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Short Description for The 92nd Entry Window

In the centre is the 92nd Entry official insignia, the apprentice wheel badge with eagle and the period at Halton. The shield, with 3 wing colours, represents the period of division when we were billeted across the 3 wings and the 3 squadrons within those wings. The Laurel Leaves represent our achievements in workshops, schools and sport. The latin Motto "MANU ET SCIENTIFICA" translates to "WITH SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE"

In the background is the Chiltern Hills with its beech woods. Above is a sunset sky, turning to a night sky with geometric shapes representing the minds of innovative engineers. The constellation of the Plough and Pole Star represent a guide or aiming point for future acheivement.




The Window to commemorate the 92nd Entry was designed and installed by Keith Barley in 2004.  Keith is a Master Glazier and his work can be seen at  Beverley Minster, Ely Cathedral and Southwell Minster among others as well as other historic builings across the country. The dedication service for the window was held in St George's Church RAF Halton on Sunday 3rd April 2005 attended by a small number of  entry members accompanied by their wives and partners. During the service Roger Stigant gave a brief history of the entry's acheivements, a copy of Roger's speech is below.


92ND ENTRY  WINDOW DEDECATION SERVICE SUNDAY 3 APRIL 2005

The 92nd formed on the 19th May, 46 years ago, 195 innocent youths were disgorged from trains at Wendover, to embark on “The Big Adventure” to become Aircraft Apprentices.

After signing on the dotted line, we instantly began the business of converting to a military life. Marched back to our bed spaces, it was off with those civvies and on with brown baggy overalls. We parceled up our own clothes in brown paper to be sent back home to our parents. So began three years which were to shape the rest of our lives.

We all have so many memories of those three years, good and bad, here are just a few. Boots, not just to be polished, but glazed; shirts that required studs to hold collars, new and stiff just like spring steel; Bumpers, floor polish and cries of “ get off the center deck!” Ablutions and scouring powder; Blanket packs and kit inspections; NAAFI tea and Nelson Squares with pink icing.

Having been split up into three wings, we met at schools as comparative strangers, not really knowing our fellow entry members. Eventually, the big wing re-organisation took place. 1 and 2 Wing apprentices had to parade with their kit, like refugees, and then marched off to 3 Wing to join up with those already there. After a few months we all returned together in 1 Wing. As a result of this saga, it is noted that one Paddy Taylor, had possibly the unique claim of having been in three different squadrons, as well as, all three Wings.

That Wing change was fundamental in our bonding as a complete and proper entry. Hence, almost three years later, the three wing colours were chosen as the centre piece of our insignia, and as depicted now, on our stained glass window.

Before gaining our own entry pride or spirit, we had to run the gauntlet or the senior entries inflicting their pranks upon us. One notable morning we awoke to find our boots and shoes missing. Block10’s were piled up in the baths, while Block 11’s were discovered on the roof of the gymnasium in the configuration of 84.

Sporting activities played a big part in our training. But first, we had to face the physical torture, running or staggering around the hills surrounding Halton, with the PTI’s baying at our heels with frantic encouragement. As time passed, nearly all members found some kind of sport to suit their physique. During our time here, 52 members of the entry represented the School in a diverse range of sports, from Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling Cross Country, Fencing, Hockey, Rugby, Shooting, Soccer, Swimming and water Polo. We have some very fit guys here today.

In 1961, a team from the entry took part in the Ten Tors Expedition, pitted against 160 other uniformed youth organisations for a 50 mile navigation and endurance trek around Dartmoor, to be completed in 24 hours. The team were informed “it was not a race”, that was soon forgotten! The entry came in 2nd, right on the heels of the Royal marine Cadets, and it is nice to see that half the old team is here today.

An adventure of a different kind was the summer camp at Penhale Sands, in Cornwall. We had a British Rail train to ourselves – those were the days. This camp was to be our introduction to field kitchens and learning to live in the field or in this case – sand dunes. Yes, we still had the usual duties, mess serving, loo’s and litter patrol. There was some map work on Bodmin Moor with some escape and evasion games. However, it was a change of scenery and the weather was good.

The main direction of life here at Halton, was of course the technical training in workshops, and the completion of our education in schools. The going was tough and exacting. But, the instruction was second to none for that era, the majority, if not all members, have benefitted well from this intense period of learning.

The Bands, we will not forget. They eased our weary way up and down the hill, crossing main point under the glare of Warrant officer Joe Bollard. The 92nd had great characters in the band – Ginge Makepeace, the outstanding pipe major and Big Bill Brown thumping the bass drum. But, who remembers November 1961, listening to the Remembrance Service from the Cenotaph in London? Our trumpet major, Barney, was doing his stuff. His playing that day was of the highest order. Apparently a recording can still be obtained from the BBC archives, (at a price).

Two further events, held before Christmas 1961. In the first the entry showed its enterprise and generosity in organizing and financing a party for 40 children from local orphanages. The second event was a competition to find the best decorated room for Christmas. The Flight Commander was most impressed by the well constructed Santa’s Grotto in one of the rooms. Hover, he did not know the escape committee had hidden a fare quantity of alcohol in it, which was consumed after lights out.

April 1962 – Final Exams and results. Well surprise, surprise, it seems, on the whole we did very well, the Commandant reported that the entry had achieved the lowest wastage rate on technical training and the highest pass- on-time rate for many years. Wally Epton got a cadetship and is still piloting aircraft today. Incidentally, Wally was the last to hold the rank of Warrant Officer Apprentice. Mick Jones and Geordie Butters went off to be commissioned, five guys passed out as corporals and 96 got accelerated promotion.

These results underlined our motto, which translated from Latin means – By Skill and By Knowledge. The day of our passing out parade was grey and damp, but that did not prevent the entry from putting on, what the reviewing officer called “A first class parade”.

Celebrations were completed at the entry dance, entertained by Johnny Dankworth and his orchestra in the California Ballroom, Dunstable. At that point our paths diverged across the world, until today, which probably sees the largest number of the entry gathered in one place.

It is fitting, that now, when we look up to these windows, we find our presence here is recorded by our own Entry Window.

Roger Stigant

The entry would like to express a debt of gratitude to Roger for taking on the window project and ensuring that our window will be a lasting legacy of the 92nd Entry’s contribution to the Royal Air Force Aircraft Apprentice Scheme. Sadly Roger passed away before he could read this. Finally, a big thank you to all 92nd Entry members whose generous donations made this possible.