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Friday October 18 2019 No 1477 70p


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Kual-ified ROYAL AIR FORCE Typhoons took the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur by storm as they performed a flypast over the iconic Petronas Towers. Sqn Ldr Roger Cruikshank, (pictured), led the formation of four UK swing-role fighters taking part in combat drills from the Butterworth airbase in Penang. ● See p11

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I loved my military career – I didn’t want to leave for just another job

Former SAC Joanna Reddaway on the battle for work in Civvy St p18-19

My RAF WWII pilot grandfather is my hero and inspiration Rocker Rufus ‘Tiger’ Taylor, drummer with The Darkness p7

This demonstrates how far women’s sport has come, and the RAF is leading that change

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Voyager Lima call up RAF News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Editor: Simon Williams Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Sports Editor: Daniel Abrahams Email: Tel: 01494 497563 Features Editor: Tracey Allen Email: Tel: 01494 497622 News Editor: Simon Mander All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@rafnews.

A BRIZE Norton-based Voyager is operating for the first time from Paya Lebar Airbase Singapore, as part of Exercise Bersama Lima. The tanker is conducting air -to-air refuelling sorties with the deployed Typhoons of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron taking part in the annual Five Powers Defence Arrangements training programme. Voyager sorties enable Typhoon pilots to extend their time in the air considerably and carry out a wider range of missions. Detachment Commander Squadron Leader Nathan Giles said: “This Voyager deployment is an important step for the force. “It demonstrates our ability to operate at considerable range from our home base and it also globally projects RAF airpower. “The training value is also important as we overcome the difficult weather conditions of Singapore and Malaysia.” The Voyager is crewed by two pilots and a Mission System Operator who controls the refuelling equipment.

GILES SMILES: Main, air-to-air refuelling, inset, Sqn Ldr Giles

During exercise sorties the tanker has been airborne for up eight hours refuelling multiple pairs of Typhoons. The RAF has deployed more

than 200 personnel on the exercise to enable the Typhoons to conduct complex air activities with the Air Forces of the other participating nations.

The Five Powers Defence Arrangements brings together the British, Australian, Malaysian, New Zealand and Singaporean militaries in the region.

This Week In History 1962

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Valiant effort

Following an attack by Egyptian Air Force MIGs on Nuqab in Aden, a Valiant of No.90 Sqn engaged on a ‘Lone Ranger’ exercise flight along the Yemen frontier as a show of strength.


Danes returns

St Clement Danes, Strand, London was reconsecrated as the Church of the Royal Air Force in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.


C-17 mercy mission

27 Sqn Globemaster II flew three 99 Sqn Chinooks into Pakistan following a devastating earthquake. The helicopters flew their first missions four days later.

Extracts from The Royal Air Force Day By Day by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork (The History Press).

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WWII secrets and Lys A FULLY restored WWII Lysander used by 161 Sqn to drop British secret agents behind enemy lines has broken cover at the RAF Museum. The distinctive warbird has undergone months of painstaking work to bring it back to its original state including recovering the airframe in traditional Irish linen fabric, hand sewn and strengthened using the original techniques. The aircraft will be on display at Cosford during a museum open day next month before being moved to its permanent home in London.

Baz Tex it to the max A FLYING instructor and former Red Arrows pilot has achieved an incredible 6000 flying hours. Phantom vet Sqn Ldr Baz Cross joined the RAF in 1982 and is now a civilian instructor at Valley, flying the new Texan trainer aircraft. During his career the 55-yearold has flown F4 Phantoms at Wattisham, Red Arrows’ Hawks at Scampton, F3 Tornados at Leeming, and Tucano T1 as Officer Commanding 72 Sqn. He joined Ascent Flying Training in 2018 and following

Conservation manager Darren Priday said: “It’s been a real privilege to work on such a beautiful aircraft.”

Air Chief heads calls to change ‘pale and male’ Armed Forces Tracey Allen THE ARMED Forces have been branded as ‘male and pale’ by Britain’s top airman who has issued a call to boost black and Asian recruitment in the RAF. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston (far right), delivered the judgement as he launched the Service’s celebration of Black History Month from Air Command. Speaking at the event, attended by Force’s diversity campaigners, he said: “The irony is not lost on me that I am surrounded by portraits of senior white male officers as I launch Black History Month. “Our system has to change. If white men do well in it, other groups don’t. We have a job to do. We have to drive up our diversity in recruiting. “If we are to achieve our potential as a Service we have to attract from wider society and from the widest pool of talent in the British workforce.” Black and Asian personnel make up just over two per cent of the total British military headcount, according to the latest MoD figures. The RAF currently has 144 officers and an estimated 3500 NCOs from ethnic backgrounds – the highest percentage in the British military. Flt Lt Kyle Roachford, (inset, right), chair of the

RAF’s BAME Network, said: “The Services are a white man’s club. “One of the biggest problems we have across the Armed Forces right now is that lack of representation. “We don’t see people we can aspire to in the senior ranks. White people have a privilege that they do not know they have.”

UK defence is like a mountain – the higher you go the whiter it gets

Nicola Williams, Services Complaints Ombudsman

While the RAF struggles to attract more black and Asian recruits, those who have signed up are more likely to suffer harassment and bullying than their white counterparts. The MoD announced it was to reform its disciplinary procedures after working practices were slammed as years behind those of civilian companies in a report on behaviour in the military by ACM Wigston. The Wigston report revealed that while female and ethnic minority

personnel accounted for only 18 per cent of the total workforce, they brought 36 per cent of complaints about bullying, harassment and discrimination. In a further blow the report found only one per cent of cases resulted in formal action as more than half of complainants thought pursuing a grievence against a colleague would harm their career and that no action would be taken. Service Complaints Ombudsman Nicola Williams (inset below, near right) said: “The MoD is like a mountain – the higher you go the whiter it gets. “The vast majority of ethnic minority personnel are in the two lowest grades. “The RAF is doing the best of all the Services in diversity recruiting, retention and progress but there is a disproportionality of both female and BAME personnel in the Services. “Diversity is much greater with cadets than it is with Regulars. “It would be a concern to think that is because they feel they may be discriminated against and they won’t go as far in their careers as their talent should allow them to.”

training in the United States flew the first RAF sortie of the new Texan T1 trainer from Valley in February. He said: “I’ve been fortunate to fly some incredible aircraft and work with some incredible people in the RAF. “I was inspired by the Red Arrows as a kid – little knowing that one day I would fly with them. “It’s great to be back at Valley flying the Texan and helping the next generation of pilots reach the frontline.” RECRUITMENT CALL: CAS Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston speaking at the launch of the RAF Black History Month event. PHOTOS: SAC SARAH GREGORY

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My RAF grandad rocks my world... Darkness drummer Rufus Taylor salutes family’s Spitfire hero Tracey Allen ROCKER RUFUS ‘Tiger’ Taylor says his World War II pilot grandfather is his ‘number one hero’ and revealed his respect for today’s RAF personnel. The drummer with glam rock revivalists The Darkness is the son of legendary Queen drummer Roger Taylor (inset). Rufus’s grandad, Maurice Leng, was his mother Debbie’s father. He said: “I am immensely proud of him. He is my number one hero and inspiration. I have the utmost respect for those serving in the RAF today.” Rufus, who starts a European tour

next month, promoting the band’s new album Easter Is Cancelled, added: “I was seven or eight when Maurice died. “I was too young to ask him all the questions I wanted to about the war and to understand what he had done. “When I started to find out more later on, I was really sad I hadn’t been able to talk to him more about it.” On a visit to RAF Cranwell supporting Queen guitarist Brian May and singer Kerry Ellis in concert, Rufus was given six hours of taped interviews his grandfather had made.

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RAF STAR: Battle of Britain pilot Maurice Leng revs up in the Western Desert in 1941 with an allied camp ‘batman’.

DARK STARS: Rufus with Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins

He said: “A senior officer came up to me and said he knew who my grandfather was. “He gave me these recordings of him talking about his WWII missions and his time in Stalag Luft III as a prisoner of war. “He flew Spitfires, Hurricanes and Tiger Moths and was in 73 Sqn. He was in the Battle of Britain and got shot down seven times in different battles.

“He was a PoW in the famous Great Escape prison, Stalag Luft III – he was the real deal. “He got malaria in the Western Desert. He was shot in the leg twice, shot down behind enemy lines and he took a few aircraft down with him. “He was an accomplished pilot but often got shot up. Once his Spitfire was on fire and he was spiralling down in a fireball but

didn’t eject because it was a brand new plane. “He had never flown in a new one before and said he thought he could save it. He landed safely, dusted himself off and went to the pub.” Rufus said although he knew Maurice was highly decorated he didn’t have details of his medals because ‘some a*s*hole broke into the family home and stole Maurice’s Service weapon and all his medals. My mum was really distraught.’ He added: “My grandad always wanted me to learn to fly, and so does my mum. One day I will – it would make him proud.”

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Forces answer call for Oswald’s last journey HUNDREDS ANSWERED a plea to say a fond final farewell to Jamaicanborn veteran Oswald Dixon after fears that no-one would attend his funeral. The 100-year-old died last month in a care home for Service personnel in Salford, Greater Manchester. Oswald, who was blind, suffered from dementia and had no known relatives, received birthday greetings from The Queen, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, and Jamaican High Commissioner Seth George Ramocan and his staff. Oswald joined the RAF in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1944 as a flight mechanic and moved to Britain before World War II ended. He became a Leading Aircraftman and stayed in the Service teaching new recruits until he retired. Hundreds of former and serving Forces personnel attended

News bulletin

REFURB: Air Marshal Mayhew opened the new facility. PHOTO: SAC BLAKE CURRUTHERS

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his funeral at Salford’s Agecroft Crematorium to witness the Union Flag-draped coffin make its final journey, and to honour the

thousands of Caribbean people who fought for Britain. Among them was Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer.

Care home staff said Oswald was a quiet man with a ‘wicked,’ sense of humour, who took a torch to bed with him every night.

LEEMING HAS launched a scheme to help Forces partners improve their career chances by opening a station centre offering free IT facilities. The new fully equipped office hub is designed for job seekers and those who need a place to study. The facility, in a refurbished disused building was formally opened by Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew.

PTSD victims fight their demons on VR battlefield Staff Reporter A VETERAN airman who attempted suicide because of the horrors he witnessed in Iraq is taking part in a groundbreaking virtual reality treatment to help Forces fighters with PTSD. Former Air Force driver Matt Neve says the memories of picking up seriously injured UK troops on the battlefield drove him to try to

FIGHT BACK: Matt Neve receiving his gold medal at the 2016 Invictus Games

end his own life after struggling with the illness for 15 years. The pioneering treatment uses virtual reality to recreate personalised landscapes allowing them to confront the causes of their trauma and has seen some patients’ symptoms improve by up to 40 per cent. The 34-year-old veteran said: “I was just 18 when I went to Iraq and I wasn’t mature enough to deal with what I was seeing.

BACK TO THE BATTLEZONE: A volunteer walks through a personally designed computer landscape watched by a member of the Cardiff research team, inset right, veteran taking a break during therepy session.

“I was picking up guys with really serious and sometimes fatal injuries. I didn’t know it at the time but that has had a major effect on me. I did not accept that anything was wrong.” Matt was medically discharged

in 2004 after being flown back to the UK where he received treatment at a Forces psychiatric facility at Catterick. After leaving the military he began drinking heavily and was prone to violent outbursts putting a strain on

his relationship with his family and wife Zoe. He says his condition continued to deteriorate until he finally sought help after taking part in the Invictus Games in Toronto where he won a gold medal in the archery event.

Despite undergoing counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy he continued to experience flashbacks and depression and earlier this year he attempted to take his own life. Since taking part in the new 3MDR programme at Cardiff University he says he is finally coping with the condition. Volunteers work with the team to design personal landscapes using life like computer animations which they walk through on a treadmill. Matt added: “It has helped me. I would say I am stable now and working towards staying at that level.” He is among 40 combat veterans who have served in conflicts from the Falklands, Operation Telic in Iraq and Operation Herrick in Afghanistan to take part in the study, funded by the Forces in Mind charity. Prof Jon Bisson, who heads the study, said: “All of those who took part in the study are treatmentresistant patients. By walking through the scene on the treadmill they are also using their working memory which acts as a distraction. “The treatment works through virtual reality exposure and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. The average improvement we have seen is a 40 per cent reduction in symptoms.” The Cardiff team are seeking funding for a larger scale trial before offering the treatment to the NHS.

