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A tribute to Warrant Officer John Stanislaw Butlin by Terry Jacobs

Date added: 8 Jan 2015


Terry Jacobs

the RAF Benevolent Fund
Dear Friends/Family, I have recently set up a page in the RAF Benevolent Fund Memorial Book and wanted to share it with you. Through this page we can share memories, photographs and videos of $personFirstName$ as well as raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. To view page and add your memories, just click on the following link: $findPersonLink$ Thanks!

          Warrant Officer STAN BUTLIN - R.A.F.                                                         ~~~                                               I rather “chuffed” at receiving my first QSL (radio-contact) card later in 1964 via Stan at RAF Cosford (the first of many since)...  I was also privileged to hear Stan using his Chevron Morse Key for perhaps the very last time in early 2014 from Birmingham to my own home in Essex.

Well we knew, as Boy Entrants of the 48th Entry at Cosford, our time was to come to an end in July 1964, when we would be deported to far-flung parts of the globe or the U.K., hopefully to places that we chose, but often not and with many of us never to meet-up again.                                                ~~~                                              It is with very great pleasure here to announce that Stan allowed me back into his world over his last few years and an even greater privilege that I was allowed to stay with him at his home in November 2013.    With weekly telephone-contacts,  many different subjects were discussed, of which I found Stan to be very sensibly-knowledgeable, something that was a great credit to him.   I was very-well looked after during my stay with him and thoroughly enjoyed the visit and the many conversations that we both had about so many things – not just R.A.F. related.  I was already aware that I had a task to perform - in that I was to try and sort-out his Flight-Simulator which was not performing as well as it should.  So now perhaps my flying experiences have to be good for something and I understand the Flight-Simulator was working better.  Stan was very interested in flying his Sim...

I also spent some time chatting and recording Stan’s life in the Royal Air Force and beyond from which I include some of those details below...


Stan joined the RAF in February 1949 with 6-weeks square-bashing at RAF Locking (Somerset) and then joining the 6th Entry Boy Entrants at No.3 Radio School at Compton Bassett (Wiltshire), where he completed the 18 months Telegraphist training course.

Posted to NorthWest Comm-Centre. at RAF Haydock (Lancashire) in 1950.

Then to RAF Celle (nr. Hannover-Germany) in 1951 for 18-months before posting to;

RAF JEVER (nr. Bremen) for a further 12 months until about 1953 as a Corporal.

From Jever, Stan was posted in 1954 to the then RAF Hillingdon with No.11 Group, (which later became part of RAF Uxbridge and since closed in 2010.)

Recently married to Janet, he was posted to RAF Ouston. An Army base now-known as Albemarle Barracks and it being way out in the wilderness – (NW of Newcastle)...

After serving about a year at Ouston, in 1956 a rather unusual deployment to a Mine-Sweeper at Plymouth was next in his travels ???                                           H.M.A.F.V - “Bridlington” was a Bangor-class and former R.N. vessel launched in 1940 and handed-over to the RAF in 1946 then scrapped in 1958.T

From January’57 to July’59 he was posted (back on dry-ground) to Cape Kormakiti.   This was a very small Royal Air force base near Kyrenia/Cyprus with No.7 Signals Unit.

RAF Cosford was Stan's next posting in around early 1960. Within the first three years at “Cossy” he was promoted to Sergeant – (as I knew him.) One might have thought that he would have stayed-on at Cosford teaching Boy Entrants until the end of his service-career, but far from it...

In-between Stan’s posting to Cosford and the time that I (as one of those numerous Boy Entrants) came under his ‘training wings’ in 1963/64, he was actually posted on an unaccompanied tour to the Maldives (a British Protectorate - known as RAF GAN in the Indian Ocean) until 1965...

After the hot and secluded climates of Gan,  Stan returned to the No.2 School of Technical Training at Cosford and trained the 48th and other Entries through to the last Boy Entrants of the 51st Entry at July 1965.                           Some adult trainees (mainly women) as T.P.O’s were trained by him. He was promoted to Flight Sergeant during this stay at Cosford.

About 1968, a posting to Singapore was next in-line for Stan to complete  of  which he said that he thoroughly enjoyed.   ( In fact Stan should have been posted to Edinburgh Field (a Royal Australian Air Force Base – near Adelaide Australia), but that was not wanted and as Flight Sergeant,  he was able to persuade the powers to be - not to send him there)...                                                   Including a further promotion,  Stan was one of four Duty Signals - Warrant Officers at the huge Communications Centre at R.A.F. CHANGI, which was H.Q. F.E.A.F.

later Stan was given the three choices (“including those not in the London area”) for his next posting, but in fact was posted to RAF HENDON (London) in August 1971.    He would have liked to have been posted back to Cosford as School-Supervisor, but no such luck – this time !!!

Fortunately Stan’s stay at Hendon was not to last longer than nine months as he was informed by a Corporal at the little Admin. Section, that there was a requirement for a Telegraphist Warrant-Officer Instructor at the School of Education at RAF Upwood to teach Management Practices and as he’d done the course and thought it was wonderful, so applied as “That’s for me and to get me out of here. I went along, had the interview and got the job.”

So Stan was posted to RAF Upwood (Cambridgeshire) in 1972. Although a non-operational base it was home to Technical Training Command, where the School of Management and Work Study was to be the next challenge for Warrant-Officer Butlin - where he was teaching Management Practices to senior NCO’s – teaching them to be consultative-leaders, rather than “when I bark – you jump sort of thing."                                                        No doubt part of the reason why he was to enjoy his stay at Upwood, was partially due to the fact that he was made “CMC in Charge of the MESS within 5 minutes of his arriving at the base... !!!

“Rather angrily” Stan had to depart from Upwood in 1973 for another posting, this time to RAF BENSON (Oxfordshire) --- on April Fool’s Day after 24 years service... !!!            Well that was to be W.O. Butlin’s last and by far the shortest posting, as he was to resign from the RAF and left in October’73.                                                                  In the short time that Stan was stationed at Benson – he was in charge of the NAAFI and Airman’s Club.  “Nothing but trouble. The locals came-in , they had dances and there was fighting --- it was a nightmare. "                                                            ~~~                                             With spending the time that I had with Stan at his home and hearing not just these and many more tales of his experiences within the RAF as well as beyond, it has been a great privilege and pleasure to at least recount some of these here and to know that Stan's civilian-career - beyond the service was also full until his retirement.                                                         ~~~

             Forever Grateful to my Tutor and Friend,             

                              STAN BUTLIN

                     You Will Not Be Forgotten...

For the full article and photographs about Stan,  please go to:-             

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