RAF Cardington Camp

Youth Selection Centre

final youth 1

We are so grateful to Alan Jordan who has sent in these documents of the Youth Selection Centre at Cardington which he attended back in 1962.

The documents take us through the process the young boys went through on their stay at Cardington together with a map and information about the facilities on the Camp available to them.

The information given provides us with wonderful details about this particular section.

Below are details given to the young entrants. Alan recalls, "Most unfortunately, and rather annoyingly, my detailed memory of those days has faded significantly over the last couple of years. My ATC Record of Service states I was at the YSC on 29-30 Oct 1962.

My general recollection of my two days at the YSC was one of enjoyment for two main reasons: I was in the ATC and liked visiting RAF camps; and I was exceedingly keen to join the RAF – I was 15½ at that time. I was accommodated in Hut No 497 (which is shown on the map) and was in Party No 2A. I can’t remember the size of the party but I seem to recall that all attendees on those two days had applied to be Boy Entrants, the next intake for which – the 48th Entry – was in Jan 1963. I joined up on 23 Jan 1963 – the admin trades, including mine, went to 3SofTT at RAF Hereford. I wish I could remember more to tell you about my YSC experience. I suppose anyone who didn’t enjoy their time at the YSC was either not selected or they decided not to join the RAF. In regard to my intake at Hereford, the drop-out rate was miniscule so the YSC selection procedures must have been very effective.

youth 1 final jpeg
youth final 2 doc

Pages one and two illustrate very clearly the selection process the young boys went through.

final youth map

If you or a relative worked at RAF Cardington please make contact.

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A map given to all young entrants on their arrival - what is apparent from this map is that the centre was confined to one main area within the camp.

We are pleased to see that Alan was successful in the selection process, below is a letter of acceptance sent to his father on Oct 30 1962.

“Here is my acceptance letter that the YSC sent to my father. I should imagine that nearly all of the text is standard for all successful Boy Entrant candidates. All Boy Entrant training lasted 18 months and was either at 2 School of Technical Training (2Sof TT) Cosford, (typically electrical and electronic trades), 3 School of Technical Training Hereford (admin, supply and catering trades) and 4 School of Technical Training (4SofTT) St Athan (aircraft engineering trades).

Apprentices undertook years’ training at 1 School of Technical Training (1SofTT) Halton , (aircraft engineering), or 1 Radio School, Locking (radio, radar & wireless trades). The Admin Apprentice scheme, which trained at Bircham Newton before relocating to Hereford, ceased when its last entry graduated in 1962.