are learning to use an MPP 54 (5˝x4˝) plate camera and a Weston light meter whilst photographing the radar array of a de Havilland Vampire NF 10. Further instruction included the preparation of air cameras, and the multiprocessing and printing of aerial films.
Boy Entrants were admitted in January, May, and September each year with each intake forming a numbered Entry. After three months in the Initial Training Squadron, they were placed in squadrons, based on their chosen trade.

Boys wore the standard “Other Ranks” uniform. In addition the dress cap had a chequered hat band, and the upper left arm of the tunic bore an insignia of a colour backed badge in the shape of an encircled four bladed propeller.


Initial Training Squadron

No. 1 Wing

No.2 Wing

Education to Standard IX in general subjects, trade appropriate subjects e.g. Chemistry & Physics Geography and Current Affairs.
Training in one of four Civil Defence duties – First Aid, Fire Fighting, Life Saving, and Light Rescue.
No.1 Squadron

Photographers “A” Flight

No.2 Squadron

Air Radar Mechanics
Ground Radar Mechanics

No.3 Squadron

Ground Wireless Mechanics

No.4 Squadron

Nursing Orderlies ‘A’ Flight
Air Wireless Mechanics


Parents’ Day Menu Graduation from ITS to Junior Entry 1941021 B/E Vaughan, V.K. u/t Photographer II

Initial Training Squadron (ITS)
(No tunic insignia)
D. of B. 28th February 1944
D. of E. 25th January 1960

39th (Senior) Entry Passing Out Day June 1961“A” Flight, No.1 Sqn. No.1 Wing

No.1 Sqn. upper left arm insignia.
Inverted chevrons on lower left arm denote grading of Entries;
1 – Junior: 2 – Leading; 3 – Senior
White Lanyard: Church Choir / Red Lanyard: Senior Boy


Sir Victor Emmanuel Groom

Air Marshal Sir Victor Emmanuel Groom b: 4th August 1898 ret: 26th September 1955 d: 6th December 1990.

KCVO -16th July 1953, KBE -1st January 1952 (CBE – 5th July 1945, OBE – 11th July 1940), CB – 8th June 1944,
DFC – 2nd November 1918, Bar – 19th Aug 1921, MiD – 1st Jan 1945, MiD – 1 Jan 1946, LoH, O – xx xxx 194?

Royal Flying Corps He was an ace credited with eight aerial victories.
Royal Air Force Lt: 1st April 1918 (T) Capt: 23rd August 1918, Fg Off: 1st August 1919 [1st Apr 1918], Flt Lt: 1st Jul 1924,
Sqn Ldr: 1 Oct 1934, Wg Cdr: 1st Jan 1938, Act Gp Capt: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Gp Capt: 1st September 1940, Act A/Cdre: 18th April 1942?, Gp Capt (WS): 18th Nov 1942, (T) A/Cdre: 1st June 1943, Act AVM: 8th September 1943, Gp Capt: 1st December 1943, A/Cdre (WS): 8th Sep 1944, (T) AVM:1st January 1946, A/Cdre: 1st January 1946, AVM: 1st Jul 1947, AM: 1st Jan 1952.

1922 – 1927: Staff, School of Photography, South Farnborough.

On the eve of the 2nd World War the Royal Air Force School of Photography was compelled to move from South Farnborough to improvised accommodation at Farnham, Surrey. A supernumerary (extra) School of Photography was established at Blackpool in 1940 to meet an increased wartime demand for trained personnel. It was closed down following the end of the war. In 1948 the School of Photography was re-established at Wellesbourne-Mountford, near Stratford-on-Avon, where it remained until October 1963. It then moved to temporary accommodation at Cosford, where it joined the Boy Entrant Photographer training programme, which had been there since 1956.

A new purpose building was constructed and opened on 3rd December 1965, by the late Air Marshall Sir Alfred Earle, KBE CB, 1907-1966. After attending the School of Photography in 1930 he advanced as Photographic Officer for Training and Far East Commands. Between 1962 and 1964 he was one of AM Groom’s successors as AOC-in-C Technical Training Command.

The opening of the new purpose building coincided with the end of the Boy Entrant scheme and introduction of a Craft Apprentice scheme.

In 2003, the school was renamed as the Defence School of Photography (DSOP) which widened the scope on training it could offer across governmental agencies. Since 2006 it has been under the command and control of the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre (DISC) at Chicksands alongside the Defence School of Intelligence (DSI), the Defence School of Languages (DSL) and the Royal School of Military Survey (RSMS).

In 2015, DISC was renamed as the Joint Intelligence Training Group (JITG) which the DSOP still works under.

(The nickname of a Royal Air Force Boy Entrant was “brat”, and photographers are “phots”. Royal Navy photographers are nicknamed “snaps”.)

1940 – 1945: He rose to become a consequential participant and Head of Planning for air operations in support of Operation Overlord, the invasion of France during the Second World War.

1st July 1952: Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Technical Training Command.
Considered to be the progenitor of the post-war Boy Entrant scheme that was restructered and expanded during his period in post (1952 -1955).

The Boy Entrant Scheme.

The Boy Entrant scheme of boys between ages of 15 to 17.

14 Entries ran from the mid-1930s, which was suspended at the outbreak of WW2. The scheme resumed in 1947 and continued to late 1965. Boys who joined the RAF underwent training in various occupations (or trades) which fitted them for employment in the Royal Air Force.

The final entry was the 51st who commenced training in January 1964 and graduated in July 1965.

In 1952 the 17th Entry Boy Entrant applicants aged 15 years were required to enter into a contract with the Air Ministry obligating the successful candidate to serve a minimum TEN years (effective from age 18 years) plus TWO years RAF reserve service.

Thanks to the RAF’s experience with aptitude and intelligence tests, and the knowledge that lack of education did not mean lack of intelligence, the RAF was able to train suitable candidates in appropriate trades and so assisted in creating the backbone of the RAF’s technical services during the years dominated by transient national servicemen.

The Boy Entrant scheme ran alongside the Apprentices Scheme at RAF Halton; Apprentice boys with GCE ‘O’ levels undertook 2 or 3 years training which ran on similar lines.
In 1965 the Apprentice and Boy Entrant schemes were replaced with the multiple, more narrowly defined duties in the Craft Apprentices scheme. The course was reduced to 12 months.

July 1955: The Victor Groom Ceremonial Stick. The stick was presented by Air Marshall Sir Victor E. Groom K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., D.F.C., when he was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Technical Training Command. It was awarded to the passing-out Boy who made the most outstanding contribution to the  overall organisation and discipline of each Entry. The recipient carries it on the parade and is given a small replica at the prize-giving as a memento.

Sir George Robert Beamish

The Photographic Trade (TG14) was introduced to the Boy Entrant scheme in 1956, during the period that Irish born AM Sir G.R. Beamish, KCB, CBE, (1905-1967) was AOC-in-C Technical Training Command, 1955-1958.








Compiled July 2019 vkvaughan99@gmail.com