Visitors book

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Visitors book

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60 thoughts on “Visitors book

  1. Brilliant site. I’ll check out the memorial next time I go to the Arboretum. Well done all who go it up and running.

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    1. Hi Rita, Thanks for your comments, Dave Humphrey had the idea, and I built the site.
      The paving slab is not in place yet and I understand this is being unveilled sometime in November.

      Best wishes
      Kris Mercer (Webmaster)

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  2. Very interesting read on the history of the school of photography, and how it gradually moved with the times. The RAF Photographers Memorial instills a definitive pride and confidence to all who were a part of this movement, that our work and memories are a part of the past and future of photography.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a member of the 28th entry I have had the pleasure of knowing a good number of people in the trade over the years
    who have passed on and it is fitting that they should be remembered in this way. Well done guys

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  4. Hi Well done to one and all and such a great idea. I joined the RAF in September 1960 with ten other young gentlemen of a similar age – 66 years later seven of us still keep in contact and those who can still meet up every two years at various venues including Cosford. This site is fantastic and reminds me of a very happy 18 months spent at Cosford – the friendships made their are still as strong as they were 66 years ago. On a very sad note I would ask you to add another name to the list — He joined on the same day as me and we were posted to Wittering together and the RAF Bruggen — SAC Colin Baker – a Great Yorkshire lad from Poole in Dorset who died on a motorbike in the late sixties. As well as being a great member of the RAF he also helped me with running the services Scout Movement – a great loss to the RAF – to Scouting – and everything that touched his life. thank you so much and please keep up the good work. Past Cororal Ralph Hoult following a career at Cosford, Wittering, Bruggen, Brampton, Episkopi, Marham and now residing in Ramsgate.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, it is most appreciated. I think Kris Mercer deserves a special thanks for the brilliant web site and his precious advice. Dave Humphrey

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    2. Ralph, I can confirm your story as I was Colin’s Cpl at RAF Colerne in Dec 67 I think. We were early stacking at lunchtime for the Christmas break and Colin asked me if he could get away early as he had a long journey home on his motor bike; stupidly as it turned out I agreed to let him go and that was that. I closed up the section and went home to quarters. Lunch time the following day a knock on the front door and there was my OC in full uniform, he had come to tell me that Colin had died instantly when his bike ran into the back of a dust cart that had turned out in front of him. I was devastated and still to this day blame myself for letting him go early. I seem to remember that another of his talents was as an RAF fencer.
      Best wishes
      Stan Leeds

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      1. First time I have seen this, you must not blame yourself – I know exactly how you feel as it was my bike that Colin was riding – he was looking after it for me when I went to Cyprus – I felt the same as you – If he had not had my bike? but he would have been on a bike as that is what he loved most in life. Colin & myself, while stationed at RAF Bruggen decided to do the 1964 TT and the round trip was around 1000 miles – we went for the full race week and what fanatstic time it was totally Motor Bike – the TT – Grass Track – Scrambles _ even the cinemas were TT – not to mention Mad Sunday. I got some good cine over Colin’s shoulder as we attempted the new Mad Sunday Record – a joke , I did film but we were quite sensible on that occasion. He was a really great mate and yes we both did fencing – we taught the Scouts fencing and at Cosford Rick Farmer and myself were in the Cosford Fencing Team and together were RAF Junior Champions – unfortunatly the contest is for all three weapons and our Sabre & Epee let us down. Colin also helped me run the Scouts in Germany. A Really Great Lad from Yorkshire. Bye Ralph Hoult residing in Ramsgate.

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      2. Hi Ralph, Thank you for that; it didn’t help the situation that I let him off earlier but as you say he was on your bike, (I didn’t know that}.My concern at the time was for his parents who were joyfully waiting to see their lad for Christmas. Thank you for your concerns. Best wishes, Stan

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    3. Hello Ralph – a quick hello from many days gone by! Pleased to hear see that you’re still alive and kicking.

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      1. I need to come on to this site more often – Hi Jerry – you were 40th Entry Cosford weren’t you? How is life treating you? If you want to get in touch directly to me email ralphchoult @gmail.come Bye Ralph Hoult of Ramsgate

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      2. Hi Colin had a brother Terry – not in the RAF – I used to PPP down to Parkestone Poole where Colin lived and got yo know the family well especially Terry – also a fellow Bike fan – he used to race in Scrambles – we went there once and Colin put on Terry’s gear & racing bike and did quite a good race – they looked very similar and nobody noticed the change of racer. what great fun. k lost contact with Terry soon after the loss of Colin and only recently managed a contact after his death notice in the local paper – managed to link up with Terry’s wife – she knew of me through Terry. sad times but very happy memories Bye Ralph Hoult

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    4. Just read this again and noticed a few typos and mistakes not 66yrs but 57 years since we joined the RAF Cosford & Brampton NOT Bramlton and bing should read “being” & writhing should read “with running” I tend to write send and at a later date read and see the odd mistake.Bye Ralph Hoult Ex RAF Photo G

