The Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at the RAF Club, London on Saturday 24th March ’18.
The Minutes can be found here: Minutes AGM 2018
The Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at the RAF Club, London on Saturday 24th March ’18.
The Minutes can be found here: Minutes AGM 2018
We have now received details of Jacqui Tennants funeral:
To be held on Tuesday, 28th November ‘17 at 11.00am.
At: Redstone Cemetery, Philanthropic Road, Redhill, Surrey. RH1 4DG.
A wake is being held afterwards at the Reigate Manor Hotel, Reigate Hill, Reigate, RH2 9PF
Dress is to be No.1’s with Medals for Serving Personnel or Smart, Suitable attire for civilians.
Replies are requested from anyone who wishes to attend. Send to 600AUX-Adjutant@mod.uk
If anyone has photos of Jacqui, it would be appreciated if they can be scanned, please then forward to Shobha Earl at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Tel No 07866 919726
The Formation of No: 600 (City of London) Squadron, RAF Reserves (600 SQN) took place on the 14th October 1925 at RAF Northolt.
2015 is the 90th Anniversary of 600 SQN.
To celebrate this occasion, 600 SQN is organising a number of events to raise money for our chosen charities. The formation of the maRAFAthon team for 2015 is one of those events.
Our original plan was to have a 600 SQN Marathon Team taking part in the 2015 London Marathon but unfortunatley not all team members were successful in the ballot process. All unsuccessful ballot applicants were offered a guaranteed place in the Edinburgh Marathon, and that is how the team became involved in the Edinburgh event as well as London. RAFA will be represented at both events.
600 SQN maRAFAthon team have 5 team members, 4 taking part in the London Marathon (Sunday 26 April) and 1 taking part in the Edinburgh marathon (Sunday 31 May 2015).
All team members are in Full-Time employment. In addition to their Full-Time work, RAF Reserve commitments, they will have to find the time to train and prepare themselves for the gruelling 26 miles of the Marathon and the weather conditions at the time of the event. This means the team is likely to be covering 60 miles per week training.
Donations can be made in two ways: –
Please note: The JustGivingText donation can be any of the following amounts: £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 and £10.
Meet the 600SQN maRAFAthon team: –
Layla Davidson (London) – (03:59:15)
Allan Dillon (London) – (04:46:25)
Fern Gwinnett (London) – (03:59:15)
Richard Needham (London) – (04:12:36)
Gary ‘Edge’ Edgerton (Edinburgh)
I write as the Chairman of the above association.
When 600 (City of London) Squadron was reformed in 1999, serving members of Nos 1 and 3 Maritime Headquarters Units were automatically part of that reformation but No 1
MHU Old Comrades Association was not included.
In 2006 personnel who had served on No 1 MHU were offered individual membership of 600 (City of London) Association and several people took up that offer. We, however, continued as a separate association holding reunions periodically.
At the 600 (City of London) Association Annual General Meeting on 29th March 2015 our request to a merger was agreed unopposed with immediate effect. My committee and I would like to thank all those who were involved with this decision and hope that we may enjoy a long and happy relationship. No 1 MHU OCA was formed in 1976 and a link will be maintained as I shall become a member of the 600 Association Committee. Thank you to everyone who remembers ʻThe Houseʼ and the good times we had along the way.
J Jarvis ex Flt Sgt No 1 MHU
NO 1 MARITIME HEADQUARTERS UNIT
Current members of 600 (City of London) Squadron may be interested to learn a little of the history of No 1 MHU.
In November 1959 the intention of forming three new units of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force was announced in Parliament. They were to provide backing for the Operations Rooms and Communication Centres that controlled RAF Coastal Command and the Royal Navy.
The new units would be No 1 Northwood, No 2 Edinburgh and No 3 Plymouth and many of the first volunteers were members of disbanded RAF Fighter Squadrons.
Volunteers, men or women, between the ages of 17 1/2 and 45 need have no previous service experience, as full training facilities existed in whatever trade they wished to enrol.
Training periods, apart from the 15 day annual exercise, were one evening a week and one weekend a month, all of which merited full pay and allowances. Travelling allowances were also paid and there was an annual tax-free bounty between £10 – £15.
The Headquarters of No 1 MHU were in Valency House, Northwood – the old Chateau de Madrid Hotel once famed for country-club recreation. The site is now occupied by luxury housing but, driving by, I believe the House itself remains at the centre of the gated estate.
To answer a question raised at the recent AGM. The Worshipful Company of Butchers adopted 2600 (City of London) Squadron, then No 1 MHU and subsequently 600 (City of London ) Squadron. Thus the tradition is being maintained.
Mystery Stained Glass Panel – Wheatsheaf Pub, Hever Road , Bough Beech , Kent
On a recent trip to Kent, one of our members called into the Wheatsheaf, and spotted Mounted in the wall behind the bar, a 20” square panel of leaded glass. It is the 600 Squadron AAF Crest. It is illuminated from behind.