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P10


Air power team eyes Nato role Simon Mander RAF PERSONNEL are honing their combat skills ahead of taking command of Nato airpower. More than 150 airmen and women joined a drill based on a real world scenario to support operations based on the the invasion of a sovereign state. Exercise Titanium Falcon is the latest stage in a six-month Nato programme to integrate forces in the Anglo-French led air component. UK teams will deliver command and control capabilitiy to support Nato peace-keeping and humanitarian operations anywhere in the world. The Nato Response Force was set up in 2002 to respond to natural disasters and military crises across the world. The RAF will command the multinational air component for the first time since 2017, alongside a Spanish maritime force, and a Eurocorps army unit based in Strasbourg. UK Joint Force Air Component Director Gp Capt Roger Elliott said: “Nato is definitely a priority for the RAF. It has invested in air

COMMAND AND CONTROL: Multi-national RAF led team operate under canvas during combat simulation. PHOTOS: SAC TOM CANN

command and control which is the fifth pillar of air power. “I think we’re quite lucky to work with Nato, the Americans, the French and our Joint Expeditionary Force partners. “We so we get to see how other people do their business on these exercises.” Designed to operate from a tented

city, the command and control centre acts as the operations centre which executes the campaign. It simulates the command chain which rotates between Naples and Brunssum in The Netherlands and ultimately up to SHAPE in Mons, Belgium. Danish Air Force Warrant Officer Jacob Byrknes is one of

RAPID REACTION: French Rafale fighter among the Nato aircraft controlled by RAF JFAC team

several foreign military personnel taking part. He said: “At home I am a national operations centre transport co-ordinator with responsibility for scheduling C-130 missions, risk management, and refuelling “This Exercise is true to the Joint Force concept. You can’t simulate all the things it could do but on the whole it’s realistic. “I get on with Brits, I’ve learnt a lot and I hope the British are pleased with the input they’ve received.” Exercise newbie Boulmer-based weapons systems operator SAC Andrew Chingwalu said: “I’ve quite enjoyed the Exercise as an augmentee, it’s a different pace to my regular job. “In my role we get information from command that they want different fits for the aircraft and weaponry, and we do that for them.” Another JFAC newcomer is High Wycombe-based safety management expert Flt Lt Lisa Mitchell, (pictured right) whose job is to

ensure Allied jets don’t clash with friendly forces or civilian aircraft. “Anytime any of the aircraft need airspace it’s my job to create that on the database,” she said. “I’m also here to make sure that when they manoeuvre or fire weapons the aircraft are kept safe. “It’s an interesting exercise to find out what goes on during this type of campaign. “It’s all about one state invading another and how we would work together with Nato partners to help to resolve that type of conflict.”

Charity superman in the money RAF PILOT Flt Lt Tom Mountney has raised more than £12,000 for the charities that supported him and his wife through several miscarriages. The Brize Norton-based C-17 pilot (right) ran the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge last month, completing it in nine days – beating the current record by two days. He raised the money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Tommy’s, a charity that funds research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Tom and wife Anna are expecting their first child later this year. He said: “I wanted to do something that was arduous and represented the struggle that people who suffer from

baby loss go through. “There are highs and lows but you just have to break these seemingly insurmountable barriers until you can get over them, one by one. “This has been a huge mental challenge which is exactly the same as running this ultra-marathon: you have to take it one step at a time.” He hit the road covering 40-50 miles each day. Tom also climbed the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. RAFBF regional fundraiser Charlotte Barmby said: “Tom’s epic fundraising challenge in the wake of such heart-breaking loss is truly inspiring.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P11


Penang welcome for UK Typhoon power

Geer-ing up

Simon Mander TOP BRASS have welcomed RAF Typhoons taking part in the annual Five Powers Defence Arrangement training in South East Asia. An opening ceremony attended by Lossiemouth-based 2 (Army Cooperation) Sqn and visiting units from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore taking part in Exercise Bersama Lima, was held at the Royal Malaysian Air Force airbase at Butterworth in Penang. Malaysian Joint Force Commander Lt Gen Dato’ Suhaimi Mohd Zuki said: “The exercise reflects our nations’ strong commitment and determination to work for peace and stability in this region.” “Not only has the size and scale of the exercise constantly enlarged, but the scope and complexity of the exercise has expanded. “The emphasis is on nonconventional threats and helping during humanitarian disasters as

FORCES BROADCASTERS Verity Geer and Richard Hatch cooked up some breakfast time entertainment at Waddington to raise funds for the Big Salute charity campaign. The BFBS broadcast live from the Junior Ranks Mess during the show which included a clay Remembrance poppy-making competition. BOYS WITH THE NOISE: Typhoon techs soak up the welcome at Penang. PHOTO: CPL ROB BOURNE

there is great concern about terrorism, cyber threats, territorial disputes and natural disasters in the region.” This year the Royal Air Force has deployed more than 200 personnel

and a 10 Sqn Voyager aircraft from Brize Norton that will conduct air-toair refuelling sorties from Singapore in support of the UK’s Typhoons. The Five Powers Defence

Arrangement brings together military personnel from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK to counter possible threats to Malaysia or Singapore.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P12


Forces set for renting revolution PERSONNEL AT Wittering will be among the first in the UK Forces to rent private sector properties under a major military housing rethink. The Cambridgeshire station is one of three military bases taking part in the first large scale test of the MoD’s radical Future Accommodation Model. More than 3000 Navy personnel stationed at Clyde are set to receive payments to help cover the cost of moving into private sector properties within 50 miles of the base before the offer is extended to Wittering and the Army base at Aldershot. The move is part of a range of

policy changes aimed at making the Forces more attractive to new recruits which also include flexitime working and improved career management and follows the relaxing of strict codes on tattoos and beards. The Wittering trial will be launched in May 2020 and is voluntary, the MoD said. Under another landmark ruling UK Forces recently changed accommodation rules to allow unmarried same-sex couples to live together in Forces family housing. Previously only married couples, those in civil partnerships and those with legally dependent children

were eligible. The MoD previously confirmed it would set aside £450 million in subsidies for those working in areas where property prices are high, like the South East.

UK Top joins V space Typhoon pilot blasts off in modified 747 launcher

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Simon Mander A TYPHOON test pilot has joined Virgin’s satellite launch team as part of a £30 million UK backed space programme. Flt Lt Mathew ‘Stanny’ Stannard has been selected to join the project next year trialling Jumbo Jet aircraft from which military and industry satellites will be launched. The Tornado veteran, who amassed more than 1000 flying hours during multiple combat tours, trained at the USA’s Top Gun Naval Test Pilot School before transferring to Typhoon. Flt Lt Stannard said: “I’ve flown Tornado and Typhoon in the RAF but being involved in Virgin Orbit’s space programme is a truly unique opportunity. “This programme is pushing the boundaries of our understanding

of space so it’s a real privilege to be part of it and I’m looking forward to bringing the skills and knowledge I gain back to the RAF.” Virgin Orbit are currently developing a LauncherOne vehicle to be released from a modified Boeing 747-400, named Cosmic Girl, to put commercial and defence satellites into orbit. The company has already ‘drop tested’ a rocket at 35,000 feet to ensure it separates from the aircraft during launch. The combat-hardened UK airman landed the posting after a tough selection process. RAF capability chief AVM Simon ‘Rocky’ Rochelle said: “Having one of our Test Pilots working at the heart of such a cutting-edge programme is a significant step in the RAF’s space journey. It also reinforces the close relationship we have with industry

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P13

p Gun Virgin race SPACE ACE: The specially adapted Jumbo Cosmic Girl, Inset left, Red Arrows join the party, far right,RAF Typhoon. PHOTOS: VIRGIN/SAC BEN MAYFIELD

and with the US.” Defence Minister Annie-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK and the US already have an incredibly close defence relationship and now we’re working together to forge new frontiers in space. This exciting partnership will see Virgin Orbit benefit from the skills and expertise of our personnel while propelling the RAF’s space ambitions to new heights.” Virgin Orbit chief Dan Hart said: “As an American Company with British ownership it’s in our DNA to help the UK and the US collaborate in space.” The announcement was made in California aboard RMS Queen Mary – Winston Churchill’s floating headquarters in World War II and a symbol of the the UK’s close relationship with the US. The Red Arrows flew over the ship as part of the event – one of the last on their North American tour.

Grave team repair ravages of terror THE GRAVES of hundreds of war dead in the Iraqi desert have been restored by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Habbaniya War Cemetery set up in World War II had stood damaged for decades after recent conflicts made it unsafe to operate there. Commission Director General Victoria Wallace said: “Our teams reach some very remote locations in their care for war graves, and it is an endless task of which we are hugely proud – and that we will never give up.” In 1941, following a nationalist coup against the Iraqi government, a small group of mostly trainee airmen

at Habbaniya defended themselves from local anti-British forces encouraged by the Nazis.Among the RAF personnel buried there are 10 Polish and one Norwegian national and 117 casualties who died after WWII. Work to restore the site began earlier this year and included 289 new headstones, replacing the Cross of Sacrifice, repairing the cemetery walls and landscaping the entire site. Habbaniya, 60 miles west of Baghdad, is one of 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries and territories where the Commission tends graves and memorials.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P15


Colours honour for Cosford grads

A 20-YEAR-OLD Aircraft Technician has made history by becoming the first woman to parade Cosford’s colours. Hadeeqah Rafiq carried the Queens Colour for Number One School of Technical Training at recent Battle of Britain commemorations. She was selected for the honour alongside fellow student, 26-year-old AC David Coates The gold embroidered, blue silk ensign bearing the School’s badge was presented in 1952 by The Queen and is the only one of the seven RAF standards paraded by noncommissioned personnel. AC Rafiq, from Coventry (pictured, right and inset) joined the RAF after sixth form to pursue her interest in aerospace engineering and aircraft. Her name has now been added to The Queen’s Colour Log and commemorative board which sits in pride of place in the school HQ. The custom of carrying the Colour dates as far back as the Roman Empire to serve as a position indicator on the battlefield. The flag is usually retired and laid up every 25 years. The School’s Colour was last replaced in 2014 by Princess Anne.

News Bulletin

Social climbers THE ARMY and the Royal Air Force have been listed as two of the top 100 employers in the country for encouraging social mobility. The Army came 55th in the Social Mobility Index while the RAF was named as 76th. The MoD was 35th in the list.

Brize medics drill

AIR FORCE medics honed their battlefield skills with US forces during a Nato exercise Stateside. The Brize-based Tactical Medical Wing took part in simulated medical evacuation and airlift operations at Fairchild Air Force base.

Reds Gold rush

Traders fund health drive Global finance firm backs RAFA charity campaign Alex Scobbie

THE RED Arrows fly over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during their final performance as they prepare to head back to the UK after a 24-date tour of North America. PHOTOS: SAC Rose Buchanan

AIR FORCE charity chiefs are set for a cash windfall after winning backing from a top city finance group and celebrity fundraisers. The RAF Association, which supports veterans and serving personnel, has been chosen as one of the good causes to net funds from an annual global fundraiser held by traders network ICAP. Last year the firm’s charity events in London and New York were attended by the Duchess of Cornwall, comedian Richard Ayoade, presenter Keith Lemon, plus actors Michael Douglas and Forest Whittaker, helping to raise more than £4.5 million. The funds donated to RAFA will finance mental health training across the Service and vets community to raise awareness of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. Charity bosses brought in RAF specialists from the Robson Academy of Resilience to help design the course to help volunteers

LONDON CALLING: Comic Richard Ayoade hits the phones in the capital, inset below, Wall Street star Douglas helps boost the fundraising total Stateside

spot pals and family members who may be suffering from mental health problems. RAF chief executive Nick Bunting said: “Evidence shows that mental health training raises learners’ awareness of mental health conditions, including their signs and symptoms. “Those trained have a better understanding of where to find information and

professional support and are more confident in helping individuals experiencing a problem or crisis. “The military are working hard themselves to reduce stigma through raising awareness of mental health issues. “The ICAP funded RAF Association project will seek to complete the circle by further strengthening the support available to the veteran and serving RAF family community.”


We are excellent. We are QE.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) has found Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate to be ‘Excellent’ across all schools, praising our pupils’ outstanding academic achievements and personal development.

Queen Ethelburga’s has a long-standing relationship with the British Forces, welcoming students from military families for over 100 years. We currently have over 300 such students living as part of the QE family. We welcome day students from 3 months to 19 years and boarders from 6 years to 19 years. We are CEA accredited and in recognition of our commitment to Forces families, we offer a significant reduction in fees. In 2017/18 this meant that our Forces families paid just 10% of fees. In 2018/19 Forces families will pay just £955 per term, per child (with the benefits of Childcare Vouchers this figure can be as low as £614 per term). We pride ourselves on our wrap-around specialist pastoral care for our students, providing a secure and supportive home from home. We are focused on creating the right learning and living environment so that every one of them can thrive. For further information or to arrange a visit contact our admissions team on: Tel: 01423 33 33 30 Email:

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P17


Rocketman hits Pan-ic Job lot for RAF team stations News Bulletin

SKILL UP: RAF apprentice gets to work

Matt Batsman

THE ROYAL Air Force has scooped a major UK employment and training accolade. The Service was named as one of the UK’s top employers at the National Apprenticeships Awards, topping the large employer category at the ceremony in Bristol. The Air Force was also highly commended in the recruitment category. The RAF runs one of the UK’s largest schemes with more than 3200 apprentices working across more than 20 trades. Airwoman SAC Gabrielle Watt (pictured below), who recently completed her apprenticeship as a safety equipment fitter, collected the awards for the RAF. She said: “The apprenticeships scheme is outstanding. It has been fantastic in developing me professionally and personally in a workplace environment.” Air Cdre Simon Harper said: “The RAF is delighted to be recognised in this way. Through the worldclass apprenticeships we offer, we are able to attract the high calibre of people we need.”

