Sunday 30 January 2011

Presentations – Again

There are pictures of various awards in this section. Once again they are largely one off events and take place between 1970 and 1989... Some of the newspaper cuttings have been poorly looked after over the years and were difficult to read. I have done my best to edit them and I think they should now be readable to most.(Left click on pictures to enlarge).
The first picture shows the presentation of an AOCs Commendation to CPL Livingstone (PTI). It is somewhat unusual in that it the commendation is from the AOC 24 Gp, Saxa being an 11 Gp station.

In 1972 the Communications Centre staff received an efficiency award from the Deputy Commander Elect Eng (Ground).
Sgt Tambling was presented with an AOC 11 Gp’s commendation in 1973.
The next (poor quality) cutting shows Nobby Clark receiving a Tankard on the occasion of his retirement. Nobby , an ex Air Defence Operator (TG12), spent 20 years working in Stores at Saxa.
Steven Saxby retired from his civilian post in MT in 1977. During WWII Steven had been in the RAF and had worked at the Flying Boat Station in Sullom Voe, Mainland Shetland. He has twice featured previously on this blog, the first time receiving an AOC’s Commendation in 1971 and the second receiving a gift from the Stn Cdr on the occasion of his retirement. This presentation took place shortly after his retirement and the article from the Shetland Times (4 Nov 77) and shows Steven receiving a second AOC’s Commendation, 6 years after the first.
Although remote and the weather not always perfect, there was still time for sport. The Saxa Open Golf Championship in 1978 must have taken place on the course at Burrafirth rather than on the earlier one at Inner Skaw.
Many people at Saxa had cause to be thankful for the inter-island flights provided by Loganair. One of the main motivators behind this service was Captain Alan Whitfield, many of those stationed on Unst flew with him. In 1978 he was moved to Glasgow on promotion and the community of Unst raised money for a farewell gift.
In Jun 79 Sgt Herd was awarded an AOC 11 Gp’s Commendation and can be seen receiving it in the photo  below from Sqn Ldr Pete Batchelor:
John Spence, from Haroldswick, was another civilian who spent many years on the base.  The article below from the Shetland Times shows him receiving a retirement gift from Sqn Ldr George Keith, the CO.
In Sep 79 the Barrack Warden, Mr B Wilson, left the Unit and the 2 pictures following show him receiving gifts at the time.
AVM Peter Latham was AOC 11 Gp from Sep 77 to Jan 81 – longer than most. He paid the last of a number visits to Saxa Vord in 1980. The picture which follows shows him being presented with a Shetland crook staff by Hughie McMeechan outside the CO’s Quarter, whilst Sqn Ldr and Mrs Keith look on.
Sgt Trevor Birch was awarded an AOC’s Commendation in 1982 and this was passed on to him by the Stn Cdr at the time, Sqn Ldr JD France.
John Jamieson received a Carriage Clock and a Smoking Set from OC Admin to mark his 25 years service. I’m sure the Smoking Set would not be considered PC in today’s service climate. The clipping below is from the Aberdeen Press & Journal dated 12 Aug 1893.
WO Walklate and Sgt Ray both left Saxa in 1985 and the Catering Section took the opportunity to present them with farewell gifts –it looks like the event occurred in the Penguin Club.
In 1988 an RAF Policeman, Cpl Scott Etheridge, on leave in Preston, managed to apprehend a thief escaping after robbing a jewellers shop. He was awarded a Commendation by the Provost Marshal. In the same year Sgt Jim Donaghie qualified for his Long Service & Good Conduct Medal. Both awards were made by Sqn Ldr Peter Hunter in Dec 88. The first of the articles below is from the Evening Post from Jul 88 and the second is from the Shetland Times in Dec 88.
The next article from the 30 Jun 89 RAF News covers the award of an AOC in C’s Commendation to Cpl Trevor Frost for his charitable work and work with youth movements.
As mentioned elsewhere in the blog Shetland was the base for 3 sites of the NATO Ace High Forward Scatter Link.  These sites were manned by the Royal Signals Corps and one of the sites was at Saxa. In 1989 Staff Sgt Graham Reith, based at Saxa, was awarded a Commendation by the Commander of NATO’s Central Region Signals Group for his help in saving a child from a burning Quarter at SHE. The article below comes from the Shetland Times date 8 Sep 89.
The final picture in this section is a bit of a mystery. On the back of the picture it was entitled “Cpl Broad”. Unfortunately it doesn’t say what he has received (looks like a commendation) or when he received it. If anyone can add details my email is