On leaving Cosford I was posted to RAF Cottesmore where I took over my first watch within 1 week of being there. Talk about bricking it. I was terrified but eventually got the hang of it.
By 1967 the RAF decided that I needed a change of scenery so it was off to sunny JUFAIR in Bahrain where I can remember meeting Taff Blackburn, Ginge Clegg, Steve Atha and Dick Barton. There may have been others but my memory fails me now. I do remember traveling down to Masirah on New Years eve with Taff and I think Ginge was there too. The only memory I have of that day was finding out I had lost all my dosh and so was unable to spend the night celebrating! I enjoyed my stay there doing the usual things, Fishing, Turtle watching and boozing! I wonder if Taff remembers working for the NAAFI off-loading their beer shipment!? After 3 months it was off to Sharjah to rejoin 22 TSU. Had a couple of trips to Salalah and a few in the desert. Yes Taff, I do remember the Tree Inn and had some good meals there too! October 1968 saw me off to the UK and RAF Waddington. Got married there and send off to RAF Bruggen in 1970.
Apart from work I spent the rest of my tour living with Germans so learnt the lingo. Did one detachment to the caves at Tongeren which broke up the tour a bit.Back to the UK in 1973 where I joined the 1102 Marine Craft Unit at Mountbatten and spent a wonderful time working as a Sparkie and doing. tours all over the UK and France. The RAF found out I was having a good time so decided I needed to go to Norway. Just before I was due to leave they pulled out their trump card and promoted me to Corporal and sent me off to RAF Lyneham in 1974.
To say I did not like it there is and understatement! The troubles started in Cyprus and it was a busy time for us during that period.
It was to Cyprus that I was sent in December 1975, (on my sons birthday in fact!) I joined 12 SU and had a brilliant tour there. They then decided to extend my tour and I finally left in 1978 and returned to RAF Upavon.
Sadly my marriage broke up there. I was then posted to RAF Rudloe Manor as a Sergeant. Following a Crypto course I ended up working in the back room during the FALKLANDS conflict. I remarried in 1982 and was then posted for 6 months to Raf Ascension Island in 1984 I arrived back and after 2 months was posted back to 12 SU for another tour. This time I learnt a bit of Greek which helped to make the tour more interesting.1988 saw me back at RAF Upavon where I was promoted to Flight Sergeant and promptly sent off to MOD London. After a few trips to Germany and Cyprus it was decided to send me off to JISC Cyprus to do my bit for the Gulf War. I was there till 1992 when I decided to PVR
I stayed in Cyprus till 1997 running a bar on a yacht then did some credit collecting for a Cypriot firm. Took some Germans sightseeing for a tour company as well. On returning to the UK I worked for a Security company in Slough before moving to Wiltshire where I ran a number of Warehouses for a packaging company. I was made redundant in 2002 and I had a nervous breakdown. My marriage broke down. I started working for the Co-op where I have been ever since. Luckily I met my partner Mandy with whom I have been for 9 wonderful years. I sadly met very few of the entry after 1968. I remember Al Joplin briefly in Cyprus. It was good to see you again Al. I really hope there will be another reunion as I would love to meet everyone again and tell them all the bits that have happened in between leaving Cosford and now.
My best regards to all.
5th April 2012