367 Association Jottings by Webmaster

Snippets of news from our Members and via the Association's Web-site

LATEST information is in RED


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367 Signals Unit - Historical Archive web-site (15 June 2018) 

With the demise of this website in mid-July when TalkTalk withdraw their web-hosting service, I have transferred the historical information relating to 367 Signal Unit, Royal Air Force, to the following web address:

https://littlesaiwan-367su.wixsite.com/index

If anyone has any historical information that might be added, please contact me.

Information from Bill McLean (15 June 2018) 

Whilst on holiday recently, I received a message from Bill McLean relating to our late member - John Noulton.  I thought it might be of interest any readers.

'Trawling through Google this morning and came across the name “John Noulton”.

I had a nodding acquaintance with John at Central Training School, Bletchley Park late 1962 into 1963, then he disappeared. This morning’s search threw up some interesting fact about John, who unfortunately passed away in the last few years. In the early 2000s watching BBC news one evening a man appeared and I said confidently to my better half “ I know that face” and as ever I was dismissed as an old crank. Anyway this morning I was delighted to be able to prove her wrong, although it may cost me in the long run. I then found the pictures of John, and colleagues, with a broken down car, in the New Territories, which led me to 367Su website. I spent 7 happy years in HK as a radio operator/linguist at both LSW and Tai Mo Shan (1967-71, 1973-76). Although never in the services myself, many of my colleagues had served in RAF/RN/Army and many from the Merchant Navy Radio Officer body. In conclusion, what an amazing career John had and i’m sure some of your members will have known him in the RAF and I hope this is of some interest.

Bill McLean'

Harry Williams RIP (12 June 2018) 

Whilst I was away from home, we learnt the sad news of the passing of Harry Williams, who had not enjoyed the best of health for a number of years.  Harry had been a valued member of the 367 Association Committee as Secretary for a number of years.  He used his great experience as a 'negotiator' to identify and deal with the hotels used for our Reunions, a task which became increasingly complex as the numbers attending our Reunions grew.  He was also instrumental in procuring the very attractive and popular 'Association Mugs' carrying the Association's logo and two photos of RAF Little Sai Wan taken back in the 50's.

We send our sincere condolences to Harry's wife Madeline, their family and friends.

GDPR  (11th May 2018)

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will become part of UK Law on May 25th, 2018.  In view of the limited lifetime of this website (see 24th April below), a decision has been taken to remove any information relating to our membership that might not comply with the GDPR.

AGM and Reunion 2018 (24th April 2018)

Booking information from IOWT arrived in the post today.  If any member reading this has NOT received their letter in the next day or so, please contact us and we will chase things up.

The Future for this Website (24th April 2018)

On April 9th, I noted that the website would continue for the foreseeable future once our Association is no more, but I spoke too soon!  A few days later, a letter arrived from TalkTalk (our Web Host) noting that they would be shutting down their web-hosting service in mid-July.  This means that we will have to find a new free web-hosting service if the website is to remain accessible.  They have suggested wix.com as a possible host, but first impressions are that a major re-write of the current website would be required as the current format cannot simply be transferred, and this may not be a viable proposition under the circumstances. Watch this space!

RAF Signals Museum, Henlow (24th April 2018)

An email from our member Alan (Jim) Ambrose reports on an interesting visit that he made recently:

'I last Saturday went to the above venue, well worth  a visit to those living within range. Open on Tuesdays and the first Saturday in the Month.
The kit comprises plenty of radios that we would recognise, HROs R1155s, 1475s, RCA 88s,etc. They have a demonstration  "Y" station, not a double
set like ours, not a piece of blue copy paper to be seen, and were very interested when I  said I was on a real "Y" station.
The chap who showed  my partner Margaret and I around was Nick Gilder, very pleasant and chatty, not a WOP, but not everyone can be!
The thought occurred that the Museum may be interested in some of our history, but it seems that RAF Henlow is due to close and they will need
to relocate, to where seems undecided. May be worth discussing.
The details if you wish to visit, you are within range, Deputy Curator, Dave Thompson, G3OXG, Tel, 01462 851515 x 7997 ....
Website:  www.rafsignalsmuseum.org.uk  suggest you call before visiting, I went unannounced without any problem.

I have since spoken to the Curator who told me that RAF Henlow is due to close in 2020, so there is a bit of time left to visit!

