Archive for the ‘General Stories’ Category

General Stories

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Al Burton 9th March 2013

I was in the same room as Brian  (Georgie) George for over two years and a nicer bloke you couldn’t wish to meet.  When I learnt of his death some years ago I wondered about the circumstances of his death.   It was a double blow to know that two members of our entry were on the same fateful flight , Ernie Trigwell being the other.

I searched on line through the many web sites and found the following extracts detailing the account of the crash:

“Beverley C1 34 Squadron:       ” On 15th December 1967, I was duty Air Despatch Crew Commander with 55 AD Sqn RCT at Changi when we were informed that a Beverley had crashed. It was XL150 which Flew into a ridge on a 1,150ft hill 150ft from the summit while flying low level in bad weather  at Bukit Hantu some 90 miles north of Johore Bahru in Malayan and 70 miles from their base at Seletar,  There were no survivors”.

The crew were:  Squadron Leader Nigel Bacon, Flying Officers Brian Hudson, David Brodie and Sergeants Ernest Trigwell, John Curtis, Brian George”.

It was poignant that the Squadron was disbanded 16 days after the crash on the 31st December 1967.

I took the opportunity to look for the circumstances of the crash involving  Dave Morgan and the extract is as follows:

“ 04/11/1967  WL786  E Shackleton MR2C 205 Sqn “ “No 4 engine oversped and caught fire. It would not feather and fell off the wing but the fire spread forcing the pilot to ditch into the Indian Ocean, 120 miles west of Llokruet, Sumatra. The aircraft skipped twice then broke up into three sections killing eight of the eleven crew. The other three were in their dingy for sixteen hours before being rescued by HMS Ajax”.


Jim Draper 17th November 2010

Just as it seems the news could not be any worse, the sad news that Dave Turton did not make the millenium came to me from Mike Bryant. He sent me a synopsis of Dave’s life which I add here as it just goes to show how different our lives were after Halton.

Dave was born in Leicester in 1942. His father took a job on the south coast, and Dave was educated at the Goring-by-Sea RC Secondary Modern School. It was about then that he gained his passion for cricket, and was very proud to have played for Sussex in the ‘Under 16’ team.

Dave joined the RAF In 1958 and became a member of, very briefly the 90th, and then the 91st Entry of Aircraft Apprentices at RAF Halton, training to be an Armament Fitter. At the end of the 3 year training period, he was posted to RAF Scampton, a V-bomber base in Lincolnshire.

From 1966 to 1968, he served in the Merchant Navy as a Steward, and rose to the rank of Second Steward (also known as the ‘Captain’s Tiger!).

In 1968, he achieved his then ambition – he travelled to Africa, and joined the British South African Police (BSAP) in Rhodesia, where he became a Patrol Officer at Mukumbura on the Mozambique border. It was a base camp situated between two regular terrorist infiltration routes and a very hot area with bullets and mortars flying around just about every day. Dave was regarded as a sound and reliable member of the BSAP District Uniformed Branch but then applied to join the CID and is thought to have become a detective in Bulawayo. It is believed that, at some time during his 10 years of service in the BSAP, he was shot by a terrorist whilst on patrol. Dave ended his BSAP service as a Section Officer in 1978.

He then became the security manager for a private firm and, in 1981, he left the country he loved and moved to South Africa, He continued to work with a security business until 1988 when he received a quiet, but friendly, warning that he should leave South Africa as soon as possible.

Having returned to the UK, he worked in a Blackpool hotel for a couple of years and then returned to the south coast, where he took various temporary and part-time posts. He settled in Bognor Regis and became a popular member of the community. He died on 20 October 1998 through ill-health, and a measure of the respect and affection in which he was held is that the chapel at his funeral was packed to “standing room only” capacity.

Danny Cantrell 6 December 2008 00:57:50

After 50 years I have come across this site to the 91st Entry! Better late than never. It is now 1 o’clock in the morning so I am going to bed but I’ll be back! Looking forward to seeing my old friends in the new year.

RKSAYERS 21 April 2008 01:07:27

I have just seen a Rover Gas turbine engine, (a development from the one I saw at RAF Henlow during a visit with my ‘trade’in 1960?) at the Southlands car museum at Paraparauma near Wellington. Interesting aero engines as well.
The Claude Butler bicycle was a Rolls Royce, my father had a tandem version. With reference to the previous note, I have now idea who stole it. I was lucky, I just had my tyres let down. Bob

Norman Hirst 12 April 2008 14:29:09

Never mind the racing car, Who nicked my Claude Butler bike from the
air-raid shelter behind the block in 1961?

David Montgomery 19 March 2008 19:38:46

Appeal for information – does anyone know what happened to the Buckler racing car PBH 1 that was built at RAF Halton?

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The reunion at the Bailbrook House Hotel went extremely well. Sadly only 18 of our number were able to attend and I suspect COVID had a lot to do with that. However, 31 guests sat down to a splendid 3 course meal on the second night. The hotel lived up to its recommendation and I have to thank all the staff for looking after us so well. Those of us who went to the Aerospace at Filton enjoyed the experience – the ribald comments by our riggers on the state of riveting being used on a Blenheim adding to the fun. None of their work would have passed the eagle-eyed instructors on basic workshops. Thankfully, this aircraft is for static display!

The Bell Hotel at Winslow that I chose as our base for the Reunion at Halton turned out to be very good as well. Bob French turned up in his wheelchair on the Friday night, having forgotten that he had only booked for one night. However, even though the place was full, the hotel managed to fix him up with a temporary room. On parade at Halton were 10 from the entry and also on parade was our refurbished banner – still the orginal but now strengthened and with the paint uplifted.

We still have no news on 63 of our members that seem to have vanished without trace. It would be good to try and track them down but I suspect it will not now happen.

5th Oct 2022