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89 Entry RAF College Cranwell Reunions


2013 (50th since joining)     2008 (45th since joining)        2006 (40th since graduation)       2003 (40th since joining)

Squadron Reunions

2008 Reunion

14th June 2008 - Cranwell, the college main building, hadn't changed in the 45 years since 9th September 1963 when we 64 fresh faced 17 and 18 year old young men arrived for (in most cases) a 3 year stay. We were all straight out of school.  However the rest of RAF Cranwell has changed. Not only have the trees grown older and matured, so have the cadets. Their average age is now well over twenty with several in their 30's. Many sporting rows of medals which non of us, even after over 40 years service and at least one war, could half match! But what has not changed, despite them only being at Cranwell for about 6 months is their politeness, consideration and respect for us old farts. They are a credit to the youth that is so often denigrated by the media. They are as good (or as bad) as us. There just aren't as many of them! To those who looked after us and gave up their rooms we can only say a large THANK YOU. 

An even larger "THANK YOU" goes to Flt.Lt. Dawn Akyildiz, ADC to the Commandant for her excellent organisation and for putting with us!  Thanks Dawn.

Left - Dawn (the pretty one in the middle) with some of the 89 churchgoers on Sunday morning.

Left to right - Alan Macdonald, Simon Coy, Andy Griffin, Dave Donnelly, Flt.Lt.Dawn Akyildiz, Malcolm Caygill, Les Quigley, Chris Saunby, Dick Shuster

Sadly after 40 of us attending the 40th Anniversary of graduation we could only muster 13 members for this re-union. (I think 53 Entry managed more).  Still what it lacked in numbers was made up in quality - one of our members was still the last out of the bar at 04.00 Hrs (Having been cajoled at that late hour into parting with a tenner for a novel written by his former best man - an Air Marshal from 91 Entry  - mind it was on a "good read or return basis" and it did double his sales!)  Another 89er was first out - only to be dragged out of bed and returned so that he could buy a round! (No names - no pack drill - as the saying goes) And of course we were last to leave the college on Sunday after honouring our fallen comrades in our traditional manner.

The following are some of the photographs taken by Dave Donnelly, Dick Northcote and Cranwell's official photographer since the Editor forgot his camera. (Old age? - No just typical) ....................

Dick Shuster, Richard Slogrove, Les Quigley and Dave Donnelly wondered down to watch the sports and then like all old men needed to rest - sitting down on the main stairs - what would the CWO have said? (We'd have no doubt heard his voice booming from the junior mess!)


This year the bar opened at 18.00 Hrs - needless to say 89 were in first - we were so engrossed in discussions of national importance that we missed the AGM.

Right - Malcolm Caygill on his ?th pint with Paddy Pyper still thinking about drinking his first!

Below - Jerry Pook, author and book salesmen, turns up to sign a few books for his mates whilst they form a publicity team.

There weren't so many of us but it still took a while to organise the group photograph!

Left to right - Dave Donnelly, Andy Griffin, Alan Macdonald, Les Quigley, Chris Saunby, Dick Shuster, Simon Coy's (right ear), Paddy Pyper, Nigel Griffiths, Peter Robinson.  (Missing from the group of attendees Richard Slogrove (directing the photograph), Dick Northcote (photographing) and Malcolm Caygill (probably getting in a quick pint?)


Eventually we managed to get it together so, thanks to Cranwell's professional photographer, here are "the few" 

Rear (left to right) - Dave Donnelly (C); Les Quigley (C); Chris Saunby (C); Paddy Pyper (B); Malcolm Caygill (D);

Simon Coy (B); Nigel Griffiths (B)

Front - Andy Griffin (B); Alan Macdonald (D); Dick Nothcote (D); Dick Slogrove (B); Dick Shuster (C); Peter Robinson (A/Henlow)

(I suppose with unlucky 13 we had to end up with 3 "Dicks" at the front - and where was "A" Squadron!!)

Dinner turned into the usual raucous affair with the Post Horn Gallop being particularly well received this year - especially as that meant we were getting near the "P" break which was much needed by several members whose age had diminished their bladder capacity!

Finally we returned to the bar where our capacity for consuming beer was undiminished!


Left - Some of the stalwarts returning from church to watch the morning march past - needless to say still exchanging jokes. You can always spot an 89er, they're the ones smiling!

Aprés church

Simon, Chris & Dick

Chris, Dick S, Les, Malcolm M & Dave

In traditional fashion we honoured our 14 fallen comrades by laying a white rose for each of them on the graves of Martin Barents and Frank Whitehouse whose remains are interned in Cranwell village cemetery

  Martin's grave

Frank's Grave 

The weekend finished with lunch for the survivors - who even got to sit at the top table (as there was no one else!)


Let's hope there are more of us next time!!!!


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