PAN’S PEOPLE: Hakskeen locals

NEED FOR SPEED: Wg Cdr Andy Green, right, will be in the hot seat of the Bloodhound rocket car, left, attempting to break the world land speed record

Matt Batsman

THE RAF pilot bidding to shatter his own world land speed record by hitting 1000mph in the Bloodhound rocket car is finally set to blast off on South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan. Wg Cdr Andy Green and the team are due to begin high speed testing on a 12-mile stretch of the dry river bed in the Kalahari desert. The six tonne car powered by a Typhoon jet engine and a hybrid rocket is being flown out to the remote region this month. The team aim to hit speeds of

more than 500mph over the next two months before mounting their final record-breaking run in October next year. A team of aerospace boffins have been brought in to compare real performance data produced by the car on the track with figures produced in computer simulations using high level fluid dynamic modelling. Engineering director Mark Chapman said: “After years of preparation we can’t wait to get out to Hakskeen and let Bloodhound off the leash to see how it performs.

“Transforming the Bloodhound from a runway car to one that is capable to hitting transonic speeds on a desert race track has been no small task and we have pulled out all the stops.” Key to Bloodhound’s success is the two-metre tail fin designed by RAF Typhoon engineers which will generate the huge amounts of downforce needed to keep the 100,000 horsepower car on the ground as it goes supersonic. Bloodhound will run on solid aluminium wheels tested to the same speed as aircraft jet engine

turbine blades. The project stalled last year when the company went bust with £25 million debts before a bail out by UK engineering tycoon Ian Warhurst. He added said: “The team has risen to the challenge over the last six months. “Something that has been talked about and planned for so long is finally happening.” Wg Cdr Green is bidding to smash the world land speed record of 770mph he set in 1997 in the Thrust SSC car powered by two Phantom jet engines.

UK signs off on Typhoon as BAE looks to Gulf Staff Reporter THE RAF has taken delivery of its final Typhoon, 16 years after the first swing role fighter entered service. The last tranche-three aircraft was handed over during a ceremony at manufacturer BAE’s site at Warton and brings the Royal Air Force fleet to 160. As the UK signs off on the Eurofighter, BAE is gearing up to produce the first of 22 aircraft to the Qatari Air Force as part of a £6 billion deal. BAE is also expected to produce a further 48 aircraft for Saudi Arabia which operates Typhoon alongside the veteran Tornado bomber. Defence Equipment chief Air Cdre Paul Lloyd said: “Great pride should be taken for the continued dedication and hard work needed to reach this significant milestone

for the Typhoon programme.” As part of the deal to sell the British-built fighter to allied Gulf states the RAF has set up a squadron to train Qatari pilots alongside their UK counterparts at Cranwell ahead of delivery of the first aircraft in 2022. BAE Typhoon director Andy Flynn said: “With production for Qatar ramping up and Typhoon attracting interest in a number of international campaigns, it is entering the next stage of a technological journey which futureproofs it for decades to come. “Over this time, it will be the platform which will develop and deploy technologies which will become central on a future combat air system, making it the ideal interoperable partner to fly alongside a future combat air system.”

NEXT STAGE: RAF has taken delivery of its final Typhoon

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Feature Veterans special report

We beat the prejudice on Civvy St WHEN SHE left the RAF in May 2017 after 12 years, Jenna Machin found it difficult to gain ‘fulfilling and purposeful’ employment, she said. She was the paramedic for the Queen’s Colour Squadron and her MERT roles included two tours of Afghanistan. The former Cpl said: “My civilian experience hasn’t been a smooth ride.” Her first job after leaving the Air Force was with South Central Ambulance Service, but it wasn’t what she expected. She said: “The ambulance service was quite abused, a lot of it is social work. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing.” She left after six months. Jenna now works for Capita at the National Recruitment Centre for the Army as a lead practitioner, looking at applicants’ medical history and assessing if they are suitable for employment. She manages a team of 18. She said: “It’s ideal for me because I am using my military background and clinical knowledge.”

RACHEL PRESTON left the RAF as a FS after almost 25 years. Her last role was FS Instructor on the Personnel Officers Basic Foundation Course at Worthy Down. She said: “I planned my exit from the RAF a few years before I left as I decided that I wanted to become an art psychotherapist, but I wasn’t qualified. “I spent three years doing an evening class to improve my artistic skills and started an MA in Art Therapy at Derby University in September 2016. I had kept my chain of command informed of my aspirations. “For my final dissertation I completed a research project on the transition of a female from the military (RAF) to civilian life. A large component of the work was artistic representation. As part of the project I wrote an article ‘Assessing the potential use of Art Therapy in the Ministry of Defence Department of Community Mental Health’. “This article won the new

She is currently on maternity leave, looking after her first child, 11-week-old Edward, and hopes to return to work in due course. She said: “I was 30 when I left the RAF and it was quite obvious I left to pursue having a family. “I wanted to work for an NGO that helps ex-Service personnel but because of my history working on jobs like MERT I think there was an expectation I should still be doing that, using those skills. I found it quite difficult for people to take that chance on me in the medical industry.”

practitioner essay prize 20182020 for the International Journal of Art Therapy.” After graduating in July 2018, Rachel is now self-employed providing an art therapy service in schools across Lincolnshire. She added: “I work with some children who are from Service families. I find that I can work effectively with them as I understand what being part of the Armed Forces family is like.”

ENGINEER ELEANOR CRACKNELL was in the RAF for six years, joining at 16, leaving in April 2016 when pregnant with her second child. She took a career break until autumn 2017 but didn’t return to the RAF. Now a single mum to Billy, six, and Rory, four, Eleanor, 27, works parttime as an engineer for a wind turbine company. The former SAC(T) said: “I had no trouble getting another job after leaving the RAF. When I first started looking for work I wondered if my skills were transferable – they were. “I’ve had moments where I’ve really missed the RAF community especially and I have thought about going back.” She added: “I work mostly with men. Before my current post I worked as a wind turbine mechanic, doing all the servicing and repairs. Me manager was ex-RAF and one of my colleagues was an ex weapons tech. “I was the only female and was asked how I’d cope with not having a female toilet in the field. Being exmilitary, I said it was fine.”

HEIDI BURTON was an RAF photographer and left in 2012. Her work life since leaving is, she says, ‘a little unusual compared to most’. She told RAF News: “When I left the plan was to be a fully selfemployed photographer. I now do that part-time because my hobby of making handbags has turned into a business. “A lot of my bags are made from upcycled military uniform.” She worked part- time in a shop while her business established itself. She said: “I don’t think civilian employers ‘get,’ how the military work, there didn’t seem to be the teamwork culture of the Services. Some of my workmates preferred to slack off rather than crack on and get it done.” See for examples of Heidi’s work.

Tracey Allen and Simon Mander UK VETERANS face a tougher time in the battle for jobs in Civvy Street than ever as one in five British business bosses admit they discriminate against those who have fought for Queen and Country – and Forces women suffer more than men. A YouGov survey for the Forces in Mind Trust reveals nearly one fifth of UK business bosses are unlikely to consider hiring veterans due to negative perceptions of their time in uniform. More than 1000 top executives were polled in the research, including private, public and third sector organisations of all sizes. Just under half of potential employers believe veterans do not have the relevant skills or experience (44 per cent) while nearly 20 per cent think military job seekers may not fit in with their civilian colleagues. One in 10 firms claims Forces applicants may have different levels of education from those expected of civilian workers. More than a quarter of the organisations polled in the research have NEVER hired a veteran, with small businesses the least likely to do so (65 per cent). Research by Cranfield University and the Institute for Employment Studies looks at the reasons why, at less than 70 per cent, women Service leavers have a lower employment rate (69 compared to men’s 81 per cent). It reveals that while most women leave the Armed Forces voluntarily, one in four (22 per cent) of the 154 women surveyed were not employed, but the majority (68 per cent) of those wanted to be in work. Female Service leavers and employers interviewed said that women, unlike their male counterparts, undervalue their experience and may deselect themselves from roles they are suitable for. The report calls on the MoD to increase flexibility in working practices and childcare, provide more support and advice for women leaving the Armed Forces and highlight the benefits of employing female Service leavers. When she left the RAF in 2017 after 12 years, Jenna Machin found it difficult to gain ‘fulfilling and purposeful’ employment. She was the paramedic for the Queen’s Colour Squadron, and her MERT roles included two tours of Afghanistan. Her first job after leaving the Air Force was with South Central Ambulance Service, but it wasn’t what she expected. The former Cpl said: “My civilian experience hasn’t been a smooth ride. In the RAF you’re a cog in a big machine and what you’re doing is making a difference. It’s very meaningful – I don’t think you realise that until you step outside. “The ambulance service was quite abused, a lot LYNNE COPPING joined up in 1969 as a Statistics Clerk and was posted to Swanton Morley, where she did defect reporting on aircraft cameras, then went to Wildenrath. There she met and married an Army helicopter engineer. She said: “I left the WRAF in May 1973 but stayed working in the same office as a civilian clerk, leaving in October 1974 when my husband was posted to Germany. “We returned to the UK in March

TOUR DE FORCE: Joanna Reddaway served in Afghanistan, and is now on route to her dream job as a veterinary surgeon

of it is social work. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing.” Jenna now works for Capita at the National Recruitment Centre for the Army. She added: “I am happy now but it’s taken two years to feel like I have properly transitioned out of the military.” Cranfield University lead researcher Professor Emma Parry said: “Female Service leavers face a double whammy of obstacles when it comes to transitioning into civilian employment. “Only a minority of the women we spoke to felt that they received enough support during transition, and some said that the support they did get was not properly tailored to their needs.” Veteran Nicola Stokes (above, inset, bottom right, in 2012) struggled to get a job until she hid details of her military service. She said: “I applied for more than 100 jobs and just couldn’t get anywhere, not even an interview, until I took my military career off my CV.” The 36-year-old ex-SAC even removed reference to her three-and-a-half years Territorial Army service and moved to London to improve her employment prospects. “Instead I said I had been on Jobseekers’ Allowance or unemployed rather than admit I had been in the military,” she said. “I did get a job, but had problems so I left, and I finally found a job at The Poppy Factory in 1978. By then I had two children and while my husband finished his army career at Middle Wallop I stayed in the house we bought in Brackley in 1975, where I had stayed for 10 months, with my new baby, while my husband had an unaccompanied tour in Canada. “I had a part-time job selling houses from a show house for just over a year until we moved to Scotland. “I then had another part-time job

Richmond, where I have been for three years.” Former SAC Joanna Reddaway says her six-year Service career gave her the confidence to achieve her childhood ambition and become a vet. The ex-dental nurse served in Afghanistan supported the London 2012 Olympics and is now in her final year of a Veterinary Science degree at Bristol University. Forces in Mind Trust chief executive Ray Lock said: “The misunderstanding that ex-military personnel are unskilled or unfit for business environments is unfounded and damaging to their employment opportunities. “Employers must ensure these unhelpful perceptions are addressed in their recruitment processes, so that they benefit from the skills Service leavers can bring to their organisation.” He added: “Veterans gain strong leadership, communications, management and technology skills from serving in the Armed Forces. “As the UK currently faces a tech skills shortage, and the evolving world of work cries out for better leadership and collaboration, employers would do well to tap into veterans’ talents.” The Forces in Mind Trust says the Government should increase awareness and understanding among civilian employers of how Service leavers’ skills fit their recruitment needs to help the annual 14,000 Service leavers find fulfilling employment.

selling houses and also worked in a local solicitor’s. “In 1984 I joined a local oil related company as a document clerk. I thought ‘great, a clerical job in an engineering environment, exactly what I have missed from my RAF days’. I loved my job and finished 19 years later as a Senior Document Controller. “I left there in 2003 when my husband went to work in Muscat, on the Royal Flight, Oman.”

FORMER SAC Joanna Reddaway says her six-year Service career gave her the confidence to achieve her childhood ambition. The 32-year-old ex-dental nurse served in Afghanistan and on Op Olympics and is now in her fifth and final year of a Veterinary Science degree at Bristol University. “I loved my military career and didn’t want to leave for just another job,” she said. “Since then with all the jobs I’ve applied for I’ve put my military experience on my CV and always received a positive response. “Employers have said to me it makes me different in that I’ve faced difficult situations, taken responsibility, worked as part of a team and got stuck in – all the core values that the Air Force teaches you.” And thanks to the MoD’s generous ‘Free Degree’, enhanced learning credits scheme the ex-vet, now vet-to-be also benefited from having her tuition fees paid for while her classmates were saddled with a £45,000 student loan debt. “I’d always wanted to be a vet since I was young but never believed I would be able to,” she said.

EX-RAF Police dog handler Vicki Catalfano, who now lives in the USA, said: “Since moving to America, I have found it extremely easy to gain employment and I believe this is specifically because I was in the military. “The first job I secured was as a Veterinary Assistant and dog trainer at a local vet clinic. They were very interested in hiring me due to the dog knowledge I gained in the military. “In the US it is easier to gain employment if you have served in any military, I think this is due to the work ethic you have and the values you strive for.”

