Stained glass window of the 210th Entry in St Georges Church.
Could somebody please write a short description of what it commemorates?
Beside the obvious such as the frame of colours depicting the 3 wings,
SOCIT TUUM being our motto as is the fist,
but I do not know what the rest of the window depicts.
Sir Dusty contacted me and gave me the answers I needed, see comments, thanks.
In 1997, Padre Richard Lee suggested that the Halton Apprentices’ Association should install a stained glass window in the church to commemorate each Apprentice Entry. Former apprentices were immediately seized of the idea and soon a stained glass window, depicting Entry numbers, wing colours, Entry badges, Entry activities, (famous and infamous), and a host of other items were appearing in glorious coloured glass; each telling something of its creator’s time at Halton. For example the 2nd Entry window shows the tunic and puttees worn by the first apprentices at Halton, and one of the aircraft of the era. The 76th window shows badges of Commonwealth Air Forces who sent boys to be trained with their Entry; also shown is a Russian Tank commemorating the Soviet invasion of Hungary which took place during their time at Halton. The 62nd window depicts a tornado which swept across the camp in 1950 causing much damage to the Old Workshops.
Our 210th Entry stained glass window depicts our motto from our entry shield, the iron clad fist and the words SOCIT TUUM (Sock it to’em). The other two badges or emblems depicts one of the many achievements of one of our ex-apprentices, Air Marshal Sir Graham Anthony ‘Dusty’ Miller, KBE. (KBE = Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire)
A guide to the UK honours.
Also in the church are to be found many artifacts and memoribilia of Apprentice training including the original Queen’s Colour presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to the School in July 1952. It is laid up there for eternity (the first replacement Colour presented to the School by HRH The Princess Margaret in 1968 is laid up in St Michaels and All Angels Church in Halton Village).
A Roll of Honour listing the names of some 2000 former Halton Apprentices who gave their lives in WW2 is displayed in a cabinet in the foyer of the church under the Window commemorating fallen Apprentices.
There are several commemorative plaques including one commemorating the Quetta Earthquake in India in 1925 listing many ex apprentices who died in the disaster.
The lectern is in the form of a Bristol Fighter which was built by the first Apprentices at Halton in 1922. It was rescued from the great fire which destroyed the original church at the rear of the Old Workshops in 1959. Unfortunately the stunning crafted metal base shown in the photograph was lost. The current one made of wood was constructed by a former Halton Apprentice of the 47th Entry.
The path on leading to the church is lined on wither side by Rose bushes, each one planted in memory of an individual Apprentice, or a particular group.
Former Halton Apprentices Frequently return here for re-unions and never fail to visit the church for window dedication or anniversary services.
I am looking forward to attending the Royal Air Force Halton Apprentices Triennial Reunion on 21st September 2013. As I write this there are only 410 hours to go.
At the 2010 reunion there was a very funny incident but I’m not sure if anyone else saw the end result, it was a picture
We were all waiting to march off for the taking of the salute on the parade ground and we were just chatting away amongst ourselves. Suddenly there was a “BARK” from the young D.I. who had the honour of marching with us ex-210er’s, “The Magnificent Seven”. There were actually seven of us for quite a while until a straggler turned up to make us 8. We said hello to the new attendee and generally took the mick out of him for being late and for mentioning he should be awarded a “252” but I digress, as usual. Oh yes, the “BARK” from the D.I. informing us group of “wrinklies” to “BE QUIET IN THE RANKS” and suddenly one of us politely shouted back “Say please then”. That was Dusty Miller and we all laughed. The D.I. just glared at him. The band started to play, we were near the back of the long line of about 1200 ex-apprentices and the D.I. brought us to attention and ordered us to “By-the-left-quick-march”. We were all out of step after the second step and we just seemed to saunter off and concertina into the 209th entry in front of us. Some of us remembered to mark-time, especially the one that recalled it from his time in “Cosford” for his 7 day holiday.
Dusty was just in front of me and to the right and he was doing as he pleased, talking to the guys next to him, generally making a noise when the D.I., who was just in front of me and to the left, gave Dusty the “LOOK”. It didn’t work, like water off a duck’s back. The D.I. was getting a bit peeved by this time and kept mumbling to himself and giving his head a little shake, probably thinking we have a stubborn one here. We finally got it together and were within striking distance of the dais with RAF Halton’s Station Commander Group Captain, Chris Elliot, as I thought standing ready to take the salute.
Dusty suddenly piped up “See you later then chaps” and made a break for it to the left, darting out just behind our irate D.I. The young corporal spun his head around, nearly lost his cap with the “slashed peak”, and I could see by the expression on his face that he was about to say something but didn’t get a chance because Dusty was too fast for him. The corporal saw Dusty running towards the Group Captain, probably thinking he’s off to ask for a date. The D.I. appeared to be trying to obliterate all thoughts from his head and concentrate on the job of marching us once around the parade square and back in line for the march past the officer taking the salute. He shouted out for us to do an “eyes left” and, yes, you have already guessed, Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller KBE 210th Entry was standing there taking the salute.
With one eye I was looking left as ordered but the other eye was looking at the expression on the D.I.’s face. “Gob-smacked” would probably capture it best.
I wonder if we will have the same D.I. this year?
I have just looked at the date, we all signed on 46 years ago tomorrow, 4th September 1967, SOCIT TUUM.
See you all there,
210 Entry Car Badge
Can anyone who has a 210 Entry car badge let me have a good hi-res photo of it as I would like to make a bolt on badge for my car.
If I do a good job ……. HELLO I was a craft apprentice in the 210th Entry; WHEN I have done a good job I will let you know and maybe I can send a badge insert to you in return for a short story on here.
I got lots of practice using WordPress whilst on holiday in Florida …… not!
I am however getting practice now and I will monitor the security measures I have installed. There were 7 of us from the 210th at the Ex-brat Reunion in the morning and one late-comer in the afternoon, it was lucky for him that Spike wasn’t there with his 252’s. It would have been nice to have seen a few more faces but maybe next time or we could have our own reunion? I have added a few photos that I took, 24 of over 200, I’ll add a few more later.
ps. Spike I am only joking, it would be great to see you at the next reunion.