53 years on
I joined the RAF, as a Craft Apprentice Telegraphist, in May 1965. Apart from our trade training (Morse Code, Teleprinters, field power generators, etc....) we did our marching, shooting, inspections, right through the year.
In the photograph David Pallister is next to me marching from Leighterton Primary school to the cemetery to commemorate ANZAC Day, hence the Rosemary 'Hackle' in my beret. David is a Flt Lt with the Air Cadets.
This is the first time we have marched together for 53 years, to the month.
We passed out from training in April 1966. See Extra photo of me in uniform with white webbing and gloves for the passing out parade. Also a photograph of us marching with Ben the Apprentice Squadron mascot, it was his first passing out ceremony.
The 'Sparks' badge was worn on the right arm, below your rank, to show that you were signals. This started in the first world war when 'other ranks' were not allowed to approach officers directly. This badge showed your trade so you could deliver messages to officers and commanders.
Just an afterthought, the reason the Australians and New Zealanders use Rosemary for rememberance, as we use the Poppy, is that their first major battle was Gallipolli. They had a great many casualties and the peninsula was covered in Rosemary bushes so it is to commemorate that terrible battle.
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