Spring Newsletter (9th April 2018)

The Spring Newsletter was distributed to all members at the end of March, and provided an update on plans for our FINAL AGM and Reunion.  We will be assembling at a hotel at Heathrow on Friday, October 12th and a coach will take participating members to St Clement Danes Church in the Strand.  There will be a short service of dedication of a replacement slate floor tile bearing the insignia of 367 Signals Unit, RAF.  The original tile had been installed in the entrance to the church many years ago, and had been badly worn by the passage of many feet.  On the Saturday, there will be a visit to the RAF Museum at Hendon, which has recently been refreshed and refurbished.  Our final AGM will be held at the Museum and we will then return to our hotel for our final Reunion Dinner.  As 'they' say, 'All good things must (eventually) come to an end.  

(Text removed - see item re website above)

Kung Hei Fat Choi (16th February 2018)

Welcome to the Year of the Dog!  An interesting article marking the Chinese New Year from the Gwulo website here.   I have been following with interest the daily 'Wartime Diaries' on the Gwulo website, as my late aunt was interned in Stanley Prison, and her husband-to-be was a Naval POW during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.  Some pretty harrowing stuff.

The Future for the Association (7th January 2018)

In the latest issue of our Newsletter sent out to all members just before Christmas, the outcome of the membership survey (see 6th December 2016 below) was reported on.  At the 2016 AGM it was accepted that there was going to be an inevitable decline in membership, coupled with many members finding it difficult to attend reunions due to age and infirmity.  The majority of members who replied to the survey were in favour of an organised winding-up of the Association in 2018.  This will be a very appropriate time, as it coincides with not only the 100th anniversary of the founding of The Royal Air Force (1st April 1918) but is also the 25th anniversary of The 367 Association (inaugurated October 1993),   Plans are in hand to hold the final Reunion in the London area in October, preceded by the dedication of the replacement tablet bearing the 367 Signals Unit insignia in the entrance lobby of St Clement Danes Church.  More information will be made available to members in the early part of this year.

We wish all members, past and present, and all visitors to this website, a safe and successful New Year. 

Mick Rice RIP (17th December 2017)

We have recently been informed that one of our Antipodean friends, Mick Rice, passed away in September.  Mick was a 'corresponding member' of the Association for a number of years and was one of the first group of Chinese Linguists in 1951.  He was often in touch with our then Historian - Andrew Suddaby - in the early 'Noughties'.  

Reunion Report 2017 (5th November 2017)

My report from the Reunion and AGM weekend is now available here.

Doreen Whiteoak RIP (1st November 2017)

Our Chairman - Ray Whiteoak - contacted me at the beginning of the week with the sad news that his wife, Doreen, passed away at the weekend.  Doreen had accompanied Ray on many occasions to our Reunions but was unable to be at the 2017 event due to an accident earlier in the year.  

We extend our condolences to Ray, his family and friends.

AGM and Reunion 2017 (21st October 2017)

Another successful Reunion was held at a hotel just outside the City of York during the weekend of 13th - 15th October 2017.  Attendance this year was slightly higher than in 2016 which was very rewarding for the Committee and the organisers - Isle of Wight Tours.  The writer and his wife travelled up to York on the Thursday and, despite some aggravation on the M1 which required SatNav to do a bit of re-routing, arrived safely and met up with Secretary David Green and his good lady in the hotel car park.  Good timing!  Accommodation was at the Mercure Fairfield Manor Hotel, on the A19 just outside the York 'ring road', and it turned out to be ideal for our purposes.  The majority of members arrived during Friday, and there was a good opportunity for meeting old friends and colleagues during the evening.  A full report for the weekend, including key points from the AGM will be posted shortly.

Chinese Linguists (6th October 2017)

I was invited to join members of No.2 Mandarin Chinese Course for their annual reunion and luncheon at my local Golf Club on October 4th hosted by Lance Slater and with Jim Wilson - the author of 'Chinese Whispers' - present.  Prior to lunch, we shared many common reminiscences by watching a collection of B&W and colour photos taken in Hong Kong in the 50's.  

The group are anxious to contact other members of No.2 Course (1956 - 58), so if you are reading this and perhaps known someone who was at RAF Worth Matravers in Dorset at that time,  please ask them to contact us via this website. 

Blind Veterans UK (12th Sept 2017)

Our member - Neville Parkin  - has provided information about this organisation with which he is associated.

Their website, which can be found at   https://www.blindveterans.org.uk  is very informative and their telephone number is 020 7723 5021.

Graham Ball RIP (12th Sept 2017)

Sad news received a little while ago, about the passing of Graham Ball who died peacefully in hospital at the end of August.  His funeral took place at Colwyn Bay Crematorium on Monday September 4th.  Graham was a wireless operator and served at Little Sai Wan between 1954-55 and had been a member of the Association for many years, attending several reunions in the early 'Noughties'.

We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

Albert Forsyth RIP (4th July 2017)

Albert was a Wireless Operator and was based at Little Saiwan from 1953 - 56. He had been a member of the Association for many years, and attended a couple of Reunions in the early/mid-'Noughties'.   It was Albert who established the Heraldic details for the 367 Signals Unit, RAF crest and motto, details of which appear on our 'History' page.

