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Scrapbook & Anecdotes

(Contributions to the Chinling section of the website would be very welcome and should be sent to
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Four members of RAF Chinese Course No 4 attended the RAFLING Memorial Dedication Ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum
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Four members of RAF Chinese Course No 4 attended the RAFLING Memorial Dedication Ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum on 17th June. Bill Mellows, John Molloy, Gary Cooper and David Ferrabee were there and thoroughly enjoyed the service. Unfortunately, due to the inclement (that's an understatement) weather,not many photographs were taken, so we have none to add to those which are on the main part of the website.
Mandarin Blue - RAF Chinese Linguists 1951 - 1962 - in the Cold War
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In their preface the authors - all former Chinese linguists - state "... the story we are telling here is above all a human story..." and indeed it is. It is the story of about 300 young men, most of whom had never been abroad, who learned Chinese and then found themselves in Hong Kong, at that time a remote place and still part of the British Empire.

Read John Partridge’s review
Little Sai Wan control passes from RAF to GCHQ
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After 1945, the main focus of sigint activity was an RAF listening station at Little Sai Wan (above) operated by 367 Signals Unit. In the early 1960s, the gradual end of National Service meant that it was becoming harder for the armed services to staff their larger organisations. After a review in 1962, the civilianisation of many of the posts was recommended and their transfer to GCHQ. As part of this process, Little Sai Wan became a civilian listening station in 1964 with the assistance of Australia who provided Chinese speakers.
Recently, Keith Scott, Geoffrey Russell and Reginald Hunt and have written a collective memoir of the RAF effort in Hong Kong called Mandarin Blue: RAF Chinese Linguists - 1951 to 1962 - and the Cold War ISBN 9780956023506
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Rocky Road to Hong Kong
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The true story of a teenager snatched from family and friends by the RAF, subjected to hardships and trained as a Chinese linguist, before finding the Stars on top of Victoria Peak, Hong Kong.

Read John Partridge’s review
Chinese Linguists Reunion - October 2008
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On the 11th October, I was warmly welcomed when I addressed a gathering of some fifty Chinese linguists at the Victory Services Club in London. I told the assembled company about Rafling's history, its reunions and other activities and suggested to those present that their joining Rafling would be mutually beneficial. I encouraged them to join and distributed application forms.
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