D M ROGERSON
SOUTHAMPTON SO31 8DF
Tel : 01703 402846
To all of you who lent me their treasured photos of those halcyon days at Fontainebleau a big thank you. These have been copied and the collection is now a massive 60 pages. Most of you have seen the bulk of these and for those who haven't they will be circulated in your direction very soon. All I ask is that you take care of them when in your possession and pack them well when sending them on. If anyone has more photos please send them for inclusion is this pictorial record. There is a section in full colour of recent photos of comrades. Those who have not provided one please get looking and send one along.
Thoughts are turning to a re-union. There appears to be strong support for this among our 20 plus "members" so I would ask you to complete the enclosed questionnaire and return it to me.
Many of our buddies returned to their areas of origin. Given the mobility of labour in these modern times this I found surprising but it has helped in tracing people.
There follows a brief personnel update :-
David Allan returned to AFCENT in Holland following a few postings after Fontainebleau. Whilst there his health deteriorated. After demob David worked for the Gloucestershire Probation Service, from which he retired in 1986 when he had a triple by pass. From a recent photo both David and Dorothy looked very fit and well. David was awarded the MBE.
Ted Caton who worked with Stan Fenney et al in Sir Basil's office returned to administration initially with Essex County Council after his demob in 1954. His claim to fame is as the author of a book about his National Service "An Erk's Eye View". With help from a publisher the book should hit the bookstalls in the Spring. To avoid disappointment please shop early. Ted lives with his wife Ann in Chelmsford
Peter Chatten went into teaching among other things after demob and retired to his native Norfolk where he lives with his wife Nancy.
Stan Fenney is back in his native Wales with his wife Betty - remember her as the NAAFI Deputy manageress at Fontainebleau ? Stan has not enjoyed the best of health recently having had cataracts removed from both eyes. He has contracted diabetes and is waiting for treatment for a prostate condition.
Les Goddard is still working and resides with his wife Jean in a picturesque Hampshire village. Last year he underwent an operation and has recovered well. We last met a couple of years ago and he and Jean both looked well and were in good form.
Roy Howard was working on a North Sea oil rig about 20 years ago when he sustained a nasty accident. Roy now lives in Holland with his Dutch wife who nursed him after his accident. Ted Caton has spoken to Roy on the phone. Both Ted and I have written to Roy and await a reply.
John Higgs left the RAF with the rank of Sqd. Ldr and is now running his own Accounting practice in Marlow. He paid a visit here in December with his wife Barbara and we took up where we left off in the mid 50s. John hasn't changed. He made initial contact through my Channel 4 appeal.
Ian “Jerry” Jerome lives in Swindon. He has written me a couple of letters and is still part of the national workforce that is helping to keep us pensioners.
Alan Lake went into sports journalism when he left the RAF and is now living with Hazel, his wife in Plympton, Devon. He has a daughter who played on the tennis circuit and is now coaching in USA.
Robin Lees, Sir Basil's ADC has been contacted by Ted Caton and has written a foreward for his book. He retired in the mid 80s as a Air Vice Marshal.
Les Massey returned to Leicester after demob and raised a family of 6 children. He is now enjoying retirement with his wife Vera. He contacted me when he saw my appeal on Channel 4's Teletext and is now waiting for his entry to appear on the screen - page 682 if you would like to tune in. The entries are changed every Sunday. Les took a trip to Rotherham to seek out George Potts and Alec Green with whom he worked in the Comms Dept. With some help from the local paper he found George but alas Alec passed on 9 years ago.
Eddie Parkin lives with his wife Kathleen in Barnsley. He will be 78 this year. Pity about his football team fighting to survive in the Premiership. He attends regular Apprentice reunions.
Peter Prentice is living near Chelmsford. He has retired from the Fire Brigade and has had 2 hip replacements and is waiting for an op on his knees. Some will remember Peter as a keen athlete in his youth.
George Potts is widowed and lives in Rotherham having retired recently.
Dick Rogers is still as chirpy as ever. He left the RAF when he was given an overseas posting to Germany which he found unacceptable - who can blame him - he had already served his time at El Adem in Libya. Like a few others he is living in Gloucester with his wife Shirley. Dick has offered to help in organising a re-union.
David “Danny” Rogerson (the nickname was given because of the resemblance to Danny Kaye.) After demob I joined Cunard where I had a wonderful 40 years before retiring prematurely in 1994. This AAFCE hunt arose when I received a letter from Ted Caton whose wife, Ann found at the back of a drawer a letter I wrote him in 1960 and to which he had not replied. Ted's letter arrived 40 years almost to the day of my demob. I am living in my native Southampton with my wife Jean, a Liverpool lass.
Bill Rudman lives happily in Manchester with Anne, supports City and still works but not for much longer. He recently injured his back at work and was on the injured list for a few weeks.
Bernard Spencer retired to Keighley where he now lives on his own having lost his wife a few years ago.
Ron Vaughan was tracked down in Glastonbury where he lives with his wife Marjorie.
Tony Wallis emigrated to Canada and maintains contact with Alan Lake
Morris Watt is another one of the Gloucester pack. He sent me a family photo with his 2 young sons taken in 1958. Morris tells me that both sons followed him into the RAF and have now retired having attained the rank of Warrant Officer - unbelievable that those 2 youngsters have retired already. Regrettably Morris lost his wife some years ago.
Tom Weatherley returned to Darlington where he lives with his wife Eileen. He has shown a lot of interest in his AAFCE connection, although most of our circle left before he arrived in mid 1955.
It is sad to report that the following have passed on to the large RAF hangar in the sky:
Paddy “Flawless” Lawless approx 1987
Peter Griffiths with lung cancer quite a long time ago
Alec Green, 9 years ago
Please let me have your comments on this Newsletter and say if you would like to receive future Newsletters. To make this exercise worthwhile I must have items from you to include in future Editions.
Please forgive any errors or omissions.
Tracers are out for Ron Crosthwaite, Dave “Killer” Evans, Brian Simpson, and Derek “Del” Smith. I have an address for our CO Wing Cdr RGM Walker and he will be invited to any Reunion we may arrange."