RAF Cardington Camp

The 28th of August was a Thursday, the staff started issuing uniform and bits of kit. The next day was a series of quite significant tests. I had set my heart on being an R A F policeman mainly due to a challenge of a friend of my dads who had been an RAF policeman during the war. After these tests I must have shown a potential for a more technical trade. I remember being asked to reconsider my choice of trade, a five year stint, to make it a seven year engagement as the training they had in mind was almost certainly a longer training period, police training was a 12 week course. About 3 years ago I wrote to RAF Insworth for my personal record - one entry says that I refused technical training. I believe they had a career in Radar for me.

As a Salvation Army bandsman I took the opportunity to join the station band. A mixture of permanent staff and any recruits. One chap on my course was going to the RAF School of Music after our basic training. I have no regrets not joining the Music Services. I wanted some excitement.

Mr p4

Gerald Parsons on his Passing Out day in October 1947 - he is on the end of the 4th row down.

I remember the station band played music at a rememberance ceremony about the loss of the Airship R101, that was in October. I believe that ceremony still goes on. Passing Out Day - as a member of the band I was in my "Best Blue" walking out uniform , tunic with brass buttons etc. We did three passing out parades that day. We played lots of music. The last parade about 4pm was my squad . They were in Battle dress, working uniform. When we were dismissed I went back to the billet with my billet mates, only to find that all the other lads who had hung up their walking out uniforms had had the tunic buttons cut off, all of them, all buttons. A trick played on them by the billet corporal. There was a scramble for each man to retrieve his "housewife" from his kit bag to sew the buttons back on. Apparently the other lads had made a French bed for the corporal (folding the sheet like an envelope to stop you stretching full length.)"