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Headline News

Unfortunately, in today’s uncertain times we have now deemed it necessary to password protect parts of our website in order to respect the wishes of RAFLing members who, (for various reasons) do not want personal details on the website. Those parts of the RAFLing website are now only freely accessible by members of the Association.
RAFLing Association Committee (1 Aug 2016)
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Cenotaph Parade - Once again there was a very good turn-out by members of the Association for this year's parade, which commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the First World War. Although he didn't march this year, Brian Scott again took care of the planning and organisation. We would like to point out that, although the planning is carried out by Brain in the name of RAFLING, participation in the parade is not restricted to members of the Association. All ex-linguists and those from associated trades are welcome to take part. So, if you know of anyone who might be interested and who qualifies, please pass the word.
Those taking part this year were; Ralph Sainthouse, Tim Hutchinson. Frank Johnston, Dave Johnson, Roger Mayhew, Ken Parkin, John Kelland, Tony Saunders, Lee Bryant, Frank Morley, Richard Osler, David Jackson plus five. Our thanks go to Lee Bryant for the photos.
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Click on image for a selection of photos from the recent Leicester Reunion.
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On 27th April, the RAFLing Association was invited to a special tour behind the scenes at the Imperial War Museum in London. Sarah Patterson, one of our members who is a curator there and Carl Warner, head of “Cold War and Late 20th Century Conflict”, gave us a talk on the Cold War and the significant role played in it by the various organisations, such as ourselves. We were shown books, maps and other documents, as well as the large books section, not normally seen by the public. Also, possibly not realised by many people is that there is also a second museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire.
The talk was extremely interesting and gave a fascinating insight into many different aspects of the Cold War period and up to the present day.
Afterwards, we reconvened at the “Zeitgeist” restaurant and pub, already known to many of us, where the good food and great conversation only added to the occasion.
We must thank Sarah Patterson and Carl Warner for making the whole thing possible and for ensuring a very enjoyable day was had by all.

Lee Bryant.
(Click on image for photos)
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RAF Digby has marked the 100 year milestone of its historic base - three days before the Royal Air Force’s nationwide centenary celebrations. Personnel at the base held a formal parade, flypast and lunch for a selection of guests and VIPs connected with the base’s illustrious history. (Click on image for selection of photos provided by our roving photographer Lee Bryant).

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Interested in learning more about the RAFLING Association? Did you serve as a linguist, or in a capacity associated with the linguist trade? If so, why not consider joining the RAFLING Association which promotes contact between its members by organising reunions, participation in national events, and local get-togethers in the UK and abroad. For more information about the activities of the Association and terms and conditions of membership contact

RAFLing Association Reunion November - December 2017 in Berlin

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Visit to Gatow on Friday 1 December

Link to Berlin Reunion Photos
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RAFLING Committee - L -R Don Stuart (Webmaster), Dave Haysom (News Bulletin), Anne Robson (Treasurer), Mike Hancock (President). Sue Hancock (Membership Secretary), George Bason (Chairman), Alan Robson (Vice-Chairman)
The 2017 Rafling Reunion in Berlin – 30th Nov – 4th Dec

