Terry Marrett

After leaving Cosford, I had an interesting but not to exciting career in the RAF at Stanbridge, Changi, Gan, Digby & Berlin.

It was in 1966 a wee 17 year old that I had my first posting at what was then The Central Communications Centre at R.A.F. Stanbridge near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. I spent two tours there 1966-1968 and 1970-71. In 1968 I had one of the last tours of R.A.F. Changi,before it handed over the Local Singapore Army with the communications centre in Singapore. Back to Stanbridge for 9 months in 1970-71 before having one of the last postings to R.A.F. Gan in the Indian Ocean. From then on I lost contact with nearly all of you, with the exception of Keith Pike & Alan Patterson. I then had a posting to R.A.F. Digby - a place I had never heard of  but if I never went there I would never be where I am today. It was in 1972 I was co-orced into 399 Signals unit which is the R.A.F. arm of the intelligent services within GCHQ.

In 1974, I eventually decided to take the plunge and change trades to A Radio Operator Telegraphist (still in trade group 11) - as promotion wasn't expected  I decided to take on a trade where promotion to corporal took the maximun of 4 years - then a further five years to Sergeant. Upon Completion came the promotion to Junior Technician in a Band 3 Payband. In 1975 I married and had an immediate posting to 26 Signals Unit in Berlin  during the height of the "Cold War".

In 1978 I returned to 399 signals Unit at Digby with the hope to sign on for 22 years or more. Alas, there were no years of exit left for me. I was able to sign on for a further 3 years  and I stayed in Lincolnshire until 1982.( I only made the rank of Corporal)

In March 1982, just 3 weeks before the Iraqi war started I took the plunge to join the Civil Service in GCHQ, and I took a nine month course at Bletchley. I then had a post to Composite Signals Organisation Station Culmhead, near Taunton Somerset as a qualified Radio Officer, the equilivent rank of Sergeant to Chief Technician.

I stayed there from late 1982 until the station closed in February 1999, 20 days after my 50th Birthday. I could have moved elsewhere  but the terms and conditions were not to my taste so I took the early retirement packet and stayed in Chard, Somerset.

I now have an administration job with a Glass Company which produces canopies for shopping centres, football stadiums etc etc. I don't have to use transport, because it is only 5 minutes walk and doesn't involve too much brain power........

Terry Marrett
February 2004