No.10 Flight "D" Squadron, 1 R.T. Wing, R.A.F.Padgate. January 1955

I have just returned home after a week in Auchterarder at the Police Treatment Centre, so now I can send the attached photograph of No.10 Flight "D" Squadron, 1 R.T. Wing, R.A.F.Padgate. January 1955. The original got rather 'old' with cracks, but it was restored and enhanced and copied, with only two marks left, really a good job from what it was. If any good and of value, you can use it if you wish. The lads (Billet No.3), signed the back so I have enclosed their names, the ones with (?) I am not sure if I spelt their names correctly.

A.Allcroft, CPL; J.B.Barras; P.J. Corian (?); B.Gient (?); Bryant Gildin; E.C.Gillhan; Watty Gowans; A.D.Heres; H.Kirtley; Andrew Logan; G.Marpin; Alexander Matson; Robert A McAngus; Donald McCulloch; R.McGlasson; G.McLean SGT; Alexander Morrison; William Nixon; A.Paterson; G.Pead(?); A.Powell CPL (?); J.Waddell; M.Ward; D.H.Williams; M.Williams; A.Wright; & D.Wright.
(I'm 5th from left in the 3rd row from front). I have a spare copy if anyone would like it, as I have framed my own copy.

 Gregg contacted me and asked for Gilbert's details:

Here's the result:

 Hi Gilbert

I think that you may have a photo with my late father on it from RAF Padgate in 1955. Steve Cattell kindly gave me your email address from an RAF association website, I hope you don't mind me getting in touch.

Firstly, I hope you are well wherever you are! I have just left the Royal Navy after 19 years and am settling down into civilian life down in Hampshire.

Anthony Powell, my dad, passed away in 1984 when I was one, so I don't really have much to go on here other than a bit of his RAF national service history, and a google search came up with the photo below on a link which Steve thinks you uploaded a while ago: The image is a bit blurry and I cannot make out my dad but I see that he'd signed the back of the photo "A. Powell".

I am of course making the assumption that it's not a coincidence, there could of course be two "A. Powell"'s serving at RAF Padgate in '55 but it's worth a try! I know that dad was an RAF Cpl PTI branch and that he was at Padgate around this time.

If possible, and there's no rush at all, would you be able to send me a better quality photo of this image?

Many thanks in anticipation

Gregg Powell


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, Gil

Hi 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 this



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 Steve

Thanks 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 thanks