We extend our condolences to Hazel, their family and friends.

John Ranson RIP (19th June 2017)

More sad news as we learn of the passing of John Ranson this month.  John was a radar mechanic based at Little Saiwan from 1954 - 1955.  He had attended a number of our reunions with wife Myra, the last one being in 2014 at Lincoln, but declining health precluded any further attendances.  He was a licenced Amateur Radio Operator with the callsign G7NDD. 

We extend our condolences to Myra and their friends.

Contact from an 'Old Timer'! (19th June 2017)

We have been contacted by probably one of the oldest surviving members of 367 WU (Wireless Unit), the predecessor of 367 Signals Unit.  Harold Hill was a wireless operator with 367WU from 1942 until his return to the UK from Hong Kong in 1946 on a TAOS Victory ship.  These ships were built in large numbers in 1944/45 mainly in shipyards in the United States and were general purpose cargo vessels.  They superceded the 'Liberty' ships, and were slightly larger and faster to protect against U-Boat attack.

Welcome to our Association, Harold.  Hopefully we will meet you in York later in the year?

John Noulton RIP (9th May 2017)

Sad news from John's companion - Vivien, that he passed away on May 4th.  John was a Linguist and served at Little Sai Wan and Battys Belvedere in the final years of RAF occupancy and didn't find our Association until 2015, following a visit to Hong Kong.  John was a member of No.8 Chinese Linguist Course and trained at Pucklechurch and Tangmere.  He returned to Hong Kong as a civilian operator in the mid-60's via Bletchley Park and Tangmere, and attended our Reunions in 2015 and 2016. 

We extend our condolences to Vivien, his family and friends.

AGM and Reunion 2017 (3rd May 2017)

All the documentation for this years AGM/Reunion, to be held in York over the weekend of 13th-15th October, has now been sent out to members in the UK, and those outside the UK who might consider attending.  If you are reading this and have NOT received your package, please contact us here.

Ping Shan (3rd May 2017)

Back in September 2016, I reported on contact with our Association from Ian Kwong who was trying to locate his family grave - in what then was to us the New Territories (See item for 8th September 2016 below).  Our member - Jim Macfarlane - has been in conversation with Ian and shared some of his own researches for the area.  Jim has recently been in touch and this is an extract from his e-mail:

'He (Ian) was successful in finding the grave location. It’s to the north of the old Ping Shan Police Station and is marked red on the map / aerial photo [not attached here Ed ] The memorial itself was unfortunately bulldozed by the neighbours, who started building a logistics warehouse a few years ago. Apparently some nearby squatters had told them the Kwong family had moved abroad. It wasn’t destroyed owing to development in the 1980’s or 1990’s as he had earlier thought.'

Thanks to Jim for his assistance to Ian.

AGM and Reunion 2017 (30 March 2017)

All the information for the 2017 AGM and Reunion to be held very close to the City of York in early October, together with Booking Form, etc. will be distributed to the membership shortly.  For those members who do NOT have access to the Internet, we plan to include the 2016 Report with the Summer Newsletter, as it did not get issued last December.

Spring Newsletter, etc. (27 March 2017)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to bring you the usual Winter Newsletter last December.  However, I am pleased to report that the Spring Newsletter has just been issued, along with the latest membership list, and the Association Survey form (see item 6th December 2016 below.)  If you are reading this and have NOT received these documents, please get in touch with us here.  I am also delighted to advise that Book 18 is winging its way to all members - mine arrived today!  For all our non-email members, Book 18 will be accompanied by the Spring Newsletter, etc.

Roy Henderson (5th March 2017)

Some of our members may remember Roy, who served with 367SU from January 1955 to February 1956, although I don't think he ever joined the 367 Association.  Sadly, we learn from Eddie Edwards of the ex-RAF Aerial Erectors Association, that Roy passed away on February 23rd after a period of illness.  We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

Kung Hei Fat Choy

An interesting article marking the Chinese New Year from the Gwulo website here.

Membership Survey (6th December 2016)

At the 2016 AGM, the future of our Association was discussed, as with each passing year, we see a slow but inevitable decline in our membership.  It is intended to conduct a survey early in the New Year, firstly to establish how well the Association meets member's needs, and secondly to consider the future of the Association.  Watch this space!

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Items prior to December 6th 2016 have now been archived

but can be obtained by contacting the Webmaster via the 'Contact Us' link above

 

 

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If you have any item of news that you would like considered for posting on the site, please contact us.


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John Noulton - info from Bill McLean
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Page updated on 15th June 2018