SAMMY BETSON left the RAF from RAF Lyneham in 1972 when living in Wootton Bassett. She was an Air Traffic Controller (Radar) and when interviewed by a woman at Swindon Job Centre was told, ‘we don’t have any vacancies for traffic wardens at the moment, could you do anything else?’ Sammy said: “I tried to explain what I had been doing, but finally resorted to ‘I sit in the dark and talk to aeroplanes’ – which wasn’t a good move. “We agreed that she probably couldn’t help me and I found myself an admin job with a local insurance brokers.

“I was interviewed by all three partners and was confirmed in the post as soon as I answered ‘yes’ to their enquiry if I could play snooker. They had a full size table in a back office and I was asked to keep reps entertained if they arrived early before a partner got back in. My typing speed (two fingers but reasonably quick and very accurate) was purely incidental. “My admin was fine though as I had originally been Admin Sec before retraining. I never found a problem getting employment and was always very happy to recruit other ex-military, particularly ex-WRAF.”

PAULINE RICHARDS was in the WRAF from 1959-1962 as an Air Traffic Control Assistant. Her husband was also ATC. She said: “When I married I was immediately discharged from the Air Force as being a ‘married woman’ – it was expected I’d have children. “Military ATC did not have any standing in civil aviation and women still gave up their employment once they were married. “In the Air Force a woman married to a Serviceman was not expected to work as the husband went home for lunch every day and she would have a hot meal waiting for him as the day’s main meal. “I was discharged and moved from Lincoln to Middlesex. Before I joined up I worked as an accounts clerk in the offices of a department store. I therefore searched for similar office work. “Every interview I attended

was conducted by a man. A customary look through my application, then the leading question every time was ‘do you intend to have a family?’. My reply ‘in the future but not just yet’. The file was closed and I was thanked for attending the interview and heard no more. This was a recurring theme. “In desperation and needing a salary I took a position as a stock clerk in a factory. Many applications later I eventually obtained a position as an accounts clerk. This I continued to do until I had my family. This was 1962, we had not come very far from the post-war and 1950s days when women were in the home and not many went out to work. “This all seems so incredible in today’s workplace. Today’s generation cannot get their head round the fact that women were still regarded as second-class citizens. It was a different era. Thank goodness for progress.”

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R'n'R TV

New series

Helena Bonham Carter The Crown Series 3 Netflix November 17

Helena's Crowning moment


HE'S GONE from playing an angel (Lucy Honeychurch in A Room With A View) to a devil (Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films – who she called ‘a naughty, sadistic child’) with some real-life portrayals on the way. Hollywood star Helena Bonham Carter found fame aged 18 playing Lady Jane Grey – ‘too famous too fast’ the actor said – and apart from starring in countless movies, has won acclaim for her portrayals on television of Enid Blyton and Elizabeth Taylor. Now she’s playing Princess Margaret in the highly anticipated third series of lavish Netflix royal drama The Crown, written by Peter Morgan, that starts on November

17 and also stars Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip and Ben Daniels as Margaret’s husband Lord Snowden. Interviewed by Emma Freud in front of a 1000-strong audience at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, Bonham Carter revealed that taking on the role of Margaret was ‘daunting.’ She said: “Everyone has an opinion about the woman, but very few people knew what her private self was really like and that’s the joy of the job – you can make it up. “I met the friends who really knew her, that’s the closest you are ever going to get to some sort of authenticity. “They could not have been more happy to talk about her, they miss her and I felt very lucky to be the receptacle of those stories. “A lot of the friends are very tired of the misunderstanding and betrayal of her.” She added: “The Crown isn’t a documentary, it’s a drama. You cannot be a slave to accuracy and I don’t look like her. “You hope you get a sense of someone and it transfers your inner landscape and a different mode of being comes, you are getting an essence of her. “It’s a huge responsibility, but it’s a great part. I genuinely think The Crown is very compassionate to most of the Royal Family and it’s very positive.”

REGAL: Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in the Netflix series The Crown. The third series starts on November 17 and also stars Olivia Colman as The Queen,

Bonham Carter revealed that she was 15 when she first met the Princess. She said: “Bizarrely my uncle Mark went out with her. He was a Grenadier Guard and used to guard Margaret and Elizabeth. He and Margaret always remained great

friends. I have photos of them together and they looked very dashing as a couple. “I met her when she just happened to be at my uncle and aunt’s. She was very small, immaculately tiny.” Bonham Carter met the Princess

again, later on, at a reception at Windsor. The actor said: “She was on her own and looked rather lonely. I just approached her. “She knew who I was. She said: “You are getting better at acting, aren’t you?’”

Film review

Theatre review

Out now Certificate PG

On tour

Madagascar The Musical

Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Portrait of a tragic rock star


E WAS beautiful, talented and had the world at his feet…where did it all go wrong for Michael Hutchence? Mystify: Michael Hutchence is the compelling documentary about the Australian rock star who tragically took his own life in November 1997, aged 37. The film, written and directed by Richard Lowenstein, and endorsed by Hutchence’s only child, Tiger Hutchence-Geldof, his daughter with TV personality Paula Yates, is an intimate portrait of the man who led a seemingly gilded life, but went off the rails. It features fascinating contributions from several of the INXS lead singer and main songwriter’s glamorous girlfriends –film producer Michele Bennett, Aussie pop princess Kylie (pictured right with Hutchence) and Danish supermodel Helena Christensen, with Michele and Helena talking

publicly about Hutchence for the first time. This is a perceptive and thoughtful film, revealing the intensely sensitive and complex man behind the frontman’s flamboyance and swagger. It also reveals that he suffered a traumatic brain injury in 1992 when he was punched by a Danish taxi driver and cracked his skull on the curb. The subsequent loss of his sense of smell and most of his sense of taste was catastrophic for the hedonistic Hutchence. He developed erratic behaviour, mood swings and debilitating depression. Distraught by the news that Paula and Tiger wouldn’t be leaving London to join him in Sydney (because Paula’s estranged husband Bob Geldof wanted Tiger’s sisters to finish their school year first, and Paula refused to leave England without all four of her daughters),

he hanged himself in his hotel room. This moving film stays with you long after leaving the cinema. Review by Tracey Allen

4 out of 5

Animal magic on stage THIS LOUD and colourful musical version of the hit movie is nothing short of joyous. With a multitalented young cast – they sing, dance, act and are also puppeteers – Madagascar is a first class treat for the whole family. Who could resist the crazy charm of King Julian (superbly played by Kieran Martell)? 2016 X Factor winner Matt Terry showcased his powerful voice as Alex the lion and it was hard to believe that Posi Movakingo as

Marty the zebra was making his professional debut, he delivered such an accomplished performance. The fun is infectious – you’ll be dancing in the aisles and singing ‘I like to move it, move it’ all the way home. I saw Madagascar The Musical at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre and you can catch it on tour at various venues until the end of November. Review by Tracey Allen 4 out of 5

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 R'n'R 5


Edited by Tracey Allen



On the up

Social Babies

The Big Event

A whole world of pain Now it’s Levison of Arabia


ISING ARTIST of the moment Twinnie (above) has just released an acoustic version of her single Social Babies. The track is a taste of her upcoming debut record, set for release in spring 2020. Recorded in London, Twinnie said of the stripped back version: “I wanted to reimagine the track. Although the song is uptempo, I originally wrote it slow then just speeded up. It’s how a lot of my songs are written.” She added: “I think it allows you to hear the emotion and the message of the song a lot more. The track has a strong message inspired by the online culture that we all live in. I wanted to shine a light on social media and all the things it is and is not.”


Becky Hill

Following a stint of summer dates and festivals, Twinnie is also appearing as a special guest on Kiefer Sutherland’s UK and European tour, including dates this month in Hull, Manchester, Birmingham and London. Born in York, the country singer-songwriter, actress and model has performed with Justin Timberlake and Pharell, appeared in West End musicals including We Will Rock You (where Queen’s Brian May gave her her first job), Rock of Ages, Footloose and Chicago. She recently featured alongside Glenn Close in the Oscar-nominated film The Wife. n Go to: for more information.

New album

Get To Know

Get to know Becky Hill

EAN BEAN (Game Of Thrones, Sharpe), Lesley Manville (Mum, Phantom Thread) and Hollywood’s Helen Hunt (What Women Want) are among the stellar cast of BBC One’s epic new drama World On Fire, by multi award-winning writer Peter Bowker. The seven-part series tells the story of World War II through the lives of ordinary people from all sides of the conflict and takes the audience across the first year of the war, from ordinary life in Manchester to the beaches of Dunkirk. In the summer of 1939, translator Harry (Jonah Hauer-King) is working at the British Embassy in Warsaw, falling in love with Polish waitress Kasia (Zofia Wichlacz). When German tanks roll into Poland and Britain declares war on Germany, Harry and Kasia face terrible choices. With her life in danger, the only way for Kasia to be safe is to escape. Can Harry help her – and, if he does, how will he explain himself to factory worker and singer Lois (Julia Brown), the girl he left behind in Manchester? The conflict overturns everything for Harry’s snobbish mother Robina (Manville) and for Douglas (Bean), Lois’s pacifist father, and her younger brother Tom (Ewan Mitchell) who joins the Navy and finds himself under fire in one of the first major battles of the war. Bowker (Blackpool, Desperate Romantics, Occupation), said: “The ambition was to tell a story we all feel we are familiar with, that forms part of Britain’s national philosophy, but with a fresh take on it. “I wanted to capture something of the global cooperation. It was possibly the first time in modern history that the world got to talk to each other and


HART-TOPPING artist Becky Hill has announced details of Get To Know – a collection of the songwriter’s hits to date plus four new songs. The 13-track record features her collaborations with Wilkinson, Sigala, Matoma, MK, Weiss, Jonas Blue and Oliver Heldens. Becky said: ‘‘Get To Know is a collection of all the works I have written and featured on, plus four brand new songs that gives you a taste of the music that I love to make. Starting from the age of 19 all the way up to 25, this mini album gives an overall look at my career so far and a hint of where it’s heading.” Following solo releases including last year’s single Sunrise In The East and this summer’s huge hit I Could Get Used To This featuring rising UK house talent Weiss, the Worcestershire-born singer-songwriter who found fame


Arabia DVD

Twinnie peaks…



World On Fire

WWII through eyes of ordinary people

cooperate in such intimate terms. “The other major point that interested me was the profound change in life and in expectations for women during this conflict, both those engaged directly in the conflict and those at home.” He added: “I wanted to write a drama where we invested in a Polish and a French family as much as we


Oi Frog & Friends! UK tour

T VOICE: Becky found fame on TV show

on the first series of The Voice has established herself as a star in her own right, as well as continuing an unbroken run of hit singles, all of which she co-wrote. These include Hill’s massive hit with revered Detroit producer MK (Marc Kinchen) and the UK number 1 single Gecko (Overdrive) with Oliver Heldens. n Go to: for more information.

HE NEW family stage show Oi Frog & Friends! has its West End premiere at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue on November 29, for a limited season until January 5, 2020. The show brings together Kes Gray and Jim Field’s best-selling and award-winning picture books Oi Frog!, Oi Dog! and Oi Cat! into one action-packed musical production. Before its West End debut, the 55-minute musical is on tour, visiting venues including Norwich, Ipswich and Kingston. After its London run, the show will tour from February to May 2020, leaping to venues including Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre, Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Theatre Royal. Oi Frog & Friends! is packed with songs, puppets, laughs and rhymes. It’s a new day at Sittingbottom School and Frog is looking for a

emotionally invested in a British one.” Bowker revealed that his father served in the RAF in World War II. He said: “He was one of four brothers who all fought in WWII. Like most men of that generation he never really talked about it, and I don’t think he considered it an act of bravery. When my dad was in his late 60s one of his old RAF Regiment pals got in touch and he

UNLIKELY FRIENDS: Working class Douglas (Bean) and snob Robina (Manville)

wanted very little to do with it. He didn’t want to go back there. “He was in China post-war helping with reconstruction and refugees. That seemed to be the one thing he did talk about.” Describing his character Douglas, Bean said: “He was involved in the First World War and was so mentally damaged by shell shock it has an influence on how he views everything to do with the Second World War. “He doesn’t believe in war as a means of achieving objectives. He thinks there should be negotiation and people should be trying to communicate. “For Douglas WWI was a futile war, that left him mentally scarred and suffering from flashbacks, anxiety, insecurity and a slight leaning towards madness.” He added: “Douglas and Robina TRIALS: Kasia (Zofia Wichlacz), with 'Tomasz' meet purely because of Harry and Lois’s relationship. It’s a very unlikely during WWII, so for Douglas to relationship – Douglas is a working- actually stand up and say, I don’t class bus driver and Robina is a believe in the war, was a really big and very gentrified ‘lady of the manor’ brave statement.” as it were. It’s quite an interesting Manville described her character friendship that emerges between them. Robina Chase as ‘an upper middle-class Robina recognises that Douglas is an woman, widowed, who is the epitome intelligent man and has a warmth of of the very posh end of Manchester’. personality she finds both alien and She said: “Harry is her only interesting. child. His father committed “As a pacifist Douglas has suicide some time ago to watch Lois go off to join and Robin lives in a the entertainment corps large country pile ENSA and Tom join the that’s a bit cold and Navy and go to war on soulless. I was drawn HMS Exeter. to play that class of “WWII fascinates woman because it’s me and I’ve always been not something I’ve interested in how people had to do often before. like Douglas Bennett were “The script is shunned after WWI. They wonderful, beautifully STAR: Hunt were ostracised, which must written by Pete Bowker. have been very, very difficult. It’s a real cocktail of stories about “Today’s military personnel have how this epic and tragic event affected a diagnosis now in PTSD and we can different people in different parts of see how it works on the brain and how the world.” these people suffered in silence. It’s a n World On Fire continues on BBC difficult illness to talk about, especially One on Sundays at 9pm.


