1119 (Shrewsbury) Squadron ATC
Success Through Dedicaton

1119 Squadron History

Flt Lt Graham Barre

February 1941

Flying officer Winlaw represented the Air ministry at a meeting held with Sir Offley Wakeman to discuss the formation of an ATC unit in Shrewsbury. On Friday 14th of February, boys between the ages of 16 and 18 attended a meeting at Shrewsbury Technical College to register interest in the Air Training Corps, The Mayor of Shrewsbury reported that 150 boys filled in preliminary enrolment forms.

March 1941

The Official formation of the squadron took place on the 1 March 1941 and occupied a group of Huts on the Technical college grounds adjacent to the Shrewsbury Town Football Club stadium. The Priory School became the regular meeting place soon after. The first squadron commander was Eric E. Morgan, a solicitor and an ex - RNAS officer. The Squadron adjutant was Fg Off A C Wales. There was a Medical examination required and a compulsory PT test where the following requirements needed to be met. Run 100 yards (91.4 meters) in 13 seconds, High jump 4 feet. Long jump 15 feet. Clear 4ft 3inches with any style of vault. Run 1 mile in 6 minutes. Walk 5 miles in 1hr 10 min’s. Classes were given in Armourment, Aircraft Identification, Maths, Morse code and Navigation.

May 1941

Almost all the employers in the town had re-arranged cadets working hours to permit them attending the Squadron twice a week and one evening at the weekend. Plt Off Baldwin, a fighter Pilot attended one Sunday parade to answer questions from cadets. The squadron strength peaked at 185 cadets.

June 1941

The Comrades of the Royal Air Forces association donated £20 (equivalent of approx £1000 in today’s money).

July 1941

In the July 70 cadets attended RAF Shawbury for their first station visit, followed closely by RAF Condover

August 1941

In August Parade Nights were Mondays Thursdays and Fridays, with further classes on Saturday and Sunday Evenings. There were also church parades most weekends. Lieutenant Commander A Goodfellow (Royal Navy) attended the squadron to give a presentation on the Fleet Air Arm.

On August 30th the squadron held its inter flight sports competition with members of Wrekin and Ellesmere squadrons taking part in the open events.

October 1941

Uniforms became available to all cadets by the October.

November 1941

Cadets Attended RAF Shawbury, Many cadets took the opportunity to try out the browning Machine gun, whilst the most regularly attending cadets got to fly in an RAF Bomber. Later the same month two Parties visited RAF Rednal and were shown around Spitfires.

By the end of the year the entry age was reduced to 15 ½ years.

Overall 1942

The squadron strength had grown to include another flight consisting of pupils from the Priory School and 80% of cadets in the squadron had shown a keenness to be Pilots.

The first former cadet of the squadron to become a pilot was Eric Charles Hughes. He was killed in action over Holland flying in a Stirling I with 218 squadron on 26th June 1943 (This was the 2nd 1000 bomber raid on Bremen).

The summer camp hailed what was to be a regular tradition for 1119 in that they were the best squadron present.

By the beginning of this year the squadron had had 67 cadets join the RAF, 3 in the Fleet Air Arm and another 41 obtaining deferred entry service into the RAF. Cadets were entitled to wear a white flash on their service caps should they be accepted by the RAF for Pilot training.

October 1942

October saw the formation of a flight at Minsterley (also Known as Rea Valley) attached to the squadron.

The age limit for joining the ATC was reduced to 15 years 3 months although uniforms still would still not be issued until cadets were 15 1/2.

November 1942

County ATC Cup final (1/05/1942)

Flt. Lt. Morgan re-enlists in the Fleet Air Arm, and H. Haughton takes command. football team competes in the county ATC cup

Overall 1943

By the beginning of this year the squadron had had 67 cadets join the RAF, 3 in the Fleet Air Arm and another 41 obtaining deferred entry service into the RAF. Cadets were entitled to wear a white flash on their service caps if, they had been accepted by the RAF for Pilot training. Cadets accepted by the RAF, but who had not passed their proficiency exams, were entitled to wear a “V” on their sleeve. Cadets from the squadron attended a summer camp at RAF Wymswold in Leicestershire. The squadron had several Glider flights at Longmynd.

