PoW Hostel RAF Cosford

Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

Location

RAF Cosford, Albrighton, Wolverhampton WV7 3EX

Description

Site Visits

November 1982 onwards…

Material

Scanned 35mm and DSLR Photos

I joined the Royal Air Force as a Flight Systems Apprentice in October 1982 and served until September 1996:

  • I was at RAF Cosford for 3 years, graduating as a Junior Technician (Lance Corporal), with the Trade Designation of L-Eng Tech FS. Om graduation I was awarded City & Guilds, BTech Ordinary (HNC) and Higher (HND) in Aerospace Engineering (same as US 2 & 3 year, Associate Degrees).
  • From 85 to 88; I was to 7 Squadron HC1 Chinooks at RAF Odiham: the role of this unit now being public domain as UK RAF SF Support. This include working in the electronics repair bay following recovery from serious spinal injury .
  • From 88 to 91; I worked as a Software Engineer on the MR2 Maritime Nimrod Software Team at RAF Kinloss in Morayshire Scotland.
  • From 91 to 96; I worked as a Software Engineer on the E3D AWACS at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire

I left the RAF in 1996 and went to work mainly in the defence sector; including being a member of the Harrier GR9/9A Design Team when working for BAE Systems in Farnborough.

The images shown below are personal ones of my self and two other people from 140 Apprentice Entry at RAF Cosford of myself and two people I have stayed in touch with, plus images of Fulton Block and our Graduation Parade. RAF Cosford was built before WWII as a training camp for ground crew such as me. Over the years the training of others such as Physical Training Instructors (PTI) has been added resulting in facilities that are occasional used to host international competitions. In addition, to training RAF Cosford became hoe to a War Time Reserve Hospital that was based in a large series of wood huts located between the main camp and the Officers Married Quarters. It was mainly this hospital that was associated with and used to hold German Airman prior to repatriation. This hospital lasted until 1981 as such it was gone by the time, I arrived at Cosford.

Finally, I come to the leading image, that of a Harrier GR9A.

The aircraft as photographed is in the RAF Museum. The RAF has two Museum Sites; RAF Cosford and RAF Hendon. During training Ground Crew such as my self older retired aircraft were used as “Instructional Airframes”. Over the years as older IAs were replaced with other aircraft the site began to build up many different aircraft types and eventually the Museum was built with these retired aircraft forming the start of the collect.

My choice of the Harrier GR9A to represent RAF Cosford was very deliberate as I was one of the British Aerospace Aircraft Designers that carried out the very extensive upgrade of the GR7 to the GR9/9A with the aim to keep the Harrier flying long enough to bring the new Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales Carriers into service while waiting for the introduction of the F35B Lightning 2.

Note: although the GR9A was obviously at Cosford when i took my photos of it, this aircraft as of 2019 is at Hendon


Camera Images of the site of former PoW Hostel RAF Cosford