HE CRITICALLYACCLAIMED series Arabia with Levison Wood from the awardwinning, best-selling author, explorer and photographer, is just out on DVD and digital platforms. In this gripping five-part series Wood embarks on a rarely ventured route through challenging environments into remote corners of a little-understood land, travelling 5,000 miles through 13 countries. The series tells the real story of the Middle East through its people, exploring the lives and hopes of an eclectic range of characters – Syrian grandmothers, Iraqi snipers, shepherds, drug dealers, freedom fighters and nomads. Wood reflects on how his preconceptions may have changed or remained during what’s been described as his most extraordinary adventure yet. With his elite military training – a former Parachute Regiment officer who served in Afghanistan, he is now an Army reservist – he has the necessary skills to tackle the very toughest challenges. While he uses these skills to access remote communities and potentially hostile urban worlds, this is far from a survivalist story. He puts the people and the cultures he encounters at the heart of every story. Arabia has been hailed as Wood’s ‘most gripping, nuanced and ultimately heart-warming series to date’ with majestic landscapes and ancient histories providing the backdrop to a fascinating and authentic depiction of the cultural diversity of the Middle East. From Iraq, the Gulf States, Oman and Yemen, to Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Syria, he ends his journey on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Lebanon.


Hop along to see Oi Frog & join in the fun place to sit, but Cat has other ideas and Dog is doing as he’s told. Little do any of them know that chaos is coming… what will happen when Frog is in charge? The production has been described as an ideal introduction to theatre for families with children aged three plus. The show’s adaptor and designer, Zoe Squire, said: “My job was to bring the books to life on the stage. This included the challenge of how to feature a large number of animals using only four actors. “It has been lots of fun exploring different visual methods to achieve this and I have had a great time working very closely with our puppet designer, Yvonne Stone. “The show contains everything from more traditional puppets and animalistic costumes to pop-up 2D effects and animation. Jim’s illustrations are full of character, which gave us

a great starting point.” She added: “This show has something for everyone. The books are written for children to help them to understand rhyme but director Emma Earle and I pride ourselves on creating shows with heart that the whole family will enjoy. “It has bundles of excitement for younger audiences and also some nostalgic comedy for the grown-ups.” Not surprisingly, Zoe is an animal lover herself. She said: “I grew up with a lot of pets. Growing up with four sisters, we had dogs, cats, budgies, ducks and even a couple of sheep. "My favourite pet was my garter snake called Congo which my mum was less fond of. I still have a tortoise, called Mick, who lives with me in Bristol.” n Go to: for further details.

Kinky Boots UK tour

MILITARY MAN: Former Parachute Regiment officer Wood at home in the Middle East

PEOPLE'S STORIES: Levison met Iraqi Special Forces members in Mosul, Iraq

We have a copy of Arabia on DVD to win. For your chance to own it, simply send us the correct answer to the following question: In which military Service was Levison Wood an officer?

Email your answer, marked Arabia DVD competition, to: c omp e t it i ons @ r af ne w s . c o. u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by November 1.

Got sole

Dying factory gets a reboot


PUPPET MASTERS: Emma Earle (left) and Yvonne Stone

HERE’S STILL time to catch the award-winning musical Kinky Boots on its UK tour. The tour continues to Bradford and Milton Keynes before finishing at Hull at the end of November. With songs by pop icon Cyndi Lauper (True Colours, Girls Just Wan Have Fun) and book by Broadway legend Harvey Feinstein (La Cage Aux Folles) the show celebrates the joyous story of Brit grit to high-heeled hit as it takes the audience from the factory floor in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Inspired by true events, it tells

the story of Charlie Price who has just inherited the family business, an ‘olde worlde’ shoe factory, as it teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. The business is about to go under but help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. Feinstein said: “It’s been an absolute thrill to witness the giant heart of our show raise audiences up and out of their seats in clamorous joy night after night.” n Go to: kinkybootsthemusical. for more details.

SOME FEAT: Lola helps transform business

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 R'n'R 6

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WILLIAMS Ian David Sqn Ldr, born April 14, 1937, died September 27, 2019. It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ian David Williams. A devoted father and proud Welshman, originally from Swansea. Ian joined the RAF as an Education Officer in 1963 and served at RAF St Athan, Akrotiri, Patrington, Valley, Laarbruch and latterly, Brawdy. He spent the last 35 years of his life in Poole where he died peacefully. He leaves his three daughters Karen, Siân and Rachel, their mum Val and seven grandchildren. His funeral was held on October 14 in Poole.

ON behalf of my father, Ernie Bennett, I am trying to trace some of the men who he served with on National Service in Cyprus on Troodos Mountain between 19571958. Ernie was a technician and he served with Tom Richardson, originally from Ashington, and Lonny Fletcher, originally from Jamaica. Also looking to find any other RAF personnel who were on Troodos during this time. Please contact Julie Catton on: 07760 451403.


I am looking to contact Stuart Taylor aged 49 approx. He was based at RAF Brize Norton in the 00s, I think as a member of the ground crew. He lived in Blackpool in the 1980s and worked in Blackpool Tower for a short time in 1987. If anyone can please help with any information please get in touch with Marie via email: LOOKING for Heather Appleford, Dawn Bryant, Karen Dear, Dawn Greenstreet, Kim Deighton and Julia Coyne who attended Forres Academy

between 1970-1976. Their fathers were stationed at RAF Kinloss. Some of us met up last year for our 60th birthday year and are having another reunion this month. We would love to see them or anyone else from our year. Please contact: alexandra. XIII Sqn are looking for family members of Flt Lt Peter John Michael Mosley (pilot), killed on September 1, 1994 in the crash of Tornado ZG708, along with fellow crew member, Flt Lt Patrick Peter Harrison (navigator). This year is the 25th anniversary of the crash and XIII Sqn will be holding a commemoration service at the crash site in Scotland. We are in contact with the Harrison family, but have so far been unable to contact anyone from the Mosley family. If you can help, please email: Lorraine.raanes725@ I am seeking some former colleagues who worked with me at the Flying Refresher School at RAF Finningley, Yorkshire in 1949-50: Ron Welsch, who came from Bermondsey (RAF No:

How to use our service There is no charge for conventionally-worded birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, death, in memoriam seeking and reunion notices. For commercial small ads contact Edwin Rodrigues on: 07482 571535. Help us to avoid errors by typing your announcement or using block capitals. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by post to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Naphill, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE or by email to:

Important Notice The publishers of RAF News cannot accept responsibility for the quality, safe delivery or operation of any products advertised or mentioned in this publication. Reasonable precautions are taken before advertisements are accepted but such acceptance does not imply any form of approval or recommendation. Advertisements (or other inserted material) are accepted subject to the approval of the publishers and their current terms and conditions. The publishers will accept an advertisement or other inserted material only on the condition that the advertiser warrants that such advertisement does not in any way contravene the provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act. All copy is subject to the approval of the publishers, who reserve the right to refuse, amend, withdraw or otherwise deal with advertisements submitted to them at their absolute discretion and without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice. Mail order advertisers are required to state in advertisements their true surname or full company name, together with an address from which the business is managed.

Use the coupon for RAF News announcements Name .......................................................................................................................................................... Address ...................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... Please send to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE.

2426169); Roy Wilkin, who came from the Woodseats area of Sheffield (RAF No: 2438595); Len Hagens (RAF No: 2424749); and Norma Pritchard, who came from Horley, Surrey, (RAF No: 2810376). Please contact Nobby Hill on: 01869 252903 if you can help to locate any of these people or their families. LOOKING for Andy Blanchard from Hull who was with me at RAF Swinderby 1967 or 69 and the Moyse Brothers (boxers) 67; Clyde Anderson (Gaedor 67), Peter Morell. Please contact: Rick Pinto, 34 St Pauls Square, Preston, Lancs PR1 1XA. I am trying to trace ex 97th Entry ex Halton Aircraft Apprentices January 61-December 63: Derrick Loughran, George Rowan, Doug Thorne and Eric Murphy. Please call David Truscott on: 01752 778474.

Reunions 314 CA Telegraphist 50th Anniversary Reunion. A reunion of the 314 CA TELEG entry will be held at RAF Cosford in October. Any former 314 Entry members who have not yet been contacted should contact Mac Halliwell by email: THE Red Arrows Association is calling for new members. It organises various events, has a Facebook page and biannual newsletter and holds a popular annual reunion. Membership is £5 a year and is conditional on having served on the Red Arrows (including the Yellowjacks) as either aircrew, ground crew or civilian support staff at any time since its formation in 1964. Associate membership is also available to people closely connected to the team. Please email: secretary@ or visit: redarrowsassociation. 31 Group Royal Observer Corps Association Annual Reunion will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in the Magherabuoy Hotel, Portrush, Co Antrim. Email: 158 Squadron Bomber Command. The 158 Association is very active and we want to contact any veteran or relative of a veteran. We are planning a Reunion and Memorial Service for autumn 2020.

Please contact:


COASTAL Command Officers’ Reunion, October 10, 2020. Please contact Ray Curtis, call: 01264 735349 or email: A limited number of tickets are available for all serving and retired members of the Mechanical Transport/Logs Driver Trade for the weekend of Friday, March 20 to Sunday March 22, 2020. Two nights B&B and a gala five course dinner on Saturday with first class cabaret and entertainment both nights at one of Blackpool’s most popular seafront hotels, all for the bargain offer price of £98 per person. For a great weekend in Blackpool with like-minded people ‘pull up a sandbag’… For further details please email: admin at: Tickets are selling fast, – first come, first served.

Admin Apprentices RAF Administrative Apprentice Association. Recruiting now. Did you train as an Apprentice Supplier or Clerk at RAF Ruislip, St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton or Hereford? Please contact: www.rafadappassn. org for details of YOUR association.

Memorial event 100 Squadron will be commemorating the two pilots (Sqn Ldr Mike Andrews and Flt Lt Steve Todd) who lost their lives in the Hawk T1 crash on October 22, 1999. All family and friends are welcome to join the Sqn in Shap for the memorial event. For further information contact Flt Lt Miriam Aicheler: Miriam.

5131 Sqn event APRIL 1, 2020 will see the formal disbandment of 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron, the last remaining bomb disposal unit in the RAF. To mark the event, the squadron will be taking part in a final parade followed by an evening of celebration at RAF Wittering. Anyone who has served on the squadron or undertaken EOD duties is invited to express an interest in attending. Final date to be confirmed but will be held in April, 2020. For further details please email: 5131bd75@gmail. com including name, rank held, and phone number and please indicate whether still serving or not. Once numbers of attendees are known, formal invitations will be sent.

RAF church’s concert

THE FRIENDS of St Clement Danes Church Annual Concert featuring the Band of the RAF Regiment supported by the Choir of St Clement Danes will take place at 7pm on Thursday, November 28. Tickets are available at the church door on the night or from RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, Douglas Bader House, Horcott Hill, Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4RB; email: or telephone: 01285 713456. BEAUTIFUL: The interior of St Clement Danes in London’s Strand

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 R'n'R 7

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Vets get airborne Ex ARMED Forces personnel gathered at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar recently for the last Veterans Day for 2019, writes Robin Brooks. The main attraction and theme was the hangar’s ‘Arnhem’ Spitfire, a T.9 serialised MJ627 that was in No. 414 (Silver Fox) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force flown by FS Sid Bregman during the operation. Whilst over the bridges he managed to shoot down a Bf109 to the squadron’s delight. The aircraft was later converted by Vickers to a two-seat version and sold

to the Irish Air Corps that trained pilots by sitting them in the back of the Spitfire. It later returned to private hands and now flies passengers from Biggin Hill on experience flights. Some of the veterans, from the RAF, Army and Navy, boarded the hangar Airvan aircraft and flew from Biggin Hill towards Sevenoaks where MJ627, flown by Anna Walker, formatted with the Airvan allowing the vets to take air-to-air photographs. Plans are now underway for the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain next year. TO MARK the centenary of the RAF Benevolent Fund the British Forces Philatelic Service, in collaboration with the RAFBF, has produced a commemorative cover to be issued on October 23. The image on the cover represents the cross-section of people the Benevolent

Fund supports. A unique special handstamp numbered BFPS 3224, with the Centenary logo silhouetted in the centre, will be used to cancel the 1st class stamp ‘Hurricane MK 1’. Three versions will be issued: • standard unsigned version costing £7.50;

• ‘flown’ version – flown on a mission in ‘Tiger’ Puma HC2 Aircraft No XW224 by 230 Squadron, RAF Benson, costing £10; • numbered limited edition signed by AVM David Murray, Controller of the RAFBF, costing £15. Profits will be donated to the Benevolent Fund.


