No.1 Maritime Headquarters Unit Old Comrades Association

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



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.