Air Training Corps

Bill Buckland's memories

1589 Squadron, Grammar School ATC, c. 1961 Rear L-R Michael Walker, ? Alexander, Robin Print, David Sollis, Nicholas Jaques, Bronislaw Duduk, John Forte, Peter Harman, Denis Righton, John Withers, Willy Wiechec. Front L-R ?, ?, Michael Nash, ?, 'Chick' Fowles, Bill Howells, Andrew Chisman, Christopher Jaques, Colin Burrows, ?, Fred Bullock.
Unknown

Bill Buckland remembers:

Early on A L Jones (Headmaster) talked to the male members of the fifth and sixth forms telling us that as young adults we were entitled, if not duty bound, to make decisions and bear responsibility for the same. He gave the example of membership of the ATC which he indicated was not the compulsory activity that we had always assumed it to be. Bert Hayden and I thought that we could more profitably spend the time studying than parading about in an uncomfortable uniform and decided to opt out. Mr Jones agreed that it was our right to do so just as it was his right to withhold any letters of recommendation etc. should we take this course. So, I continued my career in the ATC reaching the heights of corporal. Our officers were Fowles, Howells and Unsted the latter teaching navigation as the only interesting part. Even that did not make up for having to dress up in an uncomfortable uniform every Friday.

There were two levels for recruits, proficiency and advanced proficiency which could be obtained by taking ATC examinations or by passing O and A levels.  As the only school troop we regularly came top of the heap in Gloucestershire because of GCE results. An attempt to show we could do as well in the ATC tests being a failure. Because of our elevated ranking we once provide the guard of honour at the annual Gloucestershire ATC parade at RAF Innsworth. All I remember was that it was a hot day and the uniforms hot and uncomfortable but the brass insisted that nothing should be done to make things more comfortable until people started dropping like flies. I noted also that the marching improved out of sight when we were led by an RAF band.

The other contribution by the ATC was the hut situated alongside the hedge at the top of the Barrels Pitch allotments. The wooden hut comprised two schoolrooms separated by a smaller locked armoury. One room served as an ordinary classroom with that extra bit mof freedom afforded by its slight isolation. The other was Miss Bint’s sewing room.

This page was added on 01/02/2015.

Comments about this page

  • It was Christopher Alexander I believe. I remember that hot day at Innsworth and I have told my grandsons who all went/go to Campden about the ATC (and the football)
    Best Wishes
    David Webb

    By davidwebb (17/08/2015)
  • Elsewhere on this web site is the same photograph listing all of the names. Unfortunately the name of second right front row has been omitted from my original transcript. His name is Alan Cox.
    Trust this picture brings back some good memories.
    Robin Print 23/03/2015

    By Robin Print (23/03/2015)
  • Annual Camp, CCGS ATC 1589 Sqn, RAF Watton, Norfolk May 1962

    Members in photo; Rear L-R, Michael Walker, * , Robin Print, David Sollis, Nicholas Jaques, Bronislaw Duduk, John Forte, Peter Harman, Denis Righton, John Withers, Willy Wiechec. Front L-R, Douglas Smith, Terence Alexander, Michael Nash, John Watkins, ‘Chic’ Fowles, Bill Howells, Andrew Chisman, Christopher Jaques, Colin Burrows, *, FB
    Lasting memories were that the grub in the RAF was fantastic, (so I’m still at a loss to figure why I subsequently went on to serve 10 years in Her Maj’s Army!), together with a flight on a WWll era Avro Lincoln over The Wash. I rode in the cockpit and the engine noise, vibration (and turbulence) were something to behold.

    By Fred Bullock (23/03/2015)
  • Erratum. Not Michael Palmer? Insert Peter Harman
    Thks

    By Fred Bullock (22/03/2015)
  • RAF Watton in Norfolk it definitely was. The person on the back row between Denis Righton and Willy Wiechec, but without a name is me – John Withers. The front row from left to right is Doug Smith, Terry Alexander, Michael Nash, John Watkins then as stated but sorry Fred I cannot recall the name of the person sat next to you.

    By John Withers (22/03/2015)
  • I was one of the members of ATC 1589 Sqn who attended the Annual Camp at RAF Watton, circa ’61 as I remember it. (photo above)
    Lasting memory was that the grub in the RAF was fantastic, so I’m still at a loss to figure why I subsequently went on to serve 10 years in Her Maj’s Army!
    Members in photo; Rear L-R, Michael Walker, ? Alexander?, Robin Print, David Sollis, Nicholas Jaques, Bronislaw Duduk, John Forte, Michael Palmer?, Denis Righton, *, Willy Wiechec. Front L-R, *, *, Michael Nash, *, ‘Chic’ Fowles, Bill Howells, Andrew Chisman, Chrstopher Jaques, Colin Burrows, *, FB

    By Fred Bullock (19/03/2015)

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