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RAF service numbers

Old 11th Sep 2023, 16:35
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Hairy Mary's went out in 76, and we were issued with the Thunderbirds outfit at Swinditz, some of the WRAF that were on courses at the same time at St Athan had been issued with the old Hairy Mary's and would beg us for pyjamas to wear under them, though other courses coming through had gone over to the new style, those girls in the older kit suffered and 76 was a roasting hot summer, it must have been their basic training stores clearing old stock.
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 13:43
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I was in the school CCF around the time that the Hairy Mary uniform was being phased out of RAF use; we wore it until I left in 1979 and ALWAYS wore pyjama trousers underneath. I can confirm that in hot weather it was near unbearable, and even worn with pyjama trousers you could feel the prickliness. That stuff was also near impossible to iron and whoever thought it would be suitable as a clothing material must have been a sadist or an idiot.

By the time I got to Swinderby in 1980 thankfully the Thunderbird jacket and pseudo-lightweight trousers were the norm, though even those trousers were uncomfortable. I continued wearing pyjama trousers with my No.1 uniform until the day I left.
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 21:56
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RAF Service Numbers

Don't see many Colonials posting here. I joined up in Nairobi in '63 and was 52004** - those at Cerney with me from the UK were 423******* etc. Once attested my father took me straight round to the NAAAFI at Eastleigh to take advantage of my new access to duty free!! I believe Rhodesians/South Africans were 52002**, and I think Aussies/New Zealanders also had a unique number.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 09:29
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Took ID disc to local police station, where after initial surprise at such an unusual situation, the reaction was to put it into lost property and adopt a DFK/DFC attitude.
For future reference, any personal input across the station counter requires name,DOB, address, sex, ethnicity, etc by which time both parties had lost interest in the matter and bade each other good day - at least, he was humorous enough to admit it was the most exciting event that Saturday morning.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 15:17
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That stuff was also near impossible to iron
Soap on the inside of the trouser creases!
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 20:17
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I read in someone's memoir once that during the Second World War there was a parade or something where people had to give their serial number. One person quoted three digits which caused a wrathful response from whomever was asking as apparently it was considered 'cool' to just quote the last three.

He repeated that the three digits were in fact his full serial number as he had previously served in the First World War as well

A respectful silence filled the room


Anyone know where that came from?
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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 18:32
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He repeated that the three digits were in fact his full serial number as he had previously served in the First World War as well
I have a vague recollection of reading that in John Bushby's book "Gunner's Moon" - I last read it a couple of decades ago, so I may be wrong.

It was pointed out on Twitter recently that one of the WAAFs who were awarded Military Medals at Biggin Hill during the Battle of Britain also had FWW medal ribbons, having rejoined when the WAAF was formed.
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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 23:19
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I did read that book, so that probably is where it came from
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