The owner of the pub said;
“We found the panel last year when we were renovating the pub, it was such an interesting piece that we decided to have it professionally repaired and to use it as an illuminated centre piece for the bar. I am afraid that I don’t have any more information about the window but would be very interested to know more about its history.
We will be delighted to offer a warm welcome to any members of your Association who would like to come and see it, the Wheatsheaf is a beautiful old pub which dates back to the 14th century and is reputed to be the former hunting lodge for Heaver Castle”.
Given it is an AAF (Auxiliary Air Force) window, referring to 600 as a Bomber Squadron (600 Squadron formed 14 October 1925 as a unit of the AAF and designated a Day Bomber Squadron, and remained so right through until we moved to a Fighter Squadron designation in July 1934), this puts the panel somewhere in between.
So, does anyone have any idea as to its origin?
Please let us know……….
Leonard Richard Moore died 09/01/15 aged 92
Born in Fishbourne, West Sussex in 1922 into a family of merchant seaman, it was whilst he was at Leeds University, where he was studying for the Priesthood, that Leonard was called up to join the RAF in 1942, aged 20.
He trained at Portage Le Prairie In Manitoba, Canada as an Air Navigator in Bomber Command. On his return to England along with a group containing a lot of newly trained pilots, they were asked to volunteer but not told what for. Leonard volunteered, passed more aptitude tests and was told to pair off with a pilot as they were going to be retrained as Night Fighters crews. He and his pilot, Gordon Hammond, passed the training and were sent to 600 City of London Squadron. He saw active service in North Africa and Italy.
One of their exploits can be read about in the January 2004 edition of the 600sq Association Newsletter under the storyline ‘The Last Kill’, where Leonard describes he and his pilot’s part in the downing of the last German aircraft by tsecond FW when they were on their own after their escort’s plane commanded by F/O Les Martin ran into engine trouble at take off on 13th April 1945.
At the end of the war he became acting Intelligence Officer of the Squadron.
After the war, Leonard returned to Leeds and the College of the Resurrection to complete his studies, where he met his wife Barbara to whom he was married for 62 1/2 years and who died last year. He was ordained and became curate of St Mary’s Hendon followed by a move to Stevenage until 1960, when he then went on to be vicar of All Saints in Queen’s Park, Bedford where he and his family settled. Since 1968 to his retirement in 1987 Leonard taught in Secondary Schools in Hendon and Kempston, Bedfordshire whilst also continuing with his ministry up until shortly before his death. He leaves behind two sons and a daughter.
My father is at the end on the left.
He is on the right with the cap at a very jaunty angle.
The formal shot he is front row kneeling on the end at the right. He had red hair!
Sergeant Bernard William “Ginger” Wheeley – Service no. 00485
09 July 1919 – 15 December 2013
Bernard in Italy – June 1945
Bernard was born on 9th July 1919 in Carlton Vale, Paddington, London, where he was to spend his formative years, prior to moving with his family to Dagenham. He was the eldest of four children – one brother and two sisters. He became a choirboy at the local church and singing was something he came back to in much later life.
After leaving school at 14, Bernard found employment as an office boy in Lawrence Lane in the City of London and then got into engineering as a machinist, working at Woolwich Arsenal. After initially planning on joining the Army, with his school friend Len Holt, they had a change of heart so after Len signed up at Hendon for the RAF Auxiliary Service in December 1936, Bernard followed in January 1937.
Bernard never regretted his decision to join the RAF, instead of the army, and he and Len were to stay friends until Len passed away in the 1990’s. Another close friend of Bernard’s during his time with 600 Squadron was Bob Hills and they also kept in touch with each other for many years. Bernard attended Bob and Joan’s wedding in 1942, shortly before being posted overseas.
Bernard always remembered with fondness the Hawker Harts and Hawker Demons, on which he learnt and honed his aircraft maintenance skills at Hendon. He was later to work as one of the ground crew Airframe Riggers on Blenheims, Beaufighters and Mosquitos, supporting the Squadron’s role in their night fighter activities.
In the 1930’s Bernard developed an interest in photography and over the next 60+ years took thousands of pictures, including many during his years with 600 Squadron. Fortunately he was both very organised and a hoarder. As a result he has left us a wonderful collection of photos of his life. In addition to photography he maintained various diaries, one of which has given us a fascinating account of his time with 600-squadron from November 1942 until December 1943. From his early days as a choirboy, music was very important to him and, whilst his attempts at playing the violin didn’t bear much fruit, listening to classical music gave him great comfort over the war years. He also sang with the 600-choir whilst stationed overseas.
Bernard served at various airfields, including Hendon, Manston, Predannack, Warmwell eventually ending up at Church Fenton prior to being posted overseas. His time at Manston was during the summer of 1940, when the airfield was subjected to the worst period of bombing.
