Gregg contacted me and asked for Gilbert's details:
Here's the result:
Hi Greg, I It was nice to receive your email, don't mind at all.
The photograph involved was taken (snow on ground). We did our square bashing over Christmas/New Year. The large photograph No10 Flight. D Squadron, RT Wing. RAF Padgate. Small, are Boys on parade. and our Billet No3 . It appears your father was in our billet as he signed the back. I was Hut leader.
Before the RAF I served in the MN (4), RAF (3) I was Cpl (Provost )Police,I was stationed at Sutton on Hull, Fire Training.and Yatesburyy No2 Radio School. then 30 years In Edinburgh City Police. finally 10years in the Crown Office as a Civil Servant . A wanderer.
A friend tried to enhance it, not bad. However I have enclosed a Billet No3 group, he must be in it, hope so. Take care, warmest regards to you and family, GilHi Gil,Thanks so much for the quick reply, I really appreciate it. Wow you have had an amazing life of service! How was the merchant navy back then? And 30 years in the police is an incredible career. Isn’t it comical how we can all summarise a lifetime of service in a short paragraph, that’s the military and police for you, we are not a boastful bunch, maybe we should be. Do you mind me asking how old you are now?I’ve just returned from the Middle East where I was involved with gathering intel from the tanker blasts in Hormuz, I was a Navy diver/EOD operator for most of my career. That life is behind me though, I’m now a primary school teacher! Nice to be at home and see my family more, I am 37 so about time I put family first. Im married with a 3yr old little girl, who’s sadly without grandparents on my side but there you go.In the sqn pic, I think my dad, known as Tony, is in the front row, centre, with a beret on. He was a tall bloke at 6 2”. Would a cpl usually wear a beret instead of a cap? Somewhere, in my loft I think, I have some photos of dad in Padgate, I will dig them out and send them to you and Steve.Do you mind if I ask some more searching questions?What was it likely my dad did in the RAF? I know he was something to do with PT but am not sure what his RAF unit did, sounds like Police?What was the role of Padgate back then? How many blokes to a dorm? Were you allowed leave?I know that Dad stayed on in the RAF for a couple of years after national service, why were people given the option? What do you think was the attraction?I can’t quite make out my dad in the other photo, I’ll send them on to his brother (youngest brother is 74) and we’ll see if we can work this out!Many thanks Gil, great to open the chat and I appreciate your time on thisYoursGreg
Hi Greg, some email, I will try and answer it all.I am 86 years and have been fully retired in 1998. My wife Catherine had Dementia/Alzheimer’s (20 years) plus cancer op. For last 8 years she was in a Care Home, (very good) and died in 2016.Being a RN Diver, Must have brought some hairy moments, maybe not. How did you come to be a Teacher, I take it you had Cert Ed. Did you have a Degree as well.Airmen wore berets when draining. Later at Stations wore caps on Official events. I was in the Police and wore a white covered cap and white webbing , on duty etc.Your father if he was PT Instructor, maybe stayed at Padgate, or posted to permanent staff on a large Camp. Was it possible he was in the RAF Regiment .Padgate was a RAF Training Camp (big), there were others, Bridgenorth, and Winslow ,maybe another dot remember.I think there were approx 20 men to billet. In our time at Padgate, they sent Scottish lads home for Christmas and back to camp for New Year. The English lads were in reverse to us. (RAF were sadists).That was the only leave.I signed on for 3 years, a Regular , could have signed more, was offered but returned home . Was your father not in the No3 Billet photograph .I might have signed on but I joined the EDINBURGH City Police.That’s about all Greg , hope it is of help to you. Regards Gil.
Good morning Gil and SteveThanks so much for helping me out track down some of my late father's RAF history, it really means a lot as I'm sure you can imagine. I have attached some photos which I think are at Padgate (that's me putting two and two together). I have no idea who the other men in the photos are, perhaps Gil can recognise them? Steve, please feel free to upload these to your webpage if appropriate. My dad's name was Anthony Powell and I understand he was a Cpl PTI when he left the RAF in the mid 50's.Many thanksGregg