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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


Individual Squadron Reunions

89B lead the way with reunions in 2014

It's amazing how "old boys" stick together - well the boys of 89B must be much older than the survivors of the other three 89 Entry squadrons because they really do stick together with a reunion every year!

This year the re-union was again held at the George in Wallingford. (We suspect someone in 89B has their pension fund invested there as they seem to get all 89B's business?)  Geoff Dryland, 89's local reporter, reported that things did not quite get into the rousing start that we were used to - "It was a sign of old age that when people started to arrive in the afternoon, instead of a pint in the bar, it was a pot of tea in the lounge!!"  

It is 51 years since 89B Squadron was formed at the RAF College - then there were 18 members. At the reunion this year there were 10 members - Simon Coy;  Geoff Dryland;  Andy Griffin; Nigel Griffiths; Mike Laundy; Henry Middleton;  Paddy Pyper;  Ron Shimmons; Dick Slogrove; Tony Steel; and one guest  - Tony Ware from 89A.    

The Squadron scrubbed up and formed up on time except for Nigel who arrived fairly late, apparently straight from his day job, hence his incorrect dress!  A quick change after the "bubbly" saw him arrive in the correct attire for the dinner. The pretty barmaid was not in attendance so it was into the lounge for pre dinner drinks and long chats about old times and old timers!  It was hard to believe that the party consisted of 69 and 70 year olds!  Mind it was noticeable that the 70 year olds still had their hair and looked much younger whilst the "soixante neufers" had lost theirs and looked much older - obviously too much excitement at their age!!!

Simon relaxing after an exhausting cup of tea.

Andy and Paddy get a swift one prior to the bubbly

Is it a man? Is it a bird? No, just reproducing a pose that was taken at Cranwell (you can see it on the pamphlet in Henry's hand).

Simon having trouble with his belt so having to hold up his trousers

(Obviously forgot all that war studies tactical stuff about "belt & braces")

Tony Ware and Paddy can't believe Tony Steel's boast that he still has all his teeth

Mike is not sure of the punch line to Henry's joke

No bubbly yet so Nigel still not dressed.  Ron enjoys his Gin and Tonic.....sorry, water. Simon is happy his trousers have not fallen down!


Nigel obviously thought it was an 89C affair - so he turned up in his working clothes ready for a bit of painting and decorating in order to settle the bill!

89B's guest for the night was Tony Ware (89A), here with Tony Steel

Who's he trying to kid, it looks like Ron has a G&T to me

Richard, I don't think you should have chatted up the barmaid - her husbands behind you!

I used to be able to whistle at the girls - then l got to 69!

Richard - eating, Tony S drinking and Mike practicing being soixante neuf!

"Mike I didn't know you were 69 like me?"

It was this big!

No - I saw it - It was only about this size!

In summary it was an excellent reunion and despite 51 years since everyone first met, boys will be boys so the boys enjoyed another good night together remembering the good old times whilst we still can!

Thanks to Geoff Dryland for the report and the photographs. 


"89C" Squadron 2011 Reunion

The 2011 89C re-union took place in France over 3 days and followed the usual eat, drink and be merry routine that one expects from the best Squadron in 89 entry! Sadly only 7 of members could make it, Dave Harlow, JC Newland, Derek North, Les Quigley, Ian Robertson, Dick Shuster and Brian Synott, but we swelled our ranks by having our lady wives with us.  The reunion was scheduled to coincide with "Battle of Britain" day - 15th September.

The event was based in South-West France in and around the village of Monleon Magnoac with a visit to Spain for lunch. The programme was pretty intense with everyone, except Ian and his wife Pat, flying into Toulouse.   Ian & Pat had driven down on their way to their apartment in the South of Spain. The team made the best of local French and Spanish cuisine and wine indulging in a variety of eating and drinking experiences including a BBQ, formal dinner, informal dinner, local lunch, and Spanish lunch.

89C and their wives  start assembling for drinks

Our first dinner together in the "Dupont", appropriately a 60's style hotel!

Left to Right - "JC" Newland,  Dave Harlow, Jill Quigley, Brian Synott, Carro Newland

Dinner on the 2nd night was a BBQ at the Quigley's. 

Here we were joined my several locals representing some 6 nationalities

More food & drink - Derek North, Dave Harlow, Les Quigley & Brian Synott get stuck into a traditional French lunch aftera hike through the Pyrenees

89C's main reunion dinner was held on "Battle of Britain" day in the Quigleys' dining room.

Left to Right - Dave, Dick (hidden), Derek, Les, Brian (hidden), JC, Ian

The final full day of the re-union - sunny Spain

Derek, Dave, Les, Dick & JC prepare to eat & drink  yet again!

Dick & Derek - NOT MORE FOOD!


"Battle of Britain Day" 2011

89c Honours 7 young airmen "KIA with no known graves"


The inscription on the wreath placed by 89C

One of the highlights of the reunion was a trek in the mountains to honour the crew of a 624 Squadron Halifax that had crashed nearby in the Pyrenees in July 1944 whilst delivering supplies to the local French Resistance. The crew, although still listed as "missing in action with no known graves" are actually buried at 4,500 feet up in the mountains. The aircraft had left RAF Blida in Algeria on a secret mission to drop supplies to the French Resistance.  The French Resistance found the crashed Halifax and buried the crew in the canisters that they were supposed to drop.