The squadron had station visits to RAF Shawbury RAF Rednal and RAF Condover.

Overall 1944

In June the squadron strength was 136 with a strong band. Meetings were held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (for swimming). Coaching in boxing took place on Wednesdays. The squadron flights were rearranged as follows No 1 (school) No’s 2 and 3 town flights with the 4th being detached at Minsterley. The squadron attended two main summer camps at RAF Tilstock and RAF Halfpenny Green. A further 4 cadets attended a camp at RAF Pershore. There were also Station visits to RAF Shawbury and RAF Condover

Overall 1945

27 cadets visited RAF Shawbury in July. .Merit prize awarded to Cpl Morgan. Summer camp was held at RAF Shawbury 41 cadets attended. 22 from the school flight.10 from Minsterley and 9 from the town flight. Town flight stood down in September – the squadron maintaining its existence through the Priory school flight and Minsterley flight. The Band and training equipment was transferred to Minsterley and Squadron colours went to School flight.

Overall 1946

Flt Lt H Houghton resigns to take up an overseas appointment. The squadron was taken over by Flt Lt F H J Wilkins who managed to obtain temporary accommodation at the T.A centre in Longdon Coleham. A publicity/ recruiting campaign was initiated and enough cadets were enrolled to rebuild the town flight. Minsterley flight continued to parade 20 cadets

Overall 1947

30 places allocated to squadron at RAF Valley for annual camp on 3rd – 10th August. Due to difficulties in reforming, 1193 (North Shropshire) squadron Ellesmere flight became attatched to the squadron but after three months the flight disbanded. Paraded at RAF Cosford on 6th June. Visited RAF Bridgnorth. Cadets reached the finals in Swimming, Athletics and Shooting. A football team entered the local league with little success. Squadron presented with ensign by Air Commodore D’eath in December and colours dedicated at Meole Brace Church. Cadets had some 5½ hour flights out of RAF Shawbury. The squadron was forced to vacate the drill hall by the end of March so hastily relocated at the Abbey Congregational Church Schoolrooms opposite the Technical College in Abbey Foregate. The squadron attended RDF day.

Overall 1948

Two 0.22 calibre rifles were allocated to the squadron. Annual camp at St Athan during 1st – 8th August attended by 42 cadets. Six other cadets attended Valley with 1130 (Wrekin) squadron. Winners of both county and wing athletics championships held at Ellerdine. Squadron football team lost to Wellington Squadron in the final of the county football championship. During this year the entry age was reduced to 14. Winners of the Challenge shield for boxing between the Town’s ATC, ACF and TA units. Cadets attended a parade at RAF Cosford. The squadron had two visits to RAF Shawbury and another to a factory in Castle Bromwich.

Overall 1949

Cadets from the squadron took part in the ATC Boxing championships in Edinburgh. Received visit from the local M.P, and the Mayor. Commanding Officer F.H.J Wilkins was promoted to Sqn. Leader to take on the District Inspecting Officer role. Squadron band restarted. Squadron made news in national newspapers for an endurance test *. For the second year running both county and wing athletics championships were secured. Cadets returned to RAF St Athan for summer camp.

Overall 1950

The county athletics Trophy was won for the third year in succession however the wing trophy was shared with Worcester squadron with cadet Clowes obtaining three first places. The summer camp at St Eval was cancelled at short notice and relocated at St Athan from 20 to 27th August. The squadron played host to the Civil Flying Corps (later the Civil Air Patrol). Both F/O G.A Jones and F/O J Gollins assumed temporary command until the appointment of L Hayton.

Overall 1951

The Squadron was relocated into purpose built accommodation adjacent to the R.O.C depot on London Road. The Summer camp took place at RAF Weeton from 5th to 13th August, 20 cadets attended . A Link trainer was provided in the new premises however, use was to be limited to cadets of proficiency grade.

