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50th 8M3

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Data was current at 9th January 2016

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The following was originally compiled by the RAF Cranwell Association,
and subsequently updated by ex-Entry members.
There could still be errors or omissions.

The 8M3 (50th) Entry of Cranwell Apprentices are probably the best documented Entry ever, thanks to the work by John Smailes, together with his "collector of photographs" Gordon Homer, and Entry Members who put together a history of the Entry entitled “8M3 Then and Now”. The book has a Foreword by Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Keith Williamson GCB, AFC, FRAeS, himself a member of the 8M3 (50th) Entry.   A copy of the “Foreword” is repeated below.

Foreword to
“8M3 Then and Now”
by
  Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Keith Williamson GCB, AFC, FRAeS

Sir Keith Williamson

“Take a bunch of young adolescent boys, put them in uniform and subject them to military discipline while training them in the somewhat esoteric science of radio/radar; get them to commit themselves for service for twelve years after their eighteenth birthday and then make sure that the place where you train them is as far away from civilisation as is possible in these small islands - You now have the perfect recipe for the Aircraft Apprentice Wing at No 1 Radio School at Cranwell in the nineteen forties.

When we arrived at Cranwell in the closing stages of the last war to join the Wing, I think I and my contemporaries on 8M3 Entry were aware that they were momentous times for the Country, but I, for one, had no understanding of just how important our time at Cranwell would be for each one of us personally. For we were about to start three years of tough, challenging and character-building training at that very sensitive time of our lives as we emerged from boyhood into manhood. By the time we left Cranwell at the end of those three years, we were more mature and resilient and as a consequence, well able to face the future, wherever it was destined to take us. For that, we have reason to be grateful to Cranwell and to Lord Trenchard's Aircraft Apprentice Scheme.

Looking back at those events of fifty years or so ago, my main memories are centered, not on the technical training or even on the unfamiliar rigours of Service Life, but on the friendships formed during those three years, many of which have prevailed until this day. It is the memories of the people with whom we served, and of the comradeship that was part and parcel of life at Cranwell at that time, that John Smailes has evoked in this Scrap-book, and we should be grateful to him for reminding us so graphically of a very important time in our lives.”


In February 1945, 61 young hopefuls arrived at RAF Cranwell as the 8M3 (50th) Entry to train as Air or Ground Radio Fitters. During their training they gained 10 from Senior Entries, 6 ceased training, while 10 of their number were re-classed to later Entries. This left 55 to pass out in March 1948.

The Entry List below is presented in alphabetical order:


50th ENTRY ROLL CALL

NUMBER

SURNAME

INITS

KNOWN AS

CLASS

REMARKS

582324

Baggaley

G

Geoff

8M3A

Died 14th March 1997.

582225

Bissett

S D

Stan

8M3A

 

582220

Boden

D E G

David (Taff)

8M3B

 

582023

Bracchi

E

Ernie

8M3A

Joined with 49th Entry.  Died August 1998.

582223

Cawthorn

L

Lewis

8M3C

 

582218

Cawthorne

R

Ron

8M3C

Ceased Training.

582337

Chapman

F N

Frank

8M3C

 

582333

Clarke

S E

Stan

8M3B

Died 21st November 1961.

582291

Clarke

T

Trevor

8M3B

 

582098

Cleaves

M C

Maurice

7M9D

Joined with 49th Entry.  Died 4th September 2002.

582384

Collins

A M

Tony

8M3D

Ceased Training.  Died circa 1984.

582433

Copleston

T F

Trevor

8M3D

Died, date not known.

582274

Copping

G

Gerry

8M3B

P/O. Killed 26th February 1951 when his Wellington crashed.

582442

Cousins

C W

 

8M3C

 

579981

Dalziel

H

Heath (Jock)

7M9C

Joined with 49th Entry.  Resident Canada.

582217

DeBurgh

M

Mike

8M3C

 

582222

Drayton

V

Vic

8M3B

 

582387

Duggleby

G

Geof

8M3C

 

582254

Farrell

F L

Frank

8M3B

Died 12th July 1951.

582285

Hampson

P H F

Pat

8M3C

 

582135

Heathershaw

D F

Duncan

7M9B

Joined with 49th Entry. Died 9th January 2016.

582106

Holcroft

G R

Gordon (Joe)

7M9D

Joined with 49th Entry.  Died 12th March 1991.

582311

Homer

G E

Gordon

8M3A

Died 12th November 1999.

579989

Hutchings

R T

Reg. (Hutch)

7M9D

Joined with 49th Entry.  Died 15th August 2010.

582293

Joass

W

Bill

8M3B

Died circa 1979.

582233

Jones

R D

David

8M3C

Died June 1951.

582227

Knowles

D

Derek

8M3C

Died, post-1973.

582296

Leheup

M D

Mallcolm

8M3A

 

579990

Marshall

J F

Jim

7M9

Joined with 49th Entry.

582343

Morris

T W

Tom

8M3

 

582355

Murphy

J N

John

8M3C

 

582329

Nash

D R

Derek (Peter)

8M3D

 

582279

Nevin

S K

Sam

8M3

Ceased Training.  Died 15th September 1999.

582354

Nicholson

J G

Jack

8M3B

 

582438

Noble

E

Eric

8M3D

 

582286

Norman

E A

Ted

8M3B

Died circa 1970.

582362

North

T W T

Tom

8M3

Died 19th January 1993.

582341

Osborne

P R P

Peter

8M3B

 

582253

Palmer

R A S

Rod

8M3

Ceased Training.

582342

Peace

B W

Brian (Charlie)

8M3A

 

582323

Peacock

G

Geoff

8M3A

Died in air accident 14th November 1951.
Buried City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

582315

Phillips

T F

Tom

8M3

Ceased Training.  Died 28th March 2010.

582385

Pike

D W

Derek

8M3D

 

579961

Poore

N G

Norrie

8M3

Joined with 49th Entry.  Died March 2002.

582292

Rankine

G S

George

8M3D

Died, date not known.

582265

Ross

R

Ron (Jock)

8M3D

Ceased Training.

582346

Sancto

R C

Roger

8M3C

Died circa 2008.

579985

Savage

J N

Norman

7M9D

Joined with 49th Entry.  Died 3rd December 2005.

582263

Sheppard

R I

Reece

8M3D

Died late 1970's

582348

Silk

H G

Kerry

8M3B

Died 31st May 2003.

582278

Simpson

W M

Slim (Bill/Wilfred)

8M3C

 

582303

Skelton

S S

Stan (Red)

8M3A

Died 29th November 2008.

582317

Smailes

J R

John

8M3A

Ceased Training. Moved to Canada. Died 3rd August, 2014.

582226

Southon

V A

Vic

8M3D

 

582304

Taylor

E S

Eric

8M3C

 

582256

Thearle

P H

Peter

8M3D

Ceased Training.

582239

Thompson

P P

Peter (Titch)

8M3B

Died 25th December 2009.

582234

Thomson

P N

Pete

8M3A

Died 6th January 2007.

582386

Trickey

J M

John

8M3B

Died, date not known.

582242

Waller

H A

Hugh (Titch)

8M3D

Died 8th February 2011.

582359

Whitaker

R

Roy

8M3D

Died 12th July 1951.

582252

Williamson

K

Sir Keith

8M3

 

582094

Wilson

E

Tug (Willie)

7M9B

Joined with 49th Entry.  Died 11th December 1992.

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Footnote - John Smailes also provided the 2009 WebMaster with the 'Return Home' graphic.



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