Former serving membership for Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Forces Personnel Modern club located in London’s Marble Arch Competitive bedroom rates with free WiFi Modern Restaurant, Coffee Bar and Lounge Bar | Delicious food and drink | Victory Ale £3 a pint |

Exclusive member events

The covers can be ordered from the BFPS online shop ( or by post by sending a cheque (payable to ‘BFPS CIC’) to BFPS, The Old Post Office, Links Place, Elie, Leven, KY9 1AX. BFPS is run by a team of volunteers who are all veterans and fundraises for Service charities.

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 259

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the nine letters in yellow squares to find an RAF station.

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by November 1, 2019.

No. 269 Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 1. Licence to overtake? (4) 8. Six get little sleep at Nag’s Head (4,1,5) 9. Veteran bomber nimble moving outside house (8) 10. Island of exile for the Spanish airline (4) 12. Talk incessantly about Big Ears (6) 14. Mammal has decay around lair (6) 15. Plane flying North or South, presumably (6) 17. Escapee without a strip (6) 18. Fasten securely every available lock, initially (4) 19. Depend on US money being put in just now (8) 21. Noisy perch disturbed by next generation of fighters (10) 22. Anxious to sing sadly? (4) Down 2. Combine a mother, Lady Godiva, with a graduate, Thomas Edison (10) 3. Steer clear of heartless animated sheep (4) 4. He shares a museum with Victoria (6) 5. Don’t harm me with that! (6) 6. Subhunter attitude I get into (8) 7. A girl either way (4) 11. Enable Claw to confuse Defence Minister (3,7) 13. Second clap of thunder that is first signal for umbrellas (8) 16. From one side to the other of a mongrel (6) 17. Without first unearthing at speed (6) 18. Some also hover in part of London (4) 20. Pinch old devil (4) Name ................................................................................................................... Address ............................................................................................................... .............................................................................................................................. ..............................................................................................................................

Name ...................................................................... ................................................................................. Address .................................................................. ................................................................................. ....................................................Su Doku No. 269

The winner of Crossword No. 257 is P/M Findlay Maghee of RAF Waddington who wins a copy of Battle of Britain Broadcaster Charles Gardner by Robert Gardner ( Solution to crossword No. 257 Across – 1. Shoe 8. Favourable 9. Airspace 10. Exam 12. Costly 14. Batman 15. Steppe 17. Madras 18. Trio 19. Altitude 21. Carnations 22. Keen. Down – 2. Helicopter 3. Efts 4. Aviary 5. Superb 6. Talented 7. Term 11. Adam And Eve 13. Typhoons 16. Exacts 17. Meteor 18. Tact 20. Task.

RAF station:.................................................................... Crossword No. 259

RAF station: Valley



UK tour

Club Classics UK tour

Craig Revel Horwood

Soul II Soul

The soul survivors

Craig Revels in the spotlight...


Solutions should Solution to Su Doku No: 268 be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by November 1, 2019. Su Doku No. 268 winner CJ Hill wins a copy of Ladies Of Lascaris by Paul McDonald (

BC1 Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood is taking to the road in the spring with his debut solo tour. He will talk about his life from Australia to the West End, to Strictly, and promises to reveal a wealth of backstage gossip. He will also present a special performance of some of the music which has been the soundtrack to his career. Best-known today for being a judge on all 17 series of Strictly, Craig’s professional training began in his home country of Australia where he appeared in productions including West Side Story and La Cage Aux Folles. On arriving in Europe, he joined the famous company at the Lido De Paris as a dancer and then as principal singer at the legendary Moulin Rouge, joining the UK tour of Cats a year later. He went on to appear in the West End in Miss Saigon and was an original cast member of Crazy

For You. He crossed over into choreography to huge success, being nominated for an Olivier Award for the West End productions of Spend Spend Spend and My One and Only. Since then he’s had numerous credits as director/choreographer across the world, ranging from the UK tour of Sister Act to the movie Paddington 2. Craig continues to perform on stage, with 10 years in pantomime and as Miss Hannigan in Annie in the West End and on tour. He is now head judge on Dancing With The Stars Australia and his many other TV credits range from discovering his ancestry in Who Do You Think You Are? winning BBC2’s Maestro at the Opera and runner-up on Celebrity Masterchef. n Go to: for tour and ticket details. THE STRICTLY Live Tour is back for 2020 with 33 sequin-filled shows across the UK from next January.


REVEL HORWOOD: Strictly a star, darling

The tour will star TV judges Craig (who directs the live show for the 10th year), Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli. They will be joined by 2018 TV show winner Stacey Dooley, who is hosting the tour which will also feature celebrities and professional dancers from the 17th series of the award-winning show. Head judge Shirley Ballas said: “I had such a wonderful time this year on my first Strictly tour, so I’m really looking forward to doing it again in 2020.” n Go to: for more information.

OLLOWING THE success of their shows last year, iconic British band Soul II Soul will take their acclaimed tour back on the road in 2020, paying tribute to their debut album Club Classics Vol 1. The double Grammy Awardwinning and five-time Brit Award nominated band will play 15 dates in the UK in October and November next year, including a date at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The band’s main man Jazzie B said: “Who would have thought that 30-odd years later we’d still be on the road with this thing? “It’s been a helluva journey – literally – and I feel truly blessed. Now, I’m looking forward to going back to some of the familiar venues where we’ve made a lot of friends. “I’m just as pumped about testing out places we’ve never been before but I’m seriously excited about playing the Royal Albert Hall. “I want to thank to the fullness everybody who’s given their support up until now, and I’ll see you along the way; a happy face, a thumpin’ bass for a lovin’ race.” With huge hits including Keep On Movin’ (which sold over a million copies in the US alone) and

ON THE ROAD: UK tour for Soul II Soul

the UK number one single Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)‚ Soul II Soul progressed from being one of the leaders of the 1980s warehouse scene to pioneering British black music around the world, and securing commercial success for themselves and the huge number of artists they have influenced. During the course of their stellar career the band have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide and Jazzie B was awarded an OBE for services to music in 2008, as well as winning an Ivor Novello Award for Inspiration, as ‘the man who gave British black music a soul of its own’. n Tickets are available now. See for more.

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Timeless desert dream BRITISH MOVIE director Jacob Sutton and Italian race and aerobatic pilot Dario Costa have combined their passion for aviation and cinema to produce an inspirational short film, Dreams of Flight. Excited by the sweeping and sculptural lines of the Namibian dunes, and over a two-year period, US watchmaker Hamilton supported Jacob and Dario to plan and execute this remarkable project. The resulting film is a celebration of flight in its purest form. Jacob was drawn from the world of fashion photographer by the greater narrative and emotional scope of film and started directing in 2010, finding success with online productions such as A-Z of Dance and LED Surfer. The unique tone and energy of this work has led to commissions from brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein and Nike. Dario’s journey to the fabled Namibian dunes started with his childhood desire to fly. By the age of 16 he was a qualified pilot and by 2018 he was competing in the Red Bull Air Race. He was also the very first and only Italian Red Bull Air Race pilot with flying experience on more than 50 types of aircraft. Jacob was drawn immediately by the

cinematic elements of Dario’s sleek black machine, silhouetted against the majestic dunes, its white smoke trail suspended in the air. Dario’s focus was to fly fast along and above these huge natural sand structures. Their aim to create a film of both beauty and power. The shoot took place in the Swakopmund dunes. For three days an international crew including Europeans, South Africans and Namibians worked with multiple cameras to capture the footage. A helicopter crew, a crew on the ground and cameras mounted on the fuselage were used to record the action. The team used a specially adapted all-black aerobatics plane for the shoot. Though visually attractive, the matte black wrapping caused the temperature inside the plane to be extremely high. In

addition to exterior temperatures of of low-level flying over the snow40°C (104°F), the team contended capped Alps, and prepared at home with high winds, sand and fog that by visualising the scene thousands would roll in from the sea, impairing of times, over and over in my head,” visibility and creating nearly says Dario. un-flyable conditions. For Hamilton, the film is What appears wonderfully both a passion project and a simple on the surface is full huge achievement. of complexity and is a “We are proud to be masterful achievement. the force that has finally The challenges for Dario brought these two creative were manifold. Low greats together to make air density changed a unique movie sure the aerodynamics to inspire others that and reduced engine you can do anything you performance, making this dream of if you put your one of his greatest mental mind to it. and physical challenges “This is exactly the spirit to date, with smooth flight we live at Hamilton,” says proving incredibly difficult. RAF ORIGINAL: Sylvain Dolla, Hamilton No one before has ever The classic W10 CEO. flown an aerobatic plane Hamilton was founded so close to these dunes with a in 1892 in Lancaster, speed of more than 370Km/h. Pennsylvania, USA. Hamilton “Depth perception over sand is watches combine the American so difficult. I used my experience spirit with the unrivalled precision

of the latest Swiss movements and technologies. The aviator essence is fused to the company’s ethos and demonstrated in the drive for precision. Hamilton supplied the US Armed Forces in the 1940s and the British Army throughout the 60s and 70s. The classic W10 timepiece the company produced for Royal Air Force pilots from 1973 to 1976 became a signature product. With that military heritage in mind, Hamilton has just released its Khaki Pilot Pioneer collection – an exact remake of the W10 with a range of 21st Century touches for today’s aviators. Known for its innovative design, Hamilton has a strong foothold in Hollywood, with products appearing in more than 500 films. Hamilton is a member of the Swatch Group, the largest watch manufacturer and distributor in the world.

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P23


Spanish hit a home run

Andrew Coxon Motoring Correspondent THERE IS a definite transition from camper van to motor home it’s like graduating from a student bedsit to a suburban semi. Spanish firm Benimar is hoping to make the passage into motorhoming adulthood as easy as possible with its entry range Primero. Based on the sturdy Fiat Ducato, the budget-end home on wheels is designed to sleep four and aims to deliver modest comfort at a price to suit first-time buyers. The Primero 331 lacks some of the fully automated functions available on upmarket starships cruisers (you have to empty the waste water tank manually – by pulling a lever) but for a little over £40,000 it delivers enough class and comfort to keep the discerning glamper happy. The decor is neutral and chintzfree, but if you are under 40 it will still feel like driving around in your parents’ house rather than your own more fashionable Scandi-style residence. The bathroom is a triumph of boutique hotel miniaturisation with brass mixer taps and double basins, separate shower and tasteful low level spot lighting. The 331 is equipped with a grownup Thetford fridge-freezer and the kitchen ‘area’ provides a three-ring hob, small gas oven and basin.

In Numbers

Sleeping arrangements consist of two double sized beds – one over the front cabin and a fixed bed at the back. Move up the range a little and Benimar will offer a power assisted drop-down bed which clears the decks and provides more living space. One of the real divisions between camper vans and mobile homes is hidden under the insulated flooring. The Truma combi boiler works on gas or mains electricity

and delivers instant hot water and heat for those reckless souls who like to brave the elements all year round. There is no shortage of three pin electric plugs or USB ports and plenty of low key lighting. There is battery or mains powered air conditioning and loads of storage space. The ‘hab’ (get with the jargon – it’s the bit behind the cab) is insulated to a depth of 30mm and the coachbuilders have included plenty of windows and skylights.

The Primero range is powered by Fiat’s redoubtable diesel lump, pumping out 130 bhp. In a van weighing in at more than three tonnes it can feel strained. It’s not that much of an issue as you cruise the lowlands but head for the hills and you will wish you had coughed up for the upgraded 150 bhp version. Unlike some of the more rakish and sporty camper vans out there the Primero is not a great driving experience but then it was never meant to be. It’s wide and heavy and crammed full of fun things and as aerodynamic as Tyson Fury. Despite those drawbacks it is surprisingly easy to rack up the miles. At under the magic six-metre mark it’s ferry friendly and you might get 30 mpg out of it on a good day. Go on – get on the motorhome owning ladder. Your kids will love it.

