Digby - RCAF Digby
Updated: 3 Mar 08
CHAPTER 4 - AFTER THE WAR
a. 1945 - Jan 1948
It is not clear when the Squadrons vacated Ashby de la Launde Hall, which had been used as an Officers' Mess and also was home to the Stn Accounts Flight. However we do know that the Hall fell into disrepair and was derelict until 1961.
In 1947 parts of RAF College came to Digby where it was to shape the life of the station for nearly 6 years.
Early in 1946, the RAF Post-war ?Change? committee which had been set up to consider and make recommendations on the future structure of the service reported to the Air Member for Personnel that in the light of war experience, the duties of the Equipment Branch should be extended and would include appointments to a number of senior administrative posts. The same committee envisaged a ?? in ?? for officers in the new Secretarial Branch. It also recommended that the permanent officers of both branches should obtained by direct entry from civilian life in a similar procedure to that of the RAF College GD entry.
The standard and type of training required by the permanent officers of those branches were considered by an Air Ministry Working Party, convened by the DGT. It decided that the standard of training to be given to the Equipment and Secretarial Cadets should be the level of that obtaining for entrants to the GD Branch and that the pattern of training should be closely allied to that of the RAF College.
The project was submitted to the Air Council by the Air Member for Training and in September 1946, the establishment of a Wing of the RAF College to train permanent officers for the Equipment and Secretarial Branches was approved. It was agreed that the Wing should be described as the Equipment and Secretarial Wing, RAF College, and its development would be the responsibility of the Commandant, RAF College within Flying Training Command.
Accommodation at the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell was only sufficient to cater for the planned numbers of Cadets entering the GD Branch. However, it was decided, in view of its proximity to Cranwell, that Digby should be the home of the new Wing of the College.
In February 1947, Wing Headquarters was set up temporarily at RAF Cranwell and Group Captain R G Seymour CBE was posted in as Assistant Commandant. He was joined by Wing Commander A C Boycott, designated as Deputy Director of Studies of the RAF College. This officer had previously served on the Tutorial Staff of the College in 1937. Thereafter the Wing Staff was gradually built up to an initial establishment designed to cater for the first intake of Cadets due at the beginning of the College Summer Term 1947.
The number of cadets reporting for the first entry fell far short of the planned intake and it was decided that the opening of the new Wing should be deferred until the Winter Term 1947. This respite afforded to the College Staff enabled them to give more attention to the solution of administrative problems and to the preparation of a detailed syllabus, and to study more closely the development of the new venture. The first entry of Cadets for the Equipment and Secretarial Branches was duly attested with No 49 entry of Cadets for the GD Branch at the Royal Air Force College on Saturday 4 October 1947. The photographs at Figs 9 and 10 show Group Captain Seymour and his original staff and the members of the first entry.
Basic training as designed for General Service subjects, for Humanistics and for Administration were common to Cadets at Cranwell and Digby. The Wing was to play its part in all College extramural activities and to contribute its quota to representative College games and athletics teams.
The Unit was now controlled by Cranwell and remained under its care until 1 February 1948, when another Training School moved in.
The Secretarial Branch Training Establishment and Equipment Officers’ School (SBTE and EOS), which had been at RAF Hereford, moved to RAF Digby on 1 Feb 1948.
Digby Oral Histories:
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