THE 51st ENTRY PASSING OUT PARADE


Wednesday 28th July 1948


    No.1 School of Technical Training



PASSING OUT INSPECTION


OF THE


51st ENTRY OF AIRCRAFT

APPRENTICES

at

R.A.F. STATION HALTON


By
Air Marshal Sir LESLIE N HOLLINGHURST KCB KBE DFC

on
WEDNESDAY, 28th JULY, 1948


When the 51st arrived at Halton on 21st August 1945, they were allocated a service number and became Aircraft Apprentices. The first number and apprentice in the Entry, following the last number in the 50th Entry, was 582480 A/A Alan Dando, who joined the Radio Fitters and went to Cranwell to do their apprenticeship. Alan is a member of the Association and has attended the last two reunions. The last of the 252 members of the Entry was 582731 A/A Ralph Roberts, a FIIE. Despite vigorous attempts to locate him, Ralph has so far eluded the net, and we think he may be in South Africa having spent the war years down there. For our non-apprentice readers, A/A was the abbreviation for Aircraft Apprentice. During the 3 years of our engineering apprenticeship, many were promoted, with the highest rank being Sergeant Aircraft Apprentice (S/A/A). Intermediate ranks were Leading Aircraft Apprentice (L/A/A) and Corporal Aircraft Apprentice (C/A/A)

On 28th July 1948, the day of the Passing Out Parade, the 51st Entry formed up on the parade ground (the Henderson Square) in three flights in front of the Pipe Band, with the 52nd, 53rd and 54th Entry’s to the rear. Officers and Senior NCO’s of the Permanent Staff were not on the parade, leaving the 51st to control the event. The 51st apprentices in charge were:-



Parade Commander S/A/A Tony Thomas


Parade Warrant Officer S/A/A Arthur Becker





Flight Commanders

No. 1 Flight S/A/A Ben Coombes


No. 2 Flight C/A/A Mike Gill


No. 3 Flight S/A/A Barry Faulkner


Pipe Band Drum Major C/A/A Frank Howard


Military Band Drum Major L/A/A Derek Ward


Reviewing Base Standard Bearers S/A/A Ben Mitchell S/A/A Rodney Pocock





The 51st passed out under the watchful eye of the Reviewing Officer - Air Marshal Sir Leslie Hollinghurst, who was accompanied by:-


Air Marshal J. Whitworth Jones AOC Technical Training Command



Air Vice Marshal L.Harvey AOC No. 24 Group


Air Commodore J. Titmus Officer Commanding RAF Halton


Group Captain J. Mutch STO No. 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton


Wing Commander D. Biggs Officer Commanding No. 1 Apprentice Wing



Guests of the 51st received a formal invitation to the Passing Out Parade. A copy of an original invitation card is reproduced below.



If you read the small print on the card, you will see that due to food rationing at the time, lunch would not be available - only light refreshments in the No.1 Wing Institute (or Naafi to us!) - and that was three years after the war!



51st ENTRY PRIZE WINNERS


Highest in Order of Merit in All Subjects 582488 S/A/A Arthur Becker (FIIE)


Highest in Order of Merit for General Efficiency 582488 S/A/A Arthur Becker (FIIE)


Highest in Order of Merit in Educational Subjects 582488 S/A/A Arthur Becker (FIIE)


Highest in Order of Merit for CTTB Practical Fitting and Winner of the Crebbin Robinson Cup 582709 A/A Gus Dixon (FIIA)




Highest Average for Practical Fitting over 3 years 582487 L/A/A Brian Sherburn (FIIE)



Highest in Order of Merit in General Studies and winner of the Elliot Memorial Prize presented by the Royal Aeronautical Society 582494 S/A/A Don Ellis (FIIE)





BEST TRADESMAN IN THE CTTB EXAM


FIIA (Airframe) 582709 A/A Gus Dixon


FIIE (Engines) 582501 C/A/A Mike Gill


Electrician 582556 L/A/A Roy Loveluck


Instrument Maker 582526 C/A/A Lawrie Gillard


Armourer 582370 L/A/A Joe Woodford



Our Chairman, Don Ellis, was the winner of the Elliot Memorial Prize and he has told us that the prize was a cheque for 2 guineas (£2.10 in ‘new’ money) and a suitably inscribed book on the History of Flight. Don said that he loaned the book to a pilot at RAF Kinloss in the early 50’s and he never returned it!







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