Friday, February 23, 2018



                                        131 ENTRY WINDOWApprentice Wheel

131st Entry

The 131st Entry attended Halton between June 1978 and April of 1981 after completing the 6 weeks of basic recruit training at RAF Swinderby. The entry was split into four classes of approximately 15 apprentices, each with its' own inimitable characters.

Visit the Members page for the Entry Roll-Call with now only a few more members to find.

This website is primarily a vehicle for ex 131 members to get in touch with each other with a view to future reunions and get-togethers. It is now over 30 years since our passing out and the first reunion was held in April 2011 to commemorate the 30th anniversary.

The website now is now quite well populated with all sorts of formal and informal pictures and stories but we're always looking to expand on what we've got. All these pictures of our three years together and stories or anecdotes will help to remember our time spent at Halton. There are now some pictures of the first reunion in the Photo Album so go and check them out. 

There are lots of parts of the three years that need to be recalled, hopefully the collective memories of the fifty-odd members should just about manage to assemble a reasonable picture. The 'Decip' sergeant was Sgt Hogan but what was the corporals name*? Lots of stuff like that needs to be pulled together that will remind us of our time then and also, what happened to everybody after Halton during their RAF and subsequent civilian careers. *Cpl (Cardboard Cut-out) Cutler, thanks to Huw's memory for that!

Visit the Contact Us page and email us any info and photos you have about your time at Halton, and if you feel like it, info that brings us up to the present day. Leave your contact info if you would like to get involved with future reunions or you want to contact old friends (or enemies!).

With your consent, we can post your old photos in the Photo Album and remember the time we had some (any) hair that wasn't grey and could squeeze into our uniform!

Some of the original members dropped out during those long three years but they are by no means excluded from getting involved. Some of these guys have had a rather clumsy cross applied on the class photos, sorry about that but that was done to the originals and are the only ones we have.

Check out the News page to find out the latest members to emerge from the mist and murk of the last 30 years and other snippets of news and the 131 Entry Blog page to leave your comments and feedback.

The Blog page will enable open discussion amongst all 131 members about the site and future activities and ensure any decisions are driven equally by all.

A Brief History of the Apprentice Scheme

The Royal Air Force Apprenticeship scheme began in October 1919. Selection exams were held around the country and in January 1920, the first Apprentice Entry numbering 235 recruits started their three year apprenticeship at RAF Cranwell. In the meantime, purpose-built accommodation was completed at RAF Halton. The Boys were signed on for 12 years' service from the age of 18 and assigned to the trade of Carpenter, Sheet Metal Worker, Fitter or Electrical.

The Training Schools at Halton and Cranwell were eventually renamed No 1 and No 2 Schools of Technical Training, respectively in March 1920. Halton's first Entry, No 5, began at the station in January 1922, at which time the rank of Aircraft Apprentice replaced the earlier term Boy Mechanic.

The RAF Apprenticeship scheme came to an end with the graduation of the 155th Entry in 1993. During the 71 years of Apprentice Training at RAF Halton over 40,000 Aircraft Apprentices successfully graduated. Among them is a holder of the Victoria Cross, four recipients of the George Cross, 220 have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 249 have won the Distinguished Flying Medal. Approximately, twenty per cent of Apprentices were commissioned during their service careers.

Countdown To 131 Entry 40th Anniversary Reunion
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