British airman clerk served with Headquarters, Home Command, RAF at White Waltham in GB, 1955-1957
REEL 1 Recollections of background in Wakefield, 1937-1955: family background and social circumstances; effects of war, 1939-1945, including food rationing, first impressions of gas mask as baby, question of German air raids and evacuee from London; education; clerical training, 1951-1952; street party, 1945; work as clerk with National Coal Board, 1952-1955; registration, tests and call up procedure, 10/1955. Kitting out at Recruit Receiving Centre, Cardington, 10/1955. Recollections of conditions of service, lifestyle and daily routine during basic training as airman at Wilmslow, 10/1955-12/1955: train journey and reception; hut accommodation and bed blocks; food rations; morning routine and breakfast; drill.
REEL 2 Continues: lectures; PT; rifle and Bren gun training; gas chamber test; first aid; preparing for kit and room inspections; relationship with recruits, instructors and officers; canteen and pay; story of wealthy recruit burning greatcoat whilst ironing; passing out parade; question of training as clerk/typist and consequent status as senior aircraftman with extra pay.
REEL 3 Recollections of clerical course at Creddon Hill, 12/1955-1/1956: training in setting out documents; secrecy training; role of registry and carbon copies; assessment procedure; opinion of instructor; leave; question of overseas service. Recollections of period as senior aircraftman clerical typist at Headquarters, Home Command, RAF, White Waltham, 1/1956-10/1957: conditions of service; seniority of officers; food rations; routine duties including typing and taking shorthand notes; role dealing with secret information relating to assignment of personnel to nuclear tests on Christmas Islands and security precautions; sending secret information via teleprinter room; variable hours of work; duties assisting on telephone exchange and ban on overhearing calls; story of airsickness during recreational flight in Anson.
REEL 4 Continues: sporting activities and recreations; visits to café owned by Diana Dors; pay canteen; visits to bowling alley; story of fraud by airman and subsequent court martial; story of drunken officer; relationship with officers; hut accommodation; fire drill; enjoyment of service and question of staying in RAF with promotion to corporal. Demobilisation, 10/1957. Post-service career: return to work for National Coal Board; acclimatisation to civilian lifestyle; minimal reserve commitment; question of contacting old comrades; value of national service.