BENIMAR PRIMERO 331 Price As Tested: £41,000 Engine capacity: 2 litre Fuel type: Diesel Trans: 6 speed manual Engine Power: 130 bhp CO2:189/km Emissions: Euro 6 Length: 5.99m Width: 2.3 m Height: 2.89 m Seats: 4 Maximum payload: 850 kg Weight: 3500 kg Fuel Economy : 30 mpg

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P24

Feature RAF legend

My father, PROUD SON: Richard Finch (left) with star of the film Nickolai Salcedo

MANY TALENTS: Ulric Cross in his early RAF days

CLASSICAL ACTOR: The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Pippa Nixon plays Ulric’s English wife Ann in the docudrama Hero. PHOTO: Caribbean Tales

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P25

by Tracey Allen


the Hero... Richard Finch grew up not knowing his dad, Trinidad-born Ulric Cross DFC. But a new film about the courageous Mossie Navigator has taught him more of the quiet Airman who went on to be a High Court judge and a diplomat


CTOR NICKOLAI SALCEDO has more than a little in common with the World War II RAF legend he portrays in Hero, the extraordinary true story of Ulric Cross. Both Trinidad-born, handsome men, as well as being a stage and screen actor, Nickolai is a musician and a visual artist. Ulric too was multi-talented. He served as a navigator on Mosquitos and was awarded a DFC and DSO for his bravery and leadership. After the war he studied law, and was called to the Bar in 1949. He went on to be the Attorney General of Cameroon, a High Court judge in Trinidad and had a distinguished career as a diplomat for Trinidad and Tobago. Nickolai said: “I would have loved to have met Ulric [who died in 2014, aged 96]. He was a bit of a complicated guy, he was very charming but at the same time very secretive, because of the work he was doing. He had to be discreet. I think for that reason nobody knew a lot of the things he really did, only what was safe enough to tell.” Writer and director Frances-Anne Solomon right) made the docudrama about family ((pictured right friend Ulric over seven years. When Nickolai came to London in March 2014 to shoot scenes for the film, it was his first trip anywhere outside the Caribbean. He said: “It was my first experience of a temperate climate – it was a bit of a shock.” And when they filmed in Ghana it was his first time in Africa. He said: “It was surreal, when I stepped off the plane it was like I was back in Trinidad – the vegetation, the way the people walked, their vibe was very Trinidad.” Playing Ulric was his debut lead film role and he said he learnt a lot from his costars, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Joseph Marcell, Fraser James and Royal Shakespeare Company actor Pippa Nixon, who played Ulric’s English wife Ann, a nurse. Nickolai said: “Ann is in her 90s and lives in Sussex now. She is a very wonderful lady, she was a radical and Ulric was a diplomat. “Hero is an epic. I started the film having done theatre for years but I had done only one serious film previously. With Hero I had to learn on the fly what film acting was about. I was working alongside international actors and spent a long time with them, asking for advice on film acting. “With theatre you are acting for the person at the back of the room, you have to be big. With film, the camera is right in your face, it requires being small. Trinidadians are big people, very expressive, so I spent the first few shoots toning

it down. “Pippa helped me a lot – she has a very natural approach to acting. On screen it felt like just Nickolai and Pippa talking.” One of Hero’s biggest fans is Ulric’s only son, Richard Finch, a retired London school principal who now lives in South Africa. He said: “I saw it in Trinidad, at its premier in London and it has been to Durban – I loved it. Richard is currently travelling around the UK taking part in post-Hero screening Q&A sessions with Frances-Anne and Nickolai. Adopted at 18 months old, Richard didn’t meet his father until he was 40 and Ulric was 70. He said: “It was a wonderful meeting.” His mother was an unmarried WRAF airwoman who met Ulric when he was in the Air Force. Richard added: “I was the result of that liaison. Culturally and societally, it was an impossible situation in those days. To have a child out of wedlock was taboo and with a black man was doubly taboo. “I was very lucky, I was adopted by a wonderful white woman, Mary, a nurse, who didn’t see colour even then.” Richard stayed in touch with his biological mother, who he called ‘Auntie Joyce.’ He said: “It was remarkable how I first heard about my father. I came home crying from school one day, aged five, because a child had called me ‘blackie’. “Mary showed me The Boys’ Book of Heroes, with pictures of people like Louis Pasteur, WG Grace and the athlete McDonald Bailey. She said my father was also a great hero and he came from Trinidad. “Joyce gave me snippets of information about Ulric and kept telling me I should contact him. Deep down I wanted to meet him, especially as I got older and had my own children. “I wrote to him and in December 1986 I met him for the second time. “We connected. I went to Trinidad and was welcomed like a long-lost son. I was warmly accepted into the family. I felt very proud to know Ulric. He was a wonderful man, very humble. He didn’t talk a lot about his achievements in Africa – I have learnt a great deal from the film. “I don’t feel any bitterness, although my father didn’t feature greatly in my life. I felt very lucky and very privileged to know him. “My mother said he was very tall, very black and very handsome – and she was right.” Ulric Cross was President of Trinidad and Tobago RAFA from 2009 until his death in 2014. ■ Go to: for more information.

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P26


VIP GUEST: Actor David Jason had a flight in an RAF Harrier to mark 25 years of RIAT

1919: The charity is established as the Royal Air Force Memorial Fund by Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard. It is founded to support the fledgling Royal Air Force by caring for injured airmen and the families of those killed in service and to raise a memorial to airmen who died in World War I. 1923: The RAF Memorial is unveiled on the Victoria Embankment in central London by HRH Prince Edward The Prince of Wales. 1933: The charity becomes the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. 1938: Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding introduces a scheme where airmen donate directly to the Fund. Today the Service Day’s Pay Giving programme raises £1.5m each year.

If you serve or have served with the RAF, you and your family can request help.


1990: To mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Fund launches a major fundraising campaign. It exceeds its £20 million target. 1996: To mark the 25th anniversary of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), Fund supporter actor David Jason flew aboard an RAF Harrier. 2017: The Royal Observer Corps Benevolent Fund is absorbed into the Fund. 2019: The Fund celebrates its centenary.

RAF Fund’s £6m a year to help out personnel


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1950: The Fund accepts the Air Council’s invitation to make arrangements outside the flying programme for the RAF’s first post-war air display at Farnborough. 1971: The first RAF Benevolent Fund Carol Concert is held at St Clement Danes Church in London. 1979: In the Fund’s Diamond Jubilee year, Lord Olivier makes the first-ever television broadcast appeal on BBC1 on behalf of the Fund. Donations total more than £15,000.


THE RAF Benevolent Fund now spends three times more on helping Service personnel than it did three years ago. The Fund’s Controller, David Murray (below), revealed the charity’s annual spend on serving airmen and women is currently £6 million. In 2016 it was £2m. It also spent £15m last year on helping veterans. He said: “I think people seem to be more willing to come forward now for help than the older generation. “The welfare caseload is changing – the top four issues we currently deal with are financial assistance, living independently, social isolation and mental health.” He added: “We spent £15m in 2018 on veterans but we don’t think that’s enough. For our centenary this year we should be redoubling our efforts to help others. “We currently help 53,000 people annually and the RAF family is 1.4 million. About 100,000 have some sort of significant need. “We have to get to the people who are not on our radar – perhaps because they are too proud to ask for help or they don’t think they served for long enough. But to qualify for help from the Fund you have to have served for only one day.” The Benevolent Fund was

founded on October 23, 1919 – and spent £919 that year. Mr Murray said: “We are the RAF’s oldest friend. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Air Force and work in tandem with the Service. “The RAF provides its people with lots of great stuff but we add the extra.” These include Airplay, the charity’s £24m youth support programme. He added: “We are very fortunate, we have a strong reputation and when you have that people will continue to support you. I know a lot of smaller charities are suffering badly. “People are very supportive in raising money for us – from sixyear-old Jacob Newson who raised £6,500 with a sponsored trek, to a 76-year-old veteran who is doing a wing walk. We are delighted about that because we rely on it. These people are wonderful, raising funds in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. “Our beneficiaries range from a two-week-old baby to a 102-year-old widow. We paid for transport and accommodation so a Corporal and his wife could be close to their baby who was admitted to a special baby care unit. “We stepped in to help the widow of a Bomber Command airman who was about to be evicted from her home. No way would we allow that to happen on our watch.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P27


Mozzie mystery Downed WWII bomber could have been victim of friendly fire

PILOT: Sqn Ldr Kenneth Mathews

Richard Macias Aviation historian


n October 20, 1943, a 25 Sqn Mosquito took off from Church Fenton airbase in northeast England. Its pilot was Sqn Ldr Kenneth Mathews accompanied by observer/navigator Flying Officer Derek ‘Bunny’ Burrow The aircraft was a night-fighter model equipped with radar and the crew’s mission was to counter Luftwaffe attacks on Bomber Command sorties by destroying the enemy on the ground, disrupting operations at night-fighter airfields, and bombing arms factories. After crossing the Dutch coast Burrow saw blips on the radar screen – one was an RAF bomber on its way eastward to strike Germany. Burrow then checked the rear, and the screen showed a close contact. He alerted Mathews, who quickly changed course and accelerated after taking what seemed to be several insignificant hits in the tail. To simulate being a Luftwaffe aircraft Burrow fired a signal pistol with the German identification colour of the day. But the tactic failed, and strikes began hitting the aircraft, which Burrow described as “a nasty woodpecker noise.” With the control column having an abnormal free play, indicating a significant problem, Mathews said urgently: “Can you get out Bunny?” Burrow unfastened his seat strap and stowed the radar viewer to access the cockpit door but as he picked up the parachute pack he inadvertently pulled the ripcord. He released the emergency door handle but outside air pressure kept it shut. He thrust his elbow against the door which fell away. Partially sucked out of the opening, the lower part of Burrow’s right leg stuck inside near the forward door jamb.

NAVIGATOR: Flying Officer Derek Burrow

A piece of engine cowling clattered past him. He could not extricate himself, and before long he resigned himself to going down with the plane. Suddenly, the parachute billowed out, and the canopy filled with air. Burrow descended steadily in the dark. Below him, three men who were fishing in Lake Sneek in northwest Holland heard and saw shots striking the water around them. Then a bright light above caught their attention. One called out: “There is one on fire!” The plane “came down like a torch, straight at us, [then] curved away.” The Mosquito flew past and crashed into Lake Sneek a mile away. Soon after, the men heard a something hit the lake. They turned to see a head bobbing above there water. Burrow identified himself as an Allied airman, swam to the boat and was pulled over the side. The fishermen took him to a larger Friesian sailing boat where he removed his wet uniform and was given dry clothes. Burrow

cut off the uppers from his flying boots, making them appear to be regular shoes, to avoid arousing suspicion while travelling. The airman didn’t speak Dutch and the fishermen knew no English, but he produced his silk escape maps, and the men indicated to the airman their present location. The next morning he landed on the northern shore. With his right ankle bruised from being caught in the aircraft, walking was uncomfortable. His hopes of evading capture were dashed when he sought refuge in a a farm outside De Herne owned by Dutch collaborators with the Nationaal-Socialistiche Beweging. He was arrested and moved to a collection and interrogation centre for captured Allied airmen north of Frankfurt and was placed in a solitary confinement. By mid-November, a four-day train journey took him to a Luftwaffeoperated prison camp for Allied airmen, Stalag Luft 1 on the Baltic Sea coast. US fighter ace and air tactician Colonel Hubert Zemke became the

Senior Allied Officer and on April 10, 1945 with the war was coming to an end negotiated a peaceful transition of the camp with the commandant. On May 13 Burrow boarded a B-17 bomber and flew to Ford airfield near Southampton knowing that he had survived the war. Mathews was not as fortunate as Burrow. Two or three days after the crash, local people searching the site for anything of value using poles with attached hooks to probe the water disturbed a body floated to the surface. It was the pilot. Alarmed and afraid, they rowed away. Sources differ on what happened next. One account says the Germans recovered the body and the grave certificate for Mathews uses the word ‘aufgefischt’, or fished up. It lists the date of death as October 20 and the cause as a skull fracture. Dutch authorities then took the body to Sneek General Cemetery for burial. At the time Burrow was freed from the aircraft he saw no sign

of fire. It seems the Mosquito was attacked at least twice more. Eyewitnesses confirm the plane was ablaze and the fishermen reported shots as it descended. When Burrow left the aircraft, he believed that Mathews was alive and uninjured. It is possible that Mathews’ head injury was due to gunfire in the subsequent attacks. According to two Dutch historians a German night-fighter based at nearby Leeuwarden was responsible, but no pilot there claimed such a victory that night Another possibility exists – 418 Squadron observer Fg Off Dave McIntosh believed they may have been killed by friendly fire. He said: “The problem was that there were Canadian and British radarequipped night fighters around. “They didn’t have to see you to find you. Their radar latched onto you and sometimes the guys with the radar were a little triggerhappy and shot before they were absolutely, positively, certain of the identity of the guy on the other end...Dead men tell no tales, especially about friends.”

