Boy Entrants 20th Entry - History.
The 540 boys of the 20th Entry, having been accepted in their various trades as Mechanics and Cooks under training, joined the Royal Air Force in October 1953. A number of other boys joined from previous entries where for various reasons they had made insufficient progress in their trades. A number of boys left the Entry too, including 15 who gained entry to Royal Air Force Apprenticeship Schools at Halton, Locking and Hereford.
After twelve weeks of Initial Training Squadron experience, when we became 'Gravel Technicians' and learned to march in a straight line abreast, or almost, we transferred from the 'D lines' wooden hut accommodation to the luxurious brick built Fulton Block and started our technical training.
Our Flight Commander during Initial Training was Pilot Officer Gibson aided and abetted by Corporal Brian Gray, both seated in the front row of the ITS photograph, and Corporal 'Stretch' Calloway of whom we have no photographic record.
No. 2 Flight, 2 Wing, Air Radar and Airframes.
After Initial Training our mentors were Sergeant Les Ingam from Bedford and the redoubtable Corporal Bill Baxter from Scotland who guided us on the paths of righteousness, saw that we were properly domesticated and left the comfort of our warm beds each morning on reveille to eat breakfast, make up our bedpacks and march off to classes and labs on time. The flight commander for a time was Pilot Officer David Worral, until his term of National Service expired when his successor Flying Officer Bill Slater, a recently appointed ex Warrant Officer took over and saw us through to graduation and we thank them all. Ah would God the gift t' gi' us . . .
488 boys took the Final Education Examination with the following meritorious results.
Promotion up to Sergeant and all categories of Aircrew, 90.
Promotion up to Corporal and training as Air Engineer and Air Gunner, 373.
Promotion to Senior Aircraftman, 2.
The five Education prize winners were, in order of merit:
489 boys were presented for Final Trade Test Boards with the following results.
Senior Aircraftman, 373.
Aircraftman First Class, 73.
Recommended for further training, 36.
The Best Tradesmen in order of merit were.
Air Radar - B/E Conlon P.J.
Air Wireless - B/E Rivett A.
Airframes - Cpl/B/E Stickland R.E. B/E Kinsey R.J.A.
Armaments - Cpl/B/E Gilder J.
Catering - B/E Fosbury D.
Electrical - B/E Vatter M.
Engines - B/E Cooper L.G. B/E Roberts A.R.
Ground Wireless - B/E Wardle M.
Instruments - B/E Roger R.M. B/E Gill D.
Telegraphists - B/E Haysom D.W. B/E Jones T.G.
The six General Service Efficiency prize winners were, in order of merit:
B/E Vatter M. - Electrical.
Flt/Sgt/B/E Beaulah I.F - Instruments.
Sgt/B/E Kurring J.S. - Telegraphist.
Sgt/B/E Finnis B.R. - Air Wireless.
Cpl/B/E Nicholls A. - Ground Wireless.
Sgt/B/E Linge B.J. - Instruments.
The Entry was the first to count cooks in itís number and was the largest Entry to pass out at Cosford. The inclusion of cooks among its graduates marked a milestone in the Service and did much to enhance the standards of cooking in the Royal Air Force, it is claimed.
The Entry took a full and active part in many hobbies and handicrafts, including Sailing, Horse Riding, Amateur Dramatics (Boy NCOs), and Mountaineering which were some of the varied activities provided for the boys at Cosford.
Boys of the Entry were included in the Boy Entrantsí Trumpet Band, which took part in the Royal Tournament in 1954, and appeared on many Civic and Service parades at Wolverhampton, Dudley and Stourbridge.
The 20th Entry played a very full part in all sporting activities and was well to the fore in providing members of School representative teams in all games. As an Entry they won the Station Inter-Squadron Soccer, Rugby, Cross Country and Hockey tournaments.
They were runners up in Basketball, Badminton and Water Polo.
The following boys represented the school playing against the Navy or Army and won School Colours.
Boxing: B/Es Tofts, Robinson and Wright
Soccer: Cpl/B/Es Nicholls, Maiden and Rogers, B/Es Chesterton, Roberts, Taylor,
Griffiths, Web, Davey, Morris and Deacon.
Rugby: Cpl/B/E Gilder, Leading Boy Entrants Masson and Francis, B/Es Peters, Moore,
Herbert, Scriven, Evans and Murphy.
Hockey: B/Es Groves, Wale, Lawrence, Grant, Ward, Blackmore, Lyon and Gwinnett.
Cricket: L/B/E Warrington and B/Es Newman and Scriven.
Cross-Country: B/Es Whitelam, Packer, Warren, Skeels, Gill and Scott.
Athletics: Cpl/B/Es Blackwell and Stickland, and B/E Groves
Shooting: The following Boy Entrants represented the School at Bisley and were awarded their
Marksmanship badges. Watson, Harraghy, Gordon, Cheshire and Duncan.
The graduation of the 20th Entry was marked with a passing out parade on the afternoon of Thursday the 5th May 1955 before an audience of friends, colleagues and families when the salute was taken by Lord d'Lisle and Dudley, then the most senior civil official at the Air Ministry.
Parade Commander: F/SGT/B/E Beaulah I.F.
Parade Warrant Officer: Sgt/B/E Helps C.R.
No. 1 Squadron: Sgt/B/E Linge B.
No. 2 Squadron: Sgt/B/E Jenkins A.D.T.
No. 3 Squadron: Sgt/B/E Prest J.
No. 4 Squadron: Sgt/B/E Innis B.
1 Sqdn. 1 Flight: Cpl/B/E Maiden A.
1 Sqdn. 2 Flight: Cpl/B/E Gilder J.E.
2 Sqdn. 1 Flight: Cpl/B/E Stickland R.E.
2 Sqdn. 2 Flight: Cpl/B/E Blackwell V.
3 Sqdn. 1 Flight: Cpl/B/E Nicholls A.
3 Sqdn. 2 Flight: Cpl/B/E Cairns D.
4 Sqdn. 1 Flight: Cpl/B/E Rainforth R.B.
4 Sqdn. 2 Flight: Cpl/B/E Wilson B.A.
Drum Major - Cpl/B/E Downer M.J.
Trumpet Major - B/E Crouch D.J.
Standard Bearers - L/B/E Boardman H.E. and L/B/E Dexter B.E.
After the parade, Boy Entrants, parents and spectators made their way to the Gymnasium to hear an address by the Station Commandant, Air Commodore R.J. Pilgrim Morris C.B.E. The presentation of prizes was followed by a speech from the Reviewing Officer the Lord d'Lisle and Dudley. Later, Boy Entrants, parents and friends enjoyed tea together and were able to inspect the workshops, classrooms and living accommodation used by the boys during their training.