On 28 November 1942 at the age of 23, Bernard marched out of Church Fenton, with the rest of the groundcrew stationed there, and boarded a train for Gourock. There, they boarded the Duchess of Argyll ferry at 13.30 and then, after transferring onto the SS Orbita, sailed down to Algiers. Bernard did not have good sea-legs, suffering greatly on the voyage, and was very relieved to disembark at Bone about midday on 7th December.
From left – Stan White, Bernard ‘Ginger’ Wheeley, Jack Wain and Cyril Haresign.
600-Squadron at Setif, Algeria 1943
Bernard was away almost three years, being stationed at various airfields in North Africa, Malta, Sicily and Italy before arriving home, via Austria, in 1945.
The last of Luqa (Malta) in July 1943. From left – ‘Mac’ Maclean, Ben Opie, E/O Clennett, Bernard ‘Ginger’ Wheeley
Bernard left the RAF in 1946, to try his hand at farming at Newton Farm, Mullion, Cornwall with one of his close RAF colleagues, Jack Wain. Unfortunately this didn’t work out so he returned to London, where he obtained employment with the Ministry of Transport at Berkley Square. It was here that he met Jo Lawrence, who was also working for the Ministry, and they married on 21 May 1947 in Epsom.
In 1948 Bernard joined Airwork Services and moved out of London, to Yateley in Hampshire. He spent the next 15 years working at Blackbushe Airport as an Aircraft Inspector, having spells at both Airwork and Pegasus where he worked on their small fleet of three Vickers Vikings. When Pegasus moved to Blackpool, Bernard managed to find employment at London Heathrow in 1963 with BEA. Here he worked on various aircraft including Viscounts, Vanguards and Argosy’s during the period when BEA and BOAC merged to form BA, until he took early retirement in 1975. After a short spell of full-time retirement the lure of being involved with aircraft again, led him to a part-time position as a storeman for ATS, a small light aircraft maintenance company back at Blackbushe Airfield for about four years. A bonus of this job meant he had first-hand access to Douglas Arnold’s collection of old aircraft and gained a lot of satisfaction in seeing and photographing the various historical aircraft based there.
Between October 1948 and January 1962 Bernard and Jo had four children, John, Martin, Marian and Kate. In 1955 they managed to buy a new bungalow on Longdown Lodge Estate in Sandhurst, Berkshire and they were both to live there for the rest of their lives.
Bernard was always keen to learn and was an avid reader, compiling a large collection of books on a wide range of subjects and becoming very knowledgeable about the City of London and Scotland. He combined his love of the City with photography by spending a few Sundays each year wandering the streets of the City. Afterwards he’d spend hours in his darkroom, undertaking his own photographic processing and, as a result, acquired a large and impressive collection of photographs of the City of London.
Some 60 years after singing in his local church choir, Bernard joined a local choir in Crowthorne and renewed his love of singing, thoroughly enjoying the performances they gave.
In 1975 he expanded his love of Scotland by buying a small remote cottage backing on to the River Oykel in the North of Scotland. He and Jo regularly visited the cottage and spent many hours there tending the garden and enjoying the countryside of Scotland.
In May 1977 the first of his nine grandchildren was born and he and Jo enjoyed their company and watching them grow-up.
After Jo became ill in the late 1990’s, Bernard devoted himself to caring for her until she passed away in 2006. This left a big hole in Bernard’s life. After Jo’s passing, Bernard spent the last seven years of his life at home in his bungalow, then, after a short spell in hospital he moved to Donnington Care Home in Newbury where he passed away six weeks later on December 15th 2013.
November 20th saw the return to the air of the Bristol Blenheim at Duxford that has been under restoration since its crash at Denham in 1987. Hopefully it’ll last longer than one month this time !
It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of Michael Hyett. Michael was with 601 Squadron and served in Italy during the latter part of the war. A full obituary shall follow; below is a link to a summary about Michael’s time in the RAF.
Congratulations to Squadron Leader Steve Duddy AE RAuxAF, Executive Officer in 600 (City of London) Squadron, on being awarded the Queen’s Volunteer Reserve Medal in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.
The Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal (QVRM) was instituted by Her Majesty The Queen by Royal Warrant on 29 March 1999 and it was announced in Parliament on 1 April 1999. There are only 13 QVRM awards made in any one year, and they are presented only to members of the Volunteer Reserves of all 3 Armed Services for exemplary meritorious service in the conduct of their duties. The QVRM is a Level 3 award and ranks in precedence immediately after the Queen’s Gallantry Medal and the Royal Victorian Medal and is the first award dedicated to Volunteer Reserves that attracts attendance at an Investiture. The first awards were announced in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and the first awards were presented at an investiture on 5 November 1999.
Courtesy of Wikipedia