RAF Cardington Camp

RAF Servicemen & Recruits 1945-1965

Here are some pictures of a few of the individuals who served or signed up between 1945 and 1965. If you have any photographs and stories of anyone connected to the station or you recognise anyone here please make contact. 

Cropped Les BIrkett 20 Lancaster Rd 1961
Cropped Cpl Birkett 25 Lancaster Rd 1962

Laurence Birkett - Cpl i/c MT Control 1960's - see the 1960 -1999 Eye Witness Section

Gerald Parsons - read his story in the 1945-1960 section - "Signing Up in 1947'

Les Birkett in 1961 - for more details see the 1960-1999 Eye Witness section

Frank Moreton Cook 1950

Frank Moreton with Flight 16B at Cardington in March 1950 (fifth from the left on the back row.) See Eye Witness 1945-1960 for more details. If you recognise anyone in this picture please get in touch.


Tom Mccallum arrived at Cardington in 1962. Read more about him in the Eye Witness 1960-1999 section

phil collins 1

Phil Collins - called up to Cardington in 1958. Read more about him in the Eye Witness 1945-1960 section

Alan Thomas RAF postal clerk

Alan Thomas - postal clerk 1960 -1963.

See the 1960's in the RAF Cardington 1960-1999 section for Alans description of the Station at the time and read about his time on the camp in the Eye Witness page in the same section.

Les Nicols 22b

22b Flight 1949 - sent in from Les Nichol. In his own words “I will put the only names that I remember of the group, 63 years is rather a test of memory and we were only together for eight weeks never to meet up again after leaving Cardington. Except for Harry Baker from Weymouth we were friends at Cardington and both went to RAF Yatesbury Wiltshire number 2 Radio School, Harry did a Radar course and I did Air Wireless.

Behind the dog seated is W/O Driver, the chaps seated in the same row with peaked caps are all Drill Instructors. The one 7th from the right is my billet CPL Blakeman, 2nd row standing 3rd from left Jimmy Franks ex Kings African Rifles (not new recruit friendly) same row 9th from left Bill East ex Royal Marine Commando (war hero but wouldn’t talk about it) we thought the world of Bill!

Third row 3 from left my good friend Harry Baker ( hope he is still alive!),very back row 7th from left Ex Jockey name forgot big grin, he won Best Recruit award. Same row 5th from right luckless recruit Les Nichol (me).Sorry about the lack of names, but our 8 weeks at Cardington was very intense, we hardly had time to relax or think. From the “crack of dawn time” when they woke us up until 9 pm lights out time to sleep we were very active. The plus side was we felt very fit and if any one shouted an order we instantly obeyed it.” Thank you Mr Nichol.

*If you recognises anyone in this picture please make contact.

Sidney Oscar Wilson 3rd right top row

"C" Squadron 43 Flight RAF Cardington 1949 passing out August 24 1949

This photograph sent in by Heather Simpkins is of 43 Flight at Cardington in 1949 and shows Sidney Oliver Wilson 3rd from right on the back row. Sidney went on to serve in Malta and Libya. Do you recognise anyone here?
*Thank you Heather

Sunday D Godman final

David Godman has sent in this photograph (May 2013) of Flight 41c, No 2 Recruits Centre and wonders if anyone knows anything about it:
“The photo is one of two that my sister was given by my stepmother, my father died a year ago last week and my sister visited my stepmother on the anniversary, the other was of my uncle at RAF West Kirby. My father joined the RAF in April 1947 but we do not think he did any training at RAF Cardington. My brother who I sent a copy of the photo thinks that my father is in the photo, 2nd row from the bottom 3rd from the right.
My father was Lawrence Godman service number R4022931, a few years before he died he wrote to RAF Gloucester and obtained a copy of his service record, unfortunately the copy he gave me I have been unable to locate. He served from April 1947 to January 1979 and for most of that period he was in the RAF Marine Branch.”

If anyone recalls Lawrence Godman please get in touch it would be nice to pass on further details of him to his son David. If you recognise anyone else in this photo or have any more information about Flight 41c please make contact. Thank you.

Dan Nutt Cardington 1953
Cardington 8 July 1956

These photos have been sent in from Cliff East from the RAF West Kirby Association and are Cardington related photographs from their collection. If you recognise anyone here please make contact.

Cardington August 1956

Above is another of Cliffs photographs - again if you recognise any of the young men above please get in touch.

cliff east photo 1 jpeg
Cardington date not known

To the left is a picture of Cliff - himself a young recruit back in 1953. He has also added some details to his photo which tell us he was part of Flight B2 of No 2 Reception Unit. Does anyone out there have a group photo of this particular Flight? Above is an undated photo again supplied by Cliff of Raymond Quinn and two others at Cardington.

Cardington Jan 1952

Again this photograph has been provided by Cliff East and shows a group of young men at the station in Jan 1952. Do you recognise anyone? This photo is interesting as it shows what appears to be railway lines behind the group with part of one of the sheds in the background to the right. It is known that there was a rail line running from Cardington railway station into the site - can anyone supply anymore details of where the lines ran on the camp? It is believed that in the early airship days the line ran from the camp across what is now the A600 into Shortstown to transport building materials when the village was being built in 1917.

Our thanks to Cliff and the RAF West Kirby Association for sharing these pictures with us.

*In March 2016 we received the following update from Taff Davies regarding this photograph:
"Re photo January 1952. The lad in middle front row is Alan Warburton he ended up in the R.A.F.Regiment. He now lives in Darlington. Just had a chat with him and told him about photo. He did 20 odd years in the R.A.F. I was there in May 1953 but no photo. I also ended up in the Regiment. 1953 - 1965. I served with Alan on a couple of occasions. Perardua.”

Thank you so much for sending this information in it is always nice when individuals are identified.

Derrick Wiltshire fathe jpeg

The photograph left has been sent in by Derrick Wiltshire and shows his father Frederick George Wiltshire at RAF Cardington aound 1950. He certainly looks happy - does anyone remember him?

McKnight 1949 (2)

This group photogrpaph was sent in by William McKnight who explains "Hi Jane, I found your website and I am attaching a picture which you may wish to post. My dad James Alexander McKnight is the only one I know...he's 8th from left 2nd row from the front. Not sure what year maybe 1949.

1947 Alan Bell small grp for web

Alan Bell - middle row third from right.

11. Chorlton

Gordan Hayward England, second in from the left in the back row.

11a. Chorlton loaded

Kate Chorlton has kindly sent in the following details about her uncle Gordan Hayward England who was at the station in 1948.

“Hi, last year when my aunt died I sorted out her house and found some military photos of my uncle. His full name was Gordan Hayward England, and he was originally from Salisbury Wiltshire. There are two beautifully clear photographs of his time at RAF Cardington in 1948 no 2 Recruits Centre. He is in the smaller group photo second in from the left in the back row. On the back of one is a load of signatures from people I presume were on his course.

Now in lockdown and having a sort out I thought I’d look into it a bit more. I have some incredible black and white photos of him with planes and what I presume are his mates.”

Thanks so much to Kate for this information. Please take a close look at the young men in the photograph and the signatures above you may recognise someone. – Jane. May 2020

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