Despite the best efforts of the management of the Park Hotel in Alexanderplatz to sabotage it, the reunion was a resounding success. They changed venues and duration of use of them for meetings, at short notice (resulting in one of the briefest AGMs we have ever had). They cocked up booking arrangements (poor Lorraine and Dave Steenson thought they were going to be evicted before they could come to the Farewell buffet on Sunday evening). They made us live in rabbit hutches with see-through toilets and showers and charged 5 Euro for a .4L glass of that nectar we all enjoy known as Berliner Kindl. They had even downsized the lobby so that we could not congregate in numbers greater than a dozen to enjoy a bit of convivial chat. (“Do you remember so-and-so doing ..... and what about that bloke .... etc.”?)
But, they did not reckon with the fact that on our side we had that indomitable duo, Batman and Robin, otherwise known as Mike Hancock and George Bason. Thanks to their sterling efforts they managed to foil the Park’s dastardly plan (Can you hear the Dambuster’s March as you read this?) and produced one of the most successful reunions we have had. There were about 45 Rafling members plus their spouses, partners and a few relatives attending the reunion and I think a great time was had by all.
The idea behind this reunion was not to be over-organised with tours but just to do a bit of sightseeing and visit some of the 80 or so Christmas markets in Berlin. However George and Mike had amazingly contrived to get those who wanted to, a trip around RAF Gatow (I can’t spell General Steinhoff Kaserne). The trip included a bus tour of what remains of RAF Gatow and also an excellent trip around the Luftwaffe Museum. (SHQ is now a part of that museum). We are grateful to Capt Philipp Leitermeyer for a very informative tour
Notable characters were (of course) Mick Mulvaney who at 84 managed to get from California, via Iceland in order to keep the Gala evening going until almost 3am, along with other stalwarts of evening sessions, Tony Saunders, Alan Robson, Mike Hancock and his friend Gerhard, as well as a few others. Father of the house, so to speak, was Jim Martin (four months older even than Mick Mulvaney) who was there with his two sons. John Stamford who is a regular visitor to the Chicksands graduations and also an ex-National Serviceman made it and I think enjoyed it enormously.
Ron and Margaret Young, (better known as ‘Pointed Stick’) made it from Spain, despite being a spritely 80, as did Ian Wilson, Clare, Don and Sylvie Stuart and Rita Reilly. We welcomed a couple of newcomers, Harry Wilson and Mick Mariner and their wives. Even my old bridge partner Pete Hobbs made an appearance at the .Meet and Greet’ and promised he is going to renew his membership
The weather was a bit cool, but mostly the rain held off and everyone tried the glühwein (which only tastes good when the weather is cold) and had their fill of currywurst, bratwurst etc.
I think you will all agree that our thanks must go to Mike, George, Sue, Anne, Don and Dave, our illustrious committee for the hard work involved in organising such a successful reunion
All in all it was a memorable reunion and achieved the main aim of meeting and enjoying the company of old friends as well as making new acquaintances. AR

Letters of appreciation
On behalf of all those who enjoyed the recent Christmas Markets RAFLing Reunion in Berlin we must give special thanks to George Bason , Mike Hancock and the Committee for all their hard work in arranging an event for 90 people....Well Done ! Fortunately I did not feel or was aware of any of the frustrations which George and Mike had with the hotel management and can only assume that they had sorted out the major issues so that those attending could get on with enjoying themselves. For those who served in Berlin, Berlin was special place in our hearts. After all there is a saying .”Berlin bleibt Berlin"
John Stamford
Dear ALL,
Just a quick note to thank you all for making a trip via Iceland worthwhile. The family who came with me enjoyed themselves very much, despite the hotel’s shortcomings and were asking when the next gathering will be taking place!
Have a Happy Christmas and a great New Year, I hope that 2018 brings you good health and much happiness.
Best Regards,
Mike Mulvaney and Family.
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John Partridge has also provided an excellent review of another book of interest to the RAFling community, namely the Rocky Road to Hong Kong. (Click book cover for link to review).

This entertaining and informative book will appeal to anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 60s, and especially to those who have had any connection with the Armed Forces in the last 60 or so years. RAFling members will find much of its story comfortingly familiar.

(Sadly John Partridge passed away in July 2017)
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John Partridge has very kindly provided a review of a book that will be of interest to RAFLing members. (Click book cover for link to full review).

(Sadly John Partridge passed away in July 2017)
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The RAFLing Association is pleased to announce the long overdue addition of a brand new section to the website. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Alan Robson and contributions from various sources, mainly former Chinese Linguists, we have already populated this section with background information on the RAF Chinese Linguists, including some course photographs. We look forward to receiving lots more information about the various courses and also photos if available. Welcome on board guys!

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  • The RAFLing Online Store is now open for business. You will find a selection of familiar items for sale at very reasonable prices. Just click on the ‘Store’ link at the top of the page and follow the fairly simple instructions to place your order. Payment is by Personal Cheque of Bank Transfer. Postage & Packing has been set at £1.99 for all items - Happy Shopping. (Please note that non-RAFLing Association members need to add 15% to the prices of all items).
  • The committee has decided that RAFLING ties, badges and PoppyPins will only be available for sale to RAFLING members.