 Years later with the help of a French Air Force helicopter to ferry the materials to the site they built a special cemetery next to the remains of the Halifax. It was here that we hiked to lay wreaths to honour this young crew.

Dave Harlow leads the team with our  supporters following

Above - Some of the team preparing to set off 


With a number of local ex-military supporters we drove up through the Pyrenees to the nearest point accessible to vehicles. We then set off on foot with our supporters to hike through the woods to the crash site and grave yard 


Right - The small grave yard is set in a clearing in the forest. The last few remains of the Halifax lie in a heap with point of impact marked with a cross above it. Around the cross are wreaths and flowers left by local French people who still  pay tribute to our  fellow airmen.

Left - At the cross marking the point of impact,  Brian Synott lays a wreath on behalf of 89

A rememberance cross was placed on each grave and a wreath laid at the memorial 

89's withdrawal - Age is beginning to tell!

Derek bringing up the rear on the descent

Ian treads carefully

JC struggles through despite an injured knee

Brian comes out smiling


"89C" Squadron 2005 Reunion


89C decided it was time to catch up with "B" and have a squadron re-union. This was held at the "Whipper Inn" (very appropriate I hear you all saying) in Oakham. The event was well attended with 9 of the original 14 surviving 1963 cadets making it. A further 4 sent apologies.  There is only one that we can't find  - Crag Carter - Crag if you're out there drop us a line!

Those making it were - Dave Donnelly, Dave Harlow, "JC" Newland, Derek North, Les Quigley, Chris Saunby, Dick Shuster,  Duncan Swift, Brian Synott. - Apologies were received from Dave Foulger, John Liddell, Keith Jackson and Ian Robertson.  

In addition as our special guest we invited Jerry Pook  - We needed someone to buy the drinks! - Although Ian [who's wife Pat was recovering from a serious operation] kindly sent a bottle of vintage port! - we all managed to get at least one glass before Dick downed it!

Back - left to right - Dave Harlow, Derek North, JC Newland, Brian Synott, Duncan Swift

Front - Jerry Pook ("A" guest), Les Quigley, Dave Donnelly, Chris Saunby, Dick Shuster

Not to be out done by the boys in "B", "C" held their first formal reunion since parting company in 1966. The reunion was held in Oakham in the "Whipper Inn" Hotel.  The original plan was to hold it in the mess at Wittering as this was determined to be central for everyone. However, this proved impossible as, unbelievably,  the Mess is closed at weekends! How times have changed!

The venue proved to be popular with 9 former members attending including 2 who hadn't seen any of us since we left Cranwell in '66.  In addition we had invited Jerry Pook as our special guest.  Needless to say much beer, wine, champagne, port and jollity was had by all.

Apologies were received from 4 other members, Ian Robertson, John Liddell, Keith Jackson and Dave Foulger. In addition Ian Robertson sent a bottle of Port, and  John Liddell sent lots of photographs. (Which are now on this website.)  The photographs were also put to good use in an audio visual presentation that helped revive memories.

A toast was drunk to our fallen comrades Pete Thompson and Paul Cooper and to those who couldn't make it.

Left - What a whopper Dave - The food was good and plentiful as was the wine!


Bottom Left - Dick and Brian warming up for the arm wrestling competition while the rest cheer them on


Below - We do believe you Dick - How long have you been a concert pianist?


Dick - If you can play it - we can sing it!

Brian!   Who had all that wine?... It was us Dave!

Above - Everyone deep in conversation - Dick is explaining how he caught a little one again!

Left - Les produced his "Sword of Dishonour" to open the champagne French style!

Below Left - JC's having another to prove he's an ambidextrous  drinker! - Is Dave refusing one - no he's asking for 4 just in case the Bar closes!

Below Right - Brian is explaining how he deals with unruly passengers.

POST SCRIPT - Whilst still sober, everyone present contributed to send a bouquet to Ian's wife Pat as she had just come out of hospital having had a serious operation.  Ian and Pat wrote and thanked us all.

Thanks again Ian for the Port!




"The Blades", survivors of 89B meet annually to maintain those friendships built up over 3 years at Cranwell. This years reunion was held on Saturday 6th November at The George Hotel in Wallingford, Oxfordshire and judging by the hangovers at breakfast, it was a great success.

From this..

The "South Brick Lines" 1963

 Ron Shimmons  organised it, and in addition to Shimmo, those present included Henry Middleton, Richard Slogrove, Tony Steel, Simon Coy, Andy Griffin, Paddy Pyper and Nigel Griffiths plus  Les Quigley  of C Squadron.

To this!

The George - Wallingford 2004

Relaxing after the Port but before the Champagne was attacked by a sabre ....

Les, Richard, Nigel, Ron, Simon (upfront), Paddy (trying to get a look in), Henry, Tony, Andy


For more photographs click on "B" Squadron"



Some of 89C got together at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in 2002

Dick Shuster, Les Quigley, Brian Synott & Chris Saunby deciding whether to go home and drink their ill gotten gains or pinch the JP - or both!!

(You can tell it's not a Cranwell JP -  they have to have an arrow to tell the students which way it goes!)