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  5. Hello Dave
    Stan Leeds pointed me to your website today – brilliant concept. Well done!
    Concerning the remembrance role of those who have passed on, have you a facility for others to include additional names of those that have passed on that you may not know about at this time? Certainly, I have two to include :

    Sergeant Dave Archdale (ACF). Cpl Pete Spires (PhotoG)

    Maybe those reading this will know of others in the branch who could also be added?
    Anyway, keep at it young man. Hope you are keeping fit and well?
    Best wishes

    Jerry Chance

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  6. I’ve just found this site and sadly have learned that some good friends have gone.
    The one that I am particularly sad to read about about is John ‘Spike’ Banbury.
    Spike was my Sergeant at Wildenrath in the early 80s and became a good friend.
    I remember his knowledge of the Dutch language came in particularly handy when we ran into a little trouble on a RIC coach trip to the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam…the ones where you NEVER wanted to win the raffle on the coach journey up (those who went on one of these trips would know why)
    So many familiar names on the memorial.
    Their faces remain frozen in my memory as if we all were still those young men and women living our lives in some sort of parallel universe .It’s difficult to realise that we have all become older and time has actually moved on.
    God bless them all and thank you for a superb and fitting memorial.

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  7. Hey Jerry
    Seeing your name on here reminded me that I still have a B&W studio portrait of you taken for one of my final Photo G exams at JSOP when you were a Sgt on the staff there.
    You were the only one willing to sit for us.
    I must dig it out of the loft!

    Best wishes
    Dave Hill
    Ex Cpl Photo G

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sadly I have another name to add to the memorial area.
    My former colleague and friend John Cannon passed away in 2010 after a period of chronic ill health.
    John was the life & soul of many a BBQ and kept me sane(ish) during the long days in the ‘Klimsch’ section at PRU RAF Germany.
    I ran into John a few years after leaving Germany and the RAF when he worked on Security at Leeds University and I was doing my Law Degree there. He hadn’t changed one little bit, still ‘mad as a box of frogs!’
    We lost touch again when I graduated and moved to Huddersfield Uni for my post-grad and I was very sad to read his obituary in the University Alumni News.
    http://www.leeds.ac.uk/secretariat/obituaries/2010/obituary7130.html
    Once again…goodbye old friend.

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    1. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for letting us know, I will sadly add John’s name to the list.
      Do you know of his last rank when he left the force?
      May I use the obituary on a seperate page ?
      Do you have a photograph that we could use on ‘his’ page.

      Best wishes

      Kris Mercer

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  9. This a wonderful thing to do in memory of RAF photographers. I see that our late sons name Paul Mallett is included another lasting memory to a special person that was taken far too soon. This is very much appreciated by his dad Terry and myself. Thank you very much.

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  10. Brings back many memories of Happy days and great people Brummie Peters, Frank Wright,Lee Browne Jim Tiddman,Dave Ketcher, Dasiy Lennie and more some who I can only remember the faces off I was on APO 26 the 1st of the double shifts days and nights great fun and great people I must get back and have a look one day

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  11. Just scrolled through the list of those who’ve gone to work in the ultimate darkroom and amazed at the number that I knew and worked with over those years. Some very happy memories and chuckles over past encounters but, as always, tinged with sadness that we won’t be able to meet at any re-union and rekindle those memories. At least I have the memories and that is a consolation. RIP – good friends as always.

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  12. What a fascinating stroll down memory lane. It seems like a lifetime since APO41 and ACF35. Hello Kris! Yes, I’m the Ian Matthews who was on ACF35 with you, Pete Lawrence and Al Swan. Great site – keep up the memory of TG14 and some great times.

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      1. Hi Kris, good to hear from you too – you’re doing a great job. I was quite taken aback looking through the dedications – some amazing people who made our trade what it was. I haven’t seen Pete Lawrence since the ACF course. Al Swan and I were at Gutersloh at the same time (1981ish) Again, not seen him since. Mind you, I have lived in New Zealand for 20 years so I’m just a bit out of the loop these days. There are a couple of ex-TG14 here. Rob Kesby ex-ACF then Radar is in the RNZAF based in Wellington. Take care, great to make contact again after 40 years!

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      2. NZ hey hey!! brilliant, I’ve spent a lot of time travelling around your neighbour Oz. done all of the coast and a bit of time in the interior.
        I became a Photog back in ’78 shortly after the ACF course and finally left RAF in ’86 nearly 16 years service. Became Police photographer in Kent then onto SOCO (CSI), moved on in 2006 to become IT teacher. Retired 2 years ago. still do photography and build websites as a hobby now. (This site is one of them)

        Dave Humphrey asked me to design this site when he started the Memorial Fund and we were hoping to have the dedication of the Memorial Paviour in November last year. His untimely passing slowed the progress but the dedication is going to be held on the Anniversary of his passing 31 Aug 2017 at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

