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Thread: RAF Recruitment during World War II

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    Default RAF Recruitment during World War II

    Hi everyone,

    During World War II, would RAF recruitment be designed to accept recruits locally or would they have to travel to join recruitment centres? By this I mean would Welsh recruits join in local Welsh recruitment areas do to basic training or travel for such like.

    I know it reads like a silly question because when I joined the forces I had to travel to Plymouth for basic training. But would the RAF have done it differently during World War II?

    Regards

    Steve.

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    Steve, Hi,
    You will find much of what you want to know at http://www.nsrafa.org/%5CGetSome.aspx.
    Now, quite elderly ex RAF NSA have been known - at reunion gatherings - to get quite agitated in discussions, about whether Padgate (or wherever) was more "cushy" or "hard" than Hednesford (or wherever). On one occasion, aged 70, I (ex-Hednesford, and Hard) was nearly invited outside the pub by an ex-Padgate "softie" to 'settle the argument in the gutter - like Gentlemen'!!!!!
    National Service was a great leveller. I'm still in touch with a (reducing!) few from my Hednesford intake. You can go home with sides aching with laughter at what we did - and had to do. But I tell you it wasn't too funny at the time!! But, if you survived Hednesford then there is no doubt you were The Best!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Steve

    There were Combined Recruiting Centres in most cities or major towns, which is when the recruit would report for 'processing' or signing on after which they would have been either sent home on the reserve to await a vacancy at a Recruit Centre or straight to the Recruit Centre if a vacancy existed.

    Malcolm

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    Hi Peter and Malcolm,

    Thanks for your posts, appreciated as always. Maybe they did join up locally but knowing the armed forces they were probably made to travel to the Recruitment Centres.

    Cheers

    Steve.

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    Default My Dad said

    that when he volunteered in the September of 39, he and his mate along with my cousin slept outside the Recruitment Centre in Birmingham over night, the name Sparkhill comes to mind. There were he said three tables Army, Navy and RAF. He chose the Army, my cousin who was in the RAFVR went to the RAF table. Dad was put in the Medical Corps (as he had medical training) but was later transferred to REME and worked on Radar. He and his mate were sent off almost immediately to Aldershot (I think) and Vince was not called up for training till the November (3 months later).

    This is all from memory.

    Dyan

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    Well my Dad was Scottish and I think started out at Lord's Cricket ground in London, whether this was his first recruitment centre I don't know.

    I guess he must have volunteered for flying duty.

    Is it true that every fourth person to sign up for the armed forces ended up as a Bevan Boy?
    An American airman, was told at Briefing to ‘Go in at 30,000 feet and keep out of the flak.”
    “If I go in a 20,000 feet, what will happen?’ asked the airman.
    “You’ll probably be mentioned in despatches”, answered the officer.
    “If I go in at 10,000 feet ?“ he asked.
    “In that case you will probably get the Congress Medal”, he was told.
    "And if I go in at 5,000 feet?’ he inquired excitedly.
    “Don’t be a fool, man”, replied his superior, “you’ll go and bump into the R.A.F. at that height.”

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    Default Recruiting Centres

    G'day Chaps

    As of August 1944, the R.A.F. had the following Recruiting Centres.

    No. 1 Recruits Centre
    No. 22 (T.T.) Group
    Hunmamby Moor, Yorkshire

    No. 8 Recruits Centre
    No. 22 (T.T.) Group
    Arbroath, Angus

    No. 11 Recruits Centre
    No. 22 (T.T.) Group
    Skegness, Lincolnshire

    No. 22 Recruits Centre
    No. 22 (T.T.) Group
    Long Kesh, Lisburn, County Antrim
    Northern Ireland

    No. 31 (WAAF) Recruits Centre
    No. 22 (T.T.)Group
    Wimslow, Manchester

    Cheers...Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wimpy View Post
    Is it true that every fourth person to sign up for the armed forces ended up as a Bevan Boy?
    I don't think the diversion into the coalmines happened early into the war, so it can't be true as a simple statement overall. However, as the Bevan Boys were required to replace miners who had joined up, their numbers must balance. So unless you assume that a third of the armed forces came from the mining industry, then no, it can't be true. Even making some allowance for wartime expansion.

    Addition: A quick look at Wikipedia suggests December 1943 for the introduction of the Bevin Boys (not Bevan), and that allocation was one in ten.
    Last edited by Graham Boak; 23rd April 2009 at 13:54. Reason: Further information

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    Thanks Dakota, I now know where my Dad joined up since he only lived a few miles from Arbroath.
    An American airman, was told at Briefing to ‘Go in at 30,000 feet and keep out of the flak.”
    “If I go in a 20,000 feet, what will happen?’ asked the airman.
    “You’ll probably be mentioned in despatches”, answered the officer.
    “If I go in at 10,000 feet ?“ he asked.
    “In that case you will probably get the Congress Medal”, he was told.
    "And if I go in at 5,000 feet?’ he inquired excitedly.
    “Don’t be a fool, man”, replied his superior, “you’ll go and bump into the R.A.F. at that height.”

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