Overall 1952

Squadron numbers increased to allow the reintroduction of 3 flights within the squadron. During the March examinations the squadron achieved the highest marks within the group. Two summer camps had been allocated this year, 13 cadets attended RAF Llandaff from July 26th to August 2nd and at RAF Dyce where 26 cadets attended from 9th to 16th August. Nominated by Wing for the Lees Trophy. An Aero modelling club introduced.

Overall 1953

20 cadets attended RAF Llandaff during the period 8th - 15th August. Link trainer still in good use. Flt.Lt. Hayton retires and F/O Jarvis is promoted to Commanding Officer. 5 cadets from the squadron represent 63 group football team (i.e. regional team).

Overall 1954

The Squadron received a De Havilland Mosquito NF38 as a gate Guardian/ Training aid (see other History). The unit came 1st in the Shropshire area youth athletics competition. During the summer, played hosts to the Canadian Air cadets on visit to the country. 28 cadets attended RAF Pembrey for Annual Camp

Overall 1955

New style shoulder flashes had been issued this year. The annual camp was at RAF Valley during 20th – 27th August and a training camp took place at RAF Tern Hill. The squadron hosted the Canadian Air cadets during the summer. TAFA indicates that squadron will have to be relocated again.

Overall 1956

Flt Lt Adam took over from Flt Lt Jarvis. Regular shooting had taken place at Priory School. Summer camp was at RAF Wyton from 18 to 25 August with 1 cadet getting a flight in a Canberra. 2nd overall at wing sports

Overall 1957

Summer camp attended at RAF Chivenor during which 2 cadets obtained flights in Vampire aircraft. CDT Cpl Brown won a gold medal at the ATC athletic championships and received his ATC Blue. Attendance evenings changed to try and attract new cadets. Special feature appeared in Shrewsbury Chronicle (in mid Feb.) In an attempt to retain good cadets who are over age the squadron created an ‘under officer’ grade

Overall 1958

The squadron had been instructed to remove their gate guardian from the premises by TAFA. 20 cadets attended summer camp at RAF Kinloss. The ATC first mentions the grade of Cadet Warrant Officer for cadets of 19 years and older. Cadets had started to be issued with Battle Dress style uniforms. Flt. Lt Adam emigrated to Canada in this year and Flt Lt Nicholls took command. Much Wenlock squadron attending squadron Wednesdays for instruction and classes were held at Church Stretton on Fridays.

Overall 1959

F/ O Morgan starts a detached flight at Baschurch. The Annual dinner was held at The Old Post Office. 46 cadets attended the AOC’s parade at Worcester. Summer camp was at RAF Wittering from 22-8-59 to 29-8-59. Photography club started and aircraft modelling club started.

Overall 1960

Summer camp at RAF Locking. Winners of the senior athletics cup runners up in both intermediate and junior athletics. Squadron status increased to class ‘B’ Flt Lt Nicholls escorted ATC cadets to the USA as part of the reciprocal visit scheme. An air gun range was built on premises. The annual dinner had been deferred to the beginning of 61 at ‘Britannia Hotel’. F/Sgt’s Braddick and Strefford were promoted to C.W.O. – the first cadets to achieve this rank in the Squadron. Nominated for the ‘Sir Alan Lees Trophy’

Overall 1961

Detached flight Officially opened at Church Stretton. Flight Sgt Furr selected for Reciprocal visit to Canada. Winners of the senior sports. Winners of Wing best squadron. 22 cadets at RAF Henlow attended Summer Camp. Duke of Edinburgh award scheme started with cdt Williams gaining the squadron’s first award. Town unit split into 2 flights named Bader & Cheshire. Again nominated for the Sir Alan Lees Trophy

Overall 1962

Annual dinner held at the Britannia Hotel. CWO Strefford, F/Sgt Bridges and Sgt A. Evans formed the Colour party at Worcester Cathedral for the Newly presented ATC banner The colours were Flown by Helicopter from Lichfield to Worcester for the ceremony with by Pilot Officer Stringfellow. Annual camp was at RAF Ballykelly. Third detached flight created at Shawbury. Link trainer now deemed unserviceable and disposed of.

