RAF Cardington Camp

Some Interesting Recruits.....

From 1939 onwards thousands of young men and women were called up or volunteered to join the Armed Forces - many of the RAF recruits were sent to Cardington to be 'processed' - a procedure taking about five days before being sent on to other units. Others stayed on for further training. In later years the Camp then registered and prepared young men who were called up for National Service. During these years of the thousands of individuals who passed through the gates some went on to become household names - here are a selection of some of them. Do you know of any others?

Donald Campbell 1956

Donald Campbell CBE - World land and water speed record holder - Donald joined the RAF in 1939 and was actually posted to RAF Cardington in 1940 - sadly his time at Cardington was limited as he had failed to disclose a history of rheumatic fever and was discharged the same year. Like his father (Sir Malcolm) his exploits with the speedboat Bluebird were legendary.


Bill Wyman - member of the Rolling Stones. Highly unlikely as it seems a young Bill was called to the Camp in Jan 1955 for the start of National Service in the RAF - Bill stayed on in the RAF until January 1958.

George Cole

Forever remembered as Arthur Daley versatile actor George Cole joined the RAF in 1943 training as a wireless operator at Cardington until it was discovered that his eyesight was poor. He was transferred to Coastal Command H.Q. in Northwood and later posted to Germany where he ran the officers mess bar.

Colin Cowdrey

Cricketer Colin Cowdrey (shown right) was called up to Cardington for two years of National Service in 1955 after successfully completing a tour of Australia for his country at the young age of 21. A month later however he was discharged from service for health reasons as he had problems with toe joints. Colin went on to become one of the world’s best cricketers.

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