        Bets wishes to you and yours

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  13. Kris, the website is very slick – you’ve done a great job. I think we met briefly when you took my mugshot when I went through OASC Biggin Hill in the early 80’s. Going from PhotoG to the police seems like a logical move – although I imagine it could be very intense at times. I think Bob Hopkins did something similar. I saw Dave Humphrey last in 1994 when I invited him to CSDE just before Swanton Morley closed. He was keen to look throughour photo archives for the museum. We had lots of gems – the original drawings for the Victor crates for example, PR9 mounts, etc., etc. He cherry-picked the best stuff, the rest sadly, went to the incinerator. Dave was a true gentleman, kind, considerate and a fount of photo knowledge. I went Airframes after an abortive attempt at LTechAR. Finished my 22 as a C/T at Wyton in 1998. I joined the RNZAF (as a Sgt) and have been here ever since. I’m a civilian learning designer working for the NZDF now specialising in e-learning – I’m something of an IT geek also I’m sorry to confess. Retirement is a year (or so) away – I enjoy what I do, so no great rush to log off just yet.

    One question if I may – does anyone have any details or background to Dave Rees’ passing? I knew ‘Merlin’ well from Coltishall and Laarbruch – a good lad with a great sense of fun.

    Kind regards, Ian.

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  14. Old photographers never die, they just go out of focus.
    Old teachers and instructors never die, they just lose their class.
    God Bless them one and all.
    Photographer II, 39th Entry, Cosford, Jan.1960 – June 1961
    The fine and enthusiastic CO of the School of Photography at Cosford was Flight Lieutenant Watkins, DFC.

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  15. I have only just found the Web Site as I am not a Facebook member, however, what a great tribute to all those who have passed away. Please add the following to the Remembrance Parade:
    Max Broomhead – Sergeant
    Colin Beety – Warrant Officer

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  16. I trained at Wellesbourne Mountford in 1956, spent 1957 at Brampton and 1958-1960 at Episkopi. Until recently I had a web site about JAPIC (ME) at Deversoir, and JARIC (ME), ARIC(NE) and JARIC (NE) at Episkopi, which put me in touch with a many ex-RAF photographers and PIs from that period. Anyone who is interested is welcome to contact me at jaricme@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Just discovered this site. I was in 304th Craft Apprentice entry ’65 -’66 (along with Don Lambert who appears in the photo archive). I was on the guard of honour for the opening of the School. I remember working with Dave Humphrey at JHQ Rheindahlen in ’75….a gentleman. I’m now retired and living in Norfolk….would be pleased to renew contact with any who may remember me from Cosford, Leuchars, Gutersloh, Wittering, Bruggen or JHQ.
    Dennis Weatherill

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  18. Hi Dennis, I hope you are well and enjoying retirement?If you are on Facebook, you’ll be able to make contact with old mates on the RAF Photographers Association and also on the 304 Entry groups. Both have annual reunions, normally in October and September respectively.

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  19. I’ve only just found this site. I was on the first course of Boy Entrant Photographers at Cosford in 1956, the 28th Entry. Nice to see our course photo on your site. I left the RAF in 1969 and shortly after joined the BBC, retiring in 1993 as filmand video editor. I now spend my time between The UK and Turkey.

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  20. Hello
    How wonderful to have found this site.
    I signed on on Friday 13th March 1953 at Cardington and did my square-bashing at Hednesford before going to the School of Photography at Wellesbourne Mountford. Chiefy Smith was the admin F’Sgt (“don’t call me Chiefy”; “Alright Chief”.) with Ron Lewis as one instructor, Sgt Johnson as another and Cpl. Evans as a techie. Bob (‘Lord’) Attwood was on my course, as was Don Burnett, who i’m still in touch with — he lives in Lancaster. I lived out with my folks in Coventry, driving in every day on my Dad’s Humber. On passing out I was posted to 4MFPS at Bad Eilsen, living for the first months at Buckeburgh. Jubb Coward was a great mate, Tony Cooney, Derek Greenwood, Mo Davis and Taff Davies from MT., Geordie Gascoigne, Willey Wilson, Jock Gallicker, Jock Gillanders and Dave Fincham, a farmer’s son from Somerset who frequently stood me (and others) to double saus, egg and chips in the NAAFI when he had money and we didn’t. Thanks Dave. We worked nights in the Blue Trains under W/O Des Parfitt, a highly respected man. Another friend was Sgt Jim Atkinson, Command Photographer, sadly court-marshalled and booted out of the service for being homosexual. Not so nice was Flt. Lt. Mayle, officer in charge of the section, who put me on a 252 for dropping a fag packet in the gutter, took the charge and then admonished me!
    We all went to Munchen Gladbach (Rheindahlen) when it was opened but by then I had been on the Advanced course and made up to Cpl., posted to the Command Printing Section at HQ (‘Alcatraz’) with Cpl Dooley and Sgt Faley, a DI on rest year. He rooked me out of all my loose change every lunchtime at Pontoon. Together we looked after a print workshop manned by German civilians, including Eberhard Watollik, Herr Werber and a half dozen others.
    Love every minute.
    Demobbed Feb 1956.
    Keep talking

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