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6 pages of RAF Sport start here l Golfers seal deal at Enville: p36 BOXING

Draw scuppers boxers Inter-Services opening round proves hard as Service suffers night of defeats POWER PUNCHING: Main and below, action from SAC Fox’s hard-fought bout. PHOTOS: SBS

THE SERVICE’S boxing stars suffered a tough evening at the UK Armed Forces Boxing Association annual Development Championships at RAF Brize Norton. The team recorded no wins out of four bouts on the evening that forms not only the Inter-Services championship but the first round of the England Boxing National Development Championships and allows the UKAFBA to select their team from the single Services. The Service entered seven boxers into the field of 36, but were on the end of an unlucky draw for a place in the finals two nights later. SAC Tom Morris faced Sapper Ryan Chapman in the opening clash of the evening, a Class A 60kg bout, which went the way of the Army boxer by a unanimous points decision. The second bout between SAC(T) Tom Elward and Private Tony Shepherd was a 69kg Class

A contest which again went in the Army’s favour. Next was a Class A 81kg bout featuring AC Luke Selby-Grace and Royal Navy glove man LanceCorporal Adam Howe, but again a closely contested bout went the way of the opposition. The final bout saw SAC Charlie Sheldon and Marine Aidan Thompson face off in a Class B 64kg bout that resulted in another loss for the RAF. Two of the remaining three RAF boxers received a bye into the next stage of the competition with the next bout a Class B 69kg contested between SAC Liam Fox and Sapper Callum Spence. After three rounds featuring fast-paced boxing action, which saw the fighters applauded off come the final bell, the result went the way of Spence. Follow RAF boxing on Twitter @ RAFBoxing.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P31



Mixed bag for league stars to round out tough IS 2019

CLASH MATCH: Above, right and below, action from the recent IS championship matches for the development squad and ladies RAF rugby legaue teams PHOTOS: SBS

THE FINAL whistle of the 2019 Inter-Service rugby league blew on a mixed series of results for Service’s academy and women’s teams concluding with an unbeaten evening at Featherstone to close out the championship. The opening game ended in a 22-36 defeat for the light blues, despite featuring on the scoreboard first through SAC Matt Brown after three minutes. Trailing throughout the half, they did manage to cross the try-line twice more through SAC Joe Grey and SAC Wayne Cooper with the boot of L/Cpl Paul Miles kicking the extras, with Cooper going over after the break and Miles converting. The light blues were out of the blocks quickly through SAC Jordan Doris against the Navy and continued to blitz in tries to lead 18-6 at the break and 34-18 at the close. Cpl Chris Davison Academy head coach said: “The Army game was closer than the scoreline reflects. A couple of lapses in concentration led to Army breakaway tries. It was a game we could have won. “The Navy game came after a really emotional week. On the pitch I thought we were ruthless and

relentless throughout. In all aspects of the game we out-muscled a very big mobile Navy team. The team spirit, togetherness and mateship shown during this match was second to none. The boys never looked like losing and that victory was for SAC Scott Stevenson.” Having suffered a heavy defeat in their opening game 58-0 against the Army, a late try pipped back the women’s team to a 10-10 draw against the Navy with SAC Alex Barnes going over twice and Cpl Lynne Brooker kicking the extras. Head coach Sgt Matt Breeze said: “The Inters is always going

be competitive. The Army had a strong side and had a successful challenge shield cup run, winning the competition, so we knew they were gonna be tough opposition. “We defended well in the middle but struggled to match their physicality and lost players to injury. They showed great determination and heart and never gave up. “Against the Navy, given the circumstances with what happened with Scott Stevenson, it wasn’t really about the result, we just wanted to put in a good performance to make him proud and the girls did that.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P33



Vickers is slick at Donny

ON THE CHARGE: Above, Vickers breaks away from the pack, below, taking a corner at speed despite a recent wrist injury

RAF REGULAR & Reserve Kawasaki rider Ryan Vickers bounced back from a broken wrist in style at Donington Park as he took eighth and 12th in the two races. Making his return from the crash, Vickers suffered in race one at Assen last time out, but he was able to ease his way back into riding on Friday in mixed weather conditions. Two free practice

sessions saw him post the ninth and 11th quickest times respectively on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR. On race day, the Leicestershire venue was dry and the 20-year-old acquitted himself well despite the nature of the circuit, particularly the Melbourne Loop section, which was hard on his damaged wrist. Vickers got off to a good start and immediately moved up four places to 14th. That set the tone for

New team proves value in debut bow RAF CONINGSBY Ladies Football Team marked its first tournament bow with a runners-up spot at the TG19 five-a-side event. Having battled their way to the final of the tournament, winning four matches, they fell 2-0 to Waddington/Marham. The team, which was founded a year earlier, took their side of: LAC Mollie Hall, LAC Adi Suka, SAC Koren Cox, SAC(T) Natalie Edwards and Chf Tech Hailey Ross, and their account with a 2-0 and 4-0 win in their first two group stage matches. Chf Tech Ross scored a brace in the opening match, while LAC Hall bagged all four in the second game. In the quarter-finals they came

up against station rivals Coningsby Ladies Catering Team. It was a tough game, but Ross was on hand to bang in another brace. Brize Norton were up next in the semi-final and with the game ending at 1-1, it was down to spot kicks. Coningsby slotted in their final penalty, with Brize having missed one earlier to secure a final berth. A battling first half was undone as the Coningsby girls went a goal down just before the break. They dug deep after the break producing several chances, but they could not stop a second goal going in and with it went the trophy. Chf Tech Ross was voted Best Female Player of the tournament.

the rest of the race as the Thetford rider continually moved forward and by half race distance he was up inside the top 10. Battling with six riders for seventh place, Vickers overhauled both Luke Mossey and Danny Buchan, a race winner earlier in the season, in the second half of the race to claim an excellent eighth place, his second-best result of the season.


Starting the second race from the more advanced position of eighth place and the third row, a slightly sluggish start put Ryan back in 11th place at the completion of the first lap and here he remained for the first half of the race. After the safety car was deployed, Vickers slipped back to 12th, a position he held on to until the end of the race. He said: “Overall, it’s been a good weekend and I’m pleased

with the results given it’s been only two weeks since I suffered the wrist injury at Assen. In the first race, I was able to maintain a good, consistent pace throughout, especially in the second half of the race when I kept going forward. I rode as hard as I could and I’ve taken two good finishes with eighth and 12th so we’re in a lot better position than we were when we left Assen.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P34

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Fencers at sharp end FENCING

Historic trophy win for Service

Daniel Abrahams HMS Temeraire THERE WERE flashing blades and the glint of Inter-Service silverware for the fencing team as they secured the Triangular event trophy in Portsmouth. Wg Cdr Dominic Walden, chairman of RAF fencing, said: “I was tremendously impressed by the teamwork, grit and determination displayed by a relatively young side at this year’s Inter-Services. “It was plain to see how integrated and inclusive the RAF

was as a force, enjoying our time together and supporting each other in doing the best we could in the competition. RAF fencing is always looking for new recruits and we are more than happy to take beginners under our wing.” The Royal Navy hosted the first three days of action at HMS Temeraire, with the final day, to mark the 100th year of Service fencing, held at the Honourable Artillery Company in London. The battle royale of the Triangular tournament, sees all three Services go head to head, with the RAF winning five of their six

fights. They then went on to take two gold, six out of the six silver medals on offer, along with four bronze in the individual men’s and women’s event. Cpl Zoe Sheehan contested the women’s Champion at Arms, coming a close second after a tie break. The Service fielded a young team at this year’s event with standout up and coming fencers of note, SAC Matt Ives (Northolt), SAC Ed Campion (Waddington) and Cpl Sheehan (Brize Norton), so this bode well for the future. For more information visit:

POINTS MADE: Above and main, RAF fencers battled hard and came away with prestigious silverware from Portsmouth


Amy paints town Red Roses “I CONSIDER myself extremely lucky. Being awarded a contract to play professional rugby is amazing”, Fg Off Amy Cokayne said after the news of her England women’s professional full-time rugby contract. Simon Middleton, head coach of the England women’s rugby side, announced the confirmation of 28 contracts to the Red Roses side. The full-time professional deals will run for the season, until August 2020. Cokayne, right, said: “When I look back only a few years this simply wasn’t an option. Growing up I couldn’t have dreamt that one day women would be paid to play rugby. This demonstrates how quickly women’s sport is progressing, and the RAF is an organisation that in many ways is leading this change. In my time I remember Cpl Sian Williams becoming the first female professional rugby player in Wales and this was certainly ground-breaking. “I know this support for sport is encouraging other female athletes to consider a career in the RAF. For me now I must make

the most of this opportunity and repay the faith shown in me. “My first goal is to play well week-in, week-out for Harlequins to give me the best chance of making the first Quilter

International Squad away against France on November 9.” England then play France at Sandy Park, Exeter on November 16 finishing with Italy at Bedford on November 23.

Halton hosts rugby girls

INTEREST IN the annual RAF Halton girls festival of rugby day has reached fever pitch as RAF Halton welcomed 1000 U-13s, U-15s and U-18s girls from rugby clubs such as Reading RFC, Peterborough RFC, Basingstoke Rugby Club and many others. This year, the tournament, in its third year, boasted a few honorary guests such as England Rugby International Fg Off Amy Cokayne, story opposite, who had a great reception from a welcoming audience. The event was an opportunity for each of the players participating to gain a flavour of what it’s

like to be part of the Service, with the women’s Inter-Services Champions joining event sponsor SecureCloud+ in making this year’s festival one to remember.

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Cranwell run club is putting the sport through its paces

THE SPIRITUAL home of the RAF, Cranwell, has a new sporting example of its ability to inspire and lead in the shape of its running club which has blossomed in achievements and numbers since its conception last year. Flt Lt Alasdair Stewart said: “The club has modelled itself on the tenets of Action Centred Leadership (ACL) which is to achieve the task, maintain the team, and develop the individual. For the running club, the task was never about winning medals, but to get as many people interested in running as possible.” A regime of supported regular training and team fixtures has produced a sevenfold increase

in membership from 10 to 70, with many new members taking up informal yet competitive running. The support was then expanded to include numerous fixtures, leagues and events, which have included formal RAF fixtures, as well as the local Lincolnshire League Races, and also supported runners at local civilian races and ParkRuns. From there the medals and awards began to roll in kicking off with the Henlow 10-mile event, which saw the female team win out, while Sgt Louise Parr was also champion for her age category (first veteran female). Another storming series of results were recorded in the Lincolnshire Services cross-

country league with the female team winning the overall title, with Sgt Lou Parr top female overall, while Fg Off Tamsin Jessup and AC Maddie Elliott took golds in their age categories. Kirsty McKeating and Sgt Penny Jordan took home a bronze apiece in their age categories. The male team narrowly missed out on the team bronze, coming fourth overall. Individually Lt Phil Boak took bronze for the senior men. There was a double team victory in the 5km road relay at Wittering before further success in the league. Alongside a presentation by former RAF officer and elite athlete Julian Goater, club members were supported at numerous marathons including the Boston Half Marathon.

TARMAC TREASURES: Main left, Sgt Parr in front of the CHOM Cranwell, above, Goater talks tactics, below left, Flt Lt Lynsey Carveth, Flt Lt Nat Bown, Sgt Lou Parr


City slip up but MDS on track THE SERVICE’S development squad footballers succumbed to a 3-1 IS warm-up defeat to Oxford City after a clash saw them blood new players under the watchful eye of head coach Sgt Leon Duke. Duke said: “It was our second meet, so we had lots of new faces to try to bed in and with players still yet to return it was a good meet. “It was unfortunate for us to lose Fg Off James Grant to a bad knee injury during the game, but Oxford City provided exactly the right level for us at this point in the season.” The lead was secured by SAC Sam Dawson, who continued his rich vein of form. He got on the end of a cross from the right which he fired low through the Oxford keeper. The hosts levelled through a suspect offside, before the Service side conceded two penalties in a five-minute period which put the game out of reach. SAC Connor Hutton produced

a very good save from the debutant keeper for the first spot kick, but he could do nothing with the rebound. Duke added: “We gave a few debuts to SAC Alex More, SAC Tom Palmer and SAC Tomos Owen, who all did very well and are sure to do better with each game. “I’d like to give a mention to SAC Josh Brown who worked tirelessly. If the rest want to be successful and win things at this level whilst being considered to move up to the SRT, they need to match his and SAC Dawson’s level of fitness and performance. For us it is on to Icarus now at the end of the month.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, October 18, 2019 P36

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Driven to win

Enville GC sees double joy for RAF

HOLED ON, RAF COMING: Main, Service golf star drives off at Enville, below, players talk through tactics

IT WAS more than worth the three years wait for the Service golfers as the men won the Inter-Services crown for the first time since 2016, after three days of action at Enville Golf Club, Stourbridge. The title charge did not end there, as the women’s individual championship was won by the RAF ladies’ captain Sgt Beth Shippin. Shippin produced an excellent round on the Highgate Course ending six shots clear of her nearest rival, while two of the RAF’s men stars ended just one shot adrift from the Army winner. The final top 15 places were littered with light blue, as nine RAF golfers fought for honours. The UK Armed Forces Golf hosted event, ended with honours even with the Army taking the ladies team title as well.The IS action started with the Army men and ladies playing and beating the Royal Navy. The RAF teams faced the Navy on the second day. Shippin and vicecaptain Cpl Sam Mudd were the only golfers to secure points in the morning foursomes. Superb displays in the afternoon pulled out a 7-5 win.

Debut men’s captain Cpl Aaron Ashberry, saw his team take control from the off winning the foursomes 3-2, before dominating the singles winning 7.5 to 2.5 points. The wins set up a winner takes all final day, with a draw for the men ensuring the title, while the ladies needed a win, which did not come. They lost the morning foursomes, 3-1, losing

heavily in the afternoon, with a final score of 9.5 to 2.5. The men only needed 4.5 points to secure a

draw, but the action was back and forth with two wins each out of the opening four games, with one for Flt Lt Ben Spoor who returned four points from four. Despite a late Army charge, wins for Cpl Tanner and SAC Blanks and Cpl Brian McEwan secured the points.

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RAF News 18 Oct 2019  

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