If you have anything relevant that you would like to share with our members then please let me have it, ideas, photos, stories, experiences in fact anything we can publish.
Would you all please ensure that if you have a change of address, telephone number or email address you let me know so that Entry records can be kept up to date.
I look forward to hearing from you ALL. Rip
I enclose here a letter from Nev Goldsmith, the detail of which may be of great interest to some of our members. The letter was sent through to Jim Robson, I include ad verbatim so you can all make up your own minds if it is of interest.
Sorry we couldn't get to this years reunion, but we had arranged a holiday
in France at that time.
The reason I am contacting you is to see if you know about the AFPG, ( Armed
Forces Pension Group ) and their campaign to try and get the government to
agree to grant retrospective pension rights to members of the armed forces
that completed less than 22yrs service, 16yrs for Officers, and were
discharged before 1975.
I came across this organisation accidentally from a magazine article and
joined a couple of years ago, and would like to make sure that all of the
guys we know, who fall into this category, do know of it's existence and
have the opportunity to join as well. Obviously, the more that join, the
stronger the voice will be. They are very active in the campaign on
our behalf and are being led by Colin Challen M.P. who has tabled an
"Early Day Motion" ( EDM 102 ) for MP's to sign up to, which will
allow a debate to take place.
I am contacting you as I know you are a central contact for all the guys and
would be in the best position to make them aware of AFPG's existence, and
how to find out more about them. Their website is www.afpg.info
. and can be contacted at AFPG Ltd., PO Box 8151, Mansfield, NG21 0ZA. Tel:-
I have no idea how many of our group are affected, you may be
yourself, as some were able to sign on and get a pension, but
many, like myself, came out after 12yrs, (or more in some cases), with
absolutely nothing but a months pay to show for those years. The current
membership of AFPG is about 3,000 and come from all three services, and is
growing steadily as more people become aware of it. There is a one off
joining fee payment of £15, but no other subscription is required.
you would be happy to do this, it would be great. If not, I can do so myself
but I would need all the guys e-mail addresses or home addresses. I am just
another member of AFPG and have no official capacity within the organisation
but, like you with the " I want a Referendum" campaign, which I
have also signed up to, I feel I should make people aware of it's existence.
I have been meaning to do this for some time but was prompted to do so now
after attending a meeting in Inverness last evening, the first contact that
I have made with other members, and was able to establish more of what our
prospects might be, and how really active and effective these
people can be working on our behalf. They really do need as much support as
they can get to get a result.
you will let me know if you are happy to help.
Regards Nev Goldsmith
Does anyone recognise anybody on this Photo? Taken on the route to Henderson Grove at the last Triennial, Michele would love to know.
Two faces are recognised. The banner bearer on the left is Rip Kirby and John Hester is peering between the heads directly below the "E" of Entry on the 83rd banner.
TIMBERDOWN – Adventures In The
A review of the book written by Keith Pirie,
For those members who did not attend our reunion at
Cosford in 2005, and therefore did not have the pleasure of meeting the man
again for the first time in 47 years, it is necessary to advise that the author
is none other than our very own 681231 D. K. Pirie, better known to us of course
For many years now Doug has lived and worked in
Doug and I were both in 1 Sqdn -1 Wing and during the
reunion it was a pleasure for me to recount just a few of our subsequent
experiences. After Halton of course he went on to Henlow to commence Officer
Cadet training. It was here that Doug decided that he was not in fact a ‘team
man’ and took total umbrage with the new regime he felt being imposed upon
him. Such was his dissatisfaction
that it became his overriding purpose and aim to leave the RAF by whatever means
possible. Via various sources over the years I have heard tales of a few of
his actions and adventures to
achieve this goal. They were to say the least interesting and probably deserve a
book in their own right! Suffice to say that eventually the RAF and Doug
mutually agreed that they should part company in the early sixties.
Upon his release Doug decided to head for
‘Timberdown’ is not a catalogue of his post RAF
experiences, but relates just a few of Doug’s adventures embarked on whilst
embroiled in an occupation and world so very different from that experienced by
most ex-brats. It relates some of his adventures both in B.C and in
Each chapter is an account of a particular experience
integrated with Doug’s own philosophical view as to the state of the world in
general. As with many of us, at this time in our lives, Doug has experienced
some traumatic events. It is evident that his way of coming to terms with these
was via a combination of meditation and living the life essentially that of a
loner in a challenging and dangerous environment.
I really enjoyed the book; once I was into it I just
had to read on and on. The combination of high adventure, travel experiences and
philosophical insight makes for an absorbing read. Previously, B.C was for me a
very distant place, now via Doug’s narrative, it has become alive and I feel
as though one day I must go there! It’s
the huge contrast of Doug’s life experiences compared with my own, preordained
by aviation related technical matters, which really took my attention. For
example, in the late sixties while I was doing a lot of journeying around the
world with RAF Transport Command and ‘seeing’ the world, Doug was working in
South America living aboard huge rafts (booms) of mahogany trees being floated
hundreds of miles down the Rio Negro (a large tributary of the Amazon)
delivering them to their port of departure for eventual worldwide destinations.
Immediately prior to this he had been overseeing the difficult and dangerous
operation of cutting down and transporting these trees through the jungle to the
In summary, I recommend the book to you, it has
already received critical acclaim and favourable comment and from Sir Ranulph
Fiennes and Michael Palin amongst other notables.
The book is currently doing the rounds amongst those
entry members who first indicated an interest in seeing it. If you are
interested please contact Mike Pond who is monitoring its overall progress.
681675 Dave (Ginge) Ashenden
29th NOVEMBER 2006
Aden Veterans Association
For those of you who served in Aden, There is now an Aden Veterans Association, to which you can join .Their web site , is as follows: --
The Veterans Agency in their wisdom have brought forward the dates that ex service personnel can be deemed to be a veteran, it is at the moment up to 31st Dec 1959, Consequently all of us are entitled to wear "The Armed Forces Veterans Lapel Badge" This can be appropriated by going on to their website at www.veteransagency.mod.uk , downloading the application form and sending it off to the address provided,
I was just browsing through your entry website and noticed Al. Trimmer's obituary. Just in case nobody is aware of the circumstances of his death maybe I can help.
Al. (as he was known) was at 242 OCU Thorney Island with me in 1973 working on Hercules. I was a Sergeant and Al. had just been promoted to C/T (about a year). He got caught in the big V Bomber Crew Chief trap and was selected from a small cast to under go training at St. Athans. Whilst travelling on the M4 to Wales as a passenger in a car a lump of metal fell off the back of a lorry and went through the windscreen and hit his head full on. He was killed instantly. It was my privilege to be one of the Coffin Bearers on that sad day which I shall never forget. He was an extremely popular Guy with everyone and there is no doubt he would have gone far in his career in the RAF had he lived. I was very good friends with him both on and off duty.
On a lighter note another word for your vocab. section was the term I am told by my Uncle,33rd entry, that this word Skate was in use then and it was certainly in use during my time at Halton.
Regards Griff Griffiths 102nd Entry.
Another couple of words that have been subscribed by our readers:-
Snag ..... the illustrious rank of Leading Aircraft Apprentice
Gonk......a pleasant way of passing time
thank you all very much, are there any more?