Overall 1963

The squadron having taken on Market Drayton flight was up to six flights (4 detached).

Cdt Martin attended the ATC championships for Boxing. Cdt Howard France won the junior 50m free style event at the ATC championships held at Cardiff in a time of 30.2 seconds.

Officers and cadets from the Town squadron provided the guard of honour for the Queen Mother on her visit to the town.

Summer camps were held at RAF Conningsby 24.8.63 - 31.8.63 and RAF Linton On Ouse 10.8.63 - 17.8.63.

August 1963

Summer Camp at RAF Conningsby

March 1964

The 1119 empire again expanded by the addition of Wenlock Edge to the detached flight list. This flight was originally with 1200 (Borough of Wenlock) Squadron. and subsequently a DF off 2379 Dawley squadron

April 1964

The numbers were soon reduced however with the stand down of Market Drayton. Wing review held at Shrewsbury and took place in the Quarry. Work started on moving the Squadron again this time back to Coleham Riding School although this time with separate premises. Work began on the Radio Telescope this year (see other history).

July 1964

Summer camps were split over three weeks at RAF Syerston 19 cadets from Shrewsbury & Baschurch 18-25/7/64.

August 1964

8 from Wenlock Edge went the following week finally a further 9 cadets from Shawbury & Church Stretton attended from the week beginning 8-8-64.

November 1964

Cdt Cpl H France once again reached the finals of the ATC swimming Championships coming second in the 100 meters freestyle event.

Overall 1965

Church Stretton Flight closed due to low attendance. Annual Dinner was held at The ‘Shropshire Lad’. Summer Camp was at RAF Wattisham 24 – 31.7.65 and attended by 25 cadets. Cdt B Belcher gained a Corps Blue for rugby against a Birkenhead Colts XV By the end of the year Flt Lt Nicholls had stood down as CO due to work commitments although stayed on the Squadron staff. Flt Lt G E T Stringfellow took over in November. 18 cadets visited the Science Museum in London.

Overall 1966

The remaining three detached flights at Shawbury, Wenlock Edge and Baschurch closed this Year. The Radio Telescope came into operation at the end of the year. Hosted Air Cadets from the continent for IACE. 2nd in drill competition. 20 cadets attended summer camp held at RAF Wyton during the week commencing 30.7.66. Cdt A Smith attended the National ATC Rugby Trials. The RAFA offered to adopt the squadron in this year.

July 1966

The Squadron moved to the Headquarters at Coleham Riding School in the May of 1965 and the AOC Air Commodore Coward officially opened the HQ on the 3rd of July, this year.

Overall 1967

In this year the role of the ATC came under review by the Ministry of Defence and the findings were laid down in the ‘Morris report’. The Radio Telescope had successfully tracked some satellites. A ceremony took place at the HQ between the ATC and the RAFA for the squadron to be nominally adopted. 20 cadets visited Hawker Sidderley Aviation at Chester. Summer camp was held at RAF Kinloss and 6 cadets out of 17 received flights in Shackletons. Cdt Sgt Radforth won first prize in the Battle of Britain Photography competition

Overall 1968

Squadron dinner held at the Prince Rupert hotel. 19 cadets attended summer camp at RAF Luchars from 20 to 27 July. Staff cadet exams were introduced by ATC as a result of the Morris Report. Cdt F/Sgt Radforth achieved first prize in the Battle of Britain Photographic competition for the 2nd year running. RAF Shawbury was given the freedom of the borough this year and the squadron was asked to line the road for the occasion

Overall 1969

2nd in Drill competition. 21 cadets went to RAF Manby during the last week of July for summer camp and came 2nd out of all squadrons attending Manby that summer. Instruction in fencing was under taken by W/O Collins. P/O Reglar was Posted to the Squadron as admin. Officer and wing PRO. W/O Collins obtained his commission. During the Apollo 9 space flight the squadron put on a ‘drop in centre’ where members of the public could come in and check on the progress of the mission with models, star charts and plotted the course of the flight.