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96 Entry        28 March 1967 - 1 August 1969

40th Anniversary Dinner RAF Club

Commandant :AVM T N Stack  CBO CBE AFC        Graduation Reviewing Officer :Generale Duilio S Fanali (Chief of Air Staff Italian Air Force)

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AKEHURST Paul    (A)

ANDERSON Keith    (A)

APPLETON Simon    (B)

ARCHER Derek    (B)

BAIRSTOW Graham    (C)

BALDWIN Colin    (A)

Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Prince    (D)

BATES Howard    (B)

BOTTERY  Peter  

BOWDEN  David    (C)

BRADSHAW John    (B)

CALDER Richard    (D)

CANT Andrew    (A)

CARTLIDGE Jeremy    (B)

CHACKSFIELD Anthony    (A)

CLARK John    (A)

COLE  Richard    (B)

COLEMAN  Ian    (C)

COLLIER Robert    (A)

DAVIES Martin    (A)

DEACON- ELLIOT Robert    (D)

DERBYSHIRE Paul    (A)

DUNMORE Anthony    (C)

EVANS Christopher    (B)

EVERITT Christopher    (C)

FOSTER Frank    (D)

HAMER John    (D)

HANDYSIDE Bruce    (D)

HARDIE David    (A)

HARDING Peter    (D)

HODGSON George    (B)

HOUSEMAN William    (A)

HUGHES Charles    (B)

HUNT  Simon    (C)

HUNTER Neil    (C)

HUNTER Robert    (D)

JOYNER Colin    (A)

KILMINSTER  Malcolm    (B)

LAWRENCE Richard    (B)

LEIGH Bruce    (C)

MANN Anthony    (C)

Matthews  Alan    (A)

McCARTNEY John    (A)

METCALFE Wilson    (D)

MINTER Peter    (B)

MORRIS Christopher    (C)

NEO Chwee    (C)

PAGE Brian    (B)

PARK Alan    (B)

PEARSON James    (C)

PROCTOR Alan    (D)

RADLEY Robert     (A)

RAIMONDO Joseph    (D)

SAIFURRAHMAN Zahoor    (B)

SARGENT John    (A)

SCOTT Peter    (C)

SEFTON  David    (C)

SHEWRY Martin    (D)

SIMPSON William    (D)

SPALDING  Ian    (D)

SUMMERS Terence    (B)

THORPE Glenn    (B)

WADE Charles    (B)

WARREN  Richard    (D)

WATERFALL Edwin    (D)

WOMPHREY John    (B)

Reunion Weekend 2017

Reunion Weekend 2007

Church Parade 22 June 1969

Graduation  1969

Graduation Reviewing Officer Generale Duilio S Fanali

(Chief of Air Staff Italian Air Force)

John Burgoyne Clarke arrived as a budding pilot on 96 entry A squadron, on which Squadron I also arrived as a budding engineer.  As became clear over time, John’s claims to fame were that he was a great stage actor, a magnificent table tennis player and a terrible pilot.  Which was a shame because he was at Cranwell to be trained as a pilot and not as a stage actor or a table tennis player.  John was one of the most likeable and self effacing people that it has been my privilege to have known, and he would happily tell terrible stories about himself.  Many times he divulged that he thought that he would never be commissioned as a pilot – and told everyone why it was the case.  On one occasion, he recounted, he was flying in a Jet Provost in the Cranwell area with an instructor.  J, according to himself, was, as usual, hopelessly lost – and the instructor knew it! ‘Clarke’ said the instructor to him – ‘what is the airfield that we are approaching.’  Knowing that at some stage he had been flying vaguely north, John admitted to replying ‘Scampton, Sir’.  ‘Negative’ said the instructor who obviously had an evil streak ‘Guess again!’ ‘Fulbeck, Sir’ guessed J.  ‘No Clarke’ said the instructor, and inverted the aircraft.  ‘That, Clarke, is Cranwell, your home airfield!’

John eventually did get commissioned in the GDP branch in 1969.  About 6 years after we were commissioned - around November 1975 - I was duty engineer at RAF Luqa in MaIta, bored to tears and hanging around in the Officers Mess bar (remember those occasions?). Who should I chance to meet in the bar but John.    And he was not wearing his pilot’s wings!  I couldn’t help but ask why he no longer sported his wings, which were of course highly prized by pilots.  The tale that he told was typical John – honest, obviously truthful and you could not help but laugh like a drain at it.  He has been posted onto a Squadron at Oakington which flew Varsities – an elderly twin engined aircraft used for meteorological, training and sundry work, known in more basic RAF language as Pigs.  After a few weeks he had reported for duty in the morning at the Squadron and had been assigned an aircraft and a mission.  Having signed for the aircraft and done rudimentary checks, he took off – to be told by the air traffic control immediately after taking off to ‘Turn immediately and land’.  This is only used in dire emergencies and he did as he was told – to find that both engines cut out immediately the aircraft landed on the runway.  It was then, he said, that he noticed that he had no fuel – and that he was in the wrong aircraft!  Shortly afterwards, he said, he was given what he described as a ‘one sided’ interview and asked if he would not prefer to take up an administrative, rather than a flying post.  

I never saw John again and shortly afterwards I heard that he had been killed in a motorcycle accident.

Earlier this year, I read an article that stated that he had died in 1973.  Knowing that this date must be wrong, I did some basic research. What I found surprised me - John had died on 3 February 1973 in North Yorkshire in a motorcycle accident, apparently driving into a tree. His RAF records and the death certificate agree these details.

Which ties all the details up nicely, apart from the obvious one.  How the hell do I have such strong memories of meeting him in uniform in the Officers Mess at RAF Luqa in Malta about November 1975 when I was duty officer there at the time and his telling me such a detailed story of his Oakington days, when he died on 3 February 1973 in Yorkshire in a motorcycle accident?

The answer obviously is that I either met him earlier than Feb 73 or that I met someone who knew John and knew that story.  But, for my sins - which admittedly were many and very grievous -  I was posted initially to RAF Staxton Wold 71-73 and thence to Benbecula 73-75.  At neither place am I remotely likely to have seen him, or anyone else who was associated with him. I could not have made up such a detailed story, so the balance of probabilities is that I met someone at a later date who told me the story, but how my mind then determined that I had met him in the Officers Mess bar at RAF Luqa in Malta, I have no idea.  Unless ......

Peter Bottery

Chris Morris, AVM Stack, Alan Matthews, General Fanali, Colin Baldwin.







95 Entry Graduation: Escorts from 96 Entry Alan Matthews & Colin Baldwin

"A" Sqn

Press cuttings: 96 Entry Graduation Parade 1 Aug 69 - local paper by-lines "Going Down" - "Going Off" - there were a number of fainters on the day.

Kai Tak: 96 & 97 Entry Equipment & Supply Wing Far East Tour.


Front Row:

Peter Bottery; Bert Neo; David Bowden; Colin Baldwin.


Back Row:

David Sefton;David Evans; Alan Matthews.

Bottom Step:

David Bowden; Frank Foster; Peter Minter; Keith Anderson; Chris Morris.


Second Step:

David Sefton; Brian Page; John Hardie.


Back Row:

Dick Cole; Martin Davies; Ian Coleman; Alan Matthews; Colin Joyner; Jake Pearson; Simon Appleton.

Entry Prize Winners