Welcome to all Old Haltonians
This network provides a forum to enable all ex-apprentices, who trained at RAF Halton, to communicate. The Old Haltonians social network is open to ALL Apprentices who 'did time' at RAF Halton as a member of one the Entries detailed on the http://www.oldhaltonians.co.uk web site. The Entry listing on that site commences with the 29th Entry and runs through to the 410th Entry. 155th were the last entry to pass out (in 1993). Officially, Richie Waylens is the last brat to pass out of Halton.
The RAF Aircraft Apprentice Scheme was initiated by Lord Trenchard at the No.1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton in 1922. Lord Trenchard started the 'Aircraft Apprentice Scheme' in 1920 at Halton camp, but the site was not ready to accept apprentices until 1922 (See Tribute). The first few Entries were sent to 'RAF Cranwell' and the first HALTON Entry was the 5th Entry in 1922. Between 1922 and 1993, when the scheme ended, over 40,000 young men known, more or less affectionately as Halton or Trenchard 'Brats', had graduated.
The Government had purchased the Halton estate (previously commandeered during the First World War) on Trenchard's recommendation when Rothschild died in 1918. There were already ample and well-equipped technical shops in existence and it was near to London, a point in its favour since the Chief of the Air Staff believed that the boy trainees should be near enough for friends and parents to visit. On the other hand, Trenchard felt that officer cadets would be better off in the flat countryside of Lincolnshire than anywhere near London.
The badge of No 1 School of Technical Training incorporates a symbolic tree of learning derived from the beech trees typical of the Halton area. The motto "Crescentes Discimus" can be translated to mean ‘As we grow, we learn’. In planning the Apprenticeship Scheme, the Air Ministry clearly took their responsibilities towards the young boys seriously and it was considered necessary to provide some insignia to distinguish them from adult airmen "so as to check smoking and the forgathering of boys with men".
The four-bladed propeller within a circlet, to be manufactured in brass, was approved on 17th April 1919 and worn on the sleeve of the left arm, being, of course, highly polished at all times.
See pages 28 - 35 of the pdf file sota_vol1_2 .pdf for a good account of the start of the HAA scheme. The article is written by, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Armitage KCB CBE (56th entry), who is a member of this Network.
A history of the culture and organisational heritage of the RAF can be found at this link HistoryoftheRAF.pdf
NOTE:- Acrobat Reader is needed to read pdf files. Acrobat Reader can be downloaded free of charge from the SAFE LINK TO ACROBAT READER DOWNLOAD
In July 1952 the uncrowned Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth performed one of her first duties as Soverign by presenting to Number 1 School of Technical Training RAF Halton a colour. The first to be awarded to an apprentice school, and the first ever to be presented to an 'other' rank, when Sergeant Apprentice Hines of the 63rd Entry, received the colour from Her Majesty.
On 31 October 1997 Her Majesty presented RAF Halton with its own colour.
I manage the RAF Heritage Centre at the former RAF Station of Bircham Newton, which is now the home of the National Construction College East. Former Halton apprentices who served at Bircham Newton or who live in Norfolk might be interested in…Continue
The Halton experience was very special to many of 'Trenchard's Brats'. Here is a new poem describing the three years through the eyes of an 82nd. Entry graduate. Remember and enjoy! TRENCHARD’S BRATS: MANY YEARS ON (A glimpse of RAF Halton culture,…Continue
I've just taken a phone call from the daughter of Roy Arthur Fuller. Roy died last Friday aged 79 years. Roy enlisted as a Halton brat on 11 May 1954, and is thought to have been a member of 77th entry. He left the RAF in the rank of J/T after…Continue
Even hotter off the Press.SirsThe Station Commander Gp Capt Brayshaw has kindly phoned me. Here it is from the "Horses Mouth"a. S of S signed plan off on 7 Dec as an element of the MoD estate rationalisation programme following AFB recommendation.b.…Continue
Commenting on the recent triennial reunion at RAF Halton, Denis O'Brien, Deputy Chairman of the RAFHAA has reported that, "After the Sunset Ceremony the order was given to 'March To Church’, so marching behind our own Pipes and Drums Band, 'The…Continue
You lament the absence of 48th. I am "the good shepherd" of the 55th ( for 36 years) & note in the last of the Bill Kelley " Haltonians", that Robin Webb commented on the latest of the 48th's annual reunions at a pub near Baker Street Station ( THAT brings back memories!), so they are out there. I suspect that considerably more read the Haltonian than are on this Web site- especially we oldies who find computing," why make it easy when you can make it difficult"! Dave 55th
The Queen has led the nation in remembering service personnel who have died during conflicts, as Remembrance Sunday services are held around the UK. This article from the BBC includes a video clip