Most dogs are special to their owners, but here’s a dog that is extra special.
Beautiful brown and white springer spaniel Buster is a military
hero… he has a nose for danger, a heart of pure gold and during active
service with the RAF, he saved thousands of lives.
Described by his many admiring ‘colleagues’ as a best friend in
dog’s clothing and ‘a real person trapped in a fur coat,’ Buster served
in three separate wars in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, an unparalleled
achievement for a military dog.
He retired in 2010 and the following year he was showered with
tributes and won the Crufts Friends for Life Award and a nomination for
the prestigious Sun Military Award. Buster is also the official
lifetime mascot of the RAF Police.
Throughout his long and perilous career, Buster had several handlers
but there was one man with whom he built up a mutually adoring
relationship – RAF Police Flight Sergeant Michael ‘Will’ Barrow.
Buster, who saw Will through some of his darkest hours in
Afghanistan, ‘the most dangerous place on God’s earth,’ now has a
permanent home with the RAF serviceman and his family in Lincoln.
Their partnership under fire produced some heroic feats in the dust
and desert heat of Afghanistan – and beyond – and now Will’s amazing
and moving story of enduring loyalty and a life-saving friendship has
been told to Isabel George.
‘With some dogs you share a boil in the bag breakfast and maybe a
blanket on a cold desert floor… but, if you’re very, very lucky there
will be the one dog you would lay down your life for – and for me that
dog is Buster,’ he reveals in a book that will have readers gasping in
awe one minute and wiping away a tear in the next.
This inspirational man-dog friendship began in 2007 after Will
completed a course as an Arms and Explosives Search (AES) dog handler
and was introduced to his new partner, three-year-old Buster who had
already completed two tours of Bosnia with two different handlers.
It was an emotional moment for Buster’s previous handler who had the
heartbreak of seeing his special dog disappearing off with someone
else. ‘It’s like seeing your wife with another bloke!’ jokes Will.
It was tough for Buster too but this dog was a military
‘professional’ … after giving his new ‘master’ a very cool once-over
and enjoying a bit of bribery (dog treats), he was the happy, bouncy,
proud and confident dog that had already marked him out as the perfect
Will knew that this tour of duty in war-torn Afghanistan was ‘going
to be like nothing else ever’ and he would need a dog that not just
coped, but thrived. Buster was that dog, wise beyond his years and a
cut above any animal he had worked with before.
Buster got to know Will better than Will knew himself, he was his
‘hairy comfort blanket,’ his closest companion with whom he witnessed
Taliban ambushes, dodged bullets, carried out dangerous night searches
and endured terrifying rides in the sweaty belly of lumbering Viking
When their tour of duty ended, the two friends returned home but
within a few months Buster was back on duty with a new handler in
Afghanistan because another search dog had failed its licensing.
But it wasn’t the end of their partnership… the two were reunited
and in 2009 Buster became the last British Military Working Dog to
leave Iraq. A year later, he officially became a permanent member of
the Barrow household.
The two are still the best of friends, a relationship built on trust
and loyalty. Throughout the danger, the heat, the discomfort, the fear,
Will Barrow says that he knew that if he died, whether it was that day
or that night, he would not be alone – his best pal would be watching
An emotional and uplifting story about a dog in a million.
25% of all monies raised will be divided equally between the Royal British Legion and the RAF Benevolent fund.
Thank you for your offer of posting it on your website! That will certainly help to get other folk interested.
publication date will be some time towards the end of the month as I’ve
still to get my final proof copy before approving it for general
release. However, the blurb on the back is:
William ‘Bill’ Goodman died in 2002 little did his daughters know the
extent of the memoirs he had been writing in the few years before his
life, from joining the RAF in 1941 at the age of 18 to his demob in
1948, was fraught with adventure. He describes his service with 7
Squadron at Oakington; he then highlights the terrifying events of the
night their Stirling was shot down over Holland, his subsequent
incarceration at Stalag Luft 3, periods in other camps and, finally,
the long debilitating march back home. All this with fascinating
commentary, vivid description and the intimacy of his experience. The
reader will meet his fellow airmen and POWs, the man who shot down
their Stirling on that eventful night, the heroes of the Dutch
resistance and, surprisingly, a kindly and caring guard in Stalag Luft
A fascinating first-hand account of a young man’s wartime experience.
This is Brandon Soale from the Stalag Luft III group on facebook. My
book is called From Foggia to Freedom and it includes the stories of
15th Air Force airmen. I covered the history of the combined bomber
offensive and how the invasion of Italy led to the establishment of
airfields around Foggia, Italy. I covered the development of the B-17
from the Y1B to the B-17G and included interviews with veterans who
flew combat missions on them. The second half of the book includes
interviews with veterans about a missions that took place on Friday,
Oct. 13, 1944 when five B-17s were shot down. I interviewed members of
a crew that was shot down and rescued by Yugo partisans and returned to
Italy and members of a crew that was captured. They spent the rest of
the war in Stalag Luft III or IV.
You can also purchase it from me directly for $18 by mailing a request to:
PO Box 12
Camden, Ohio 45311
I can also be contacted via email at email@example.com
I would be happy to mail the book with an invoice and the payment can
be sent upon receipt. I will also sign it and inscribe it for people if
I hope this helps and thank you for putting it on the website.
click on cover
By Stephen R Davies
A Royal Air Force Policeman’s experiences at home and abroad, 1975-2000
In this entertaining and
impressively extensive 940,00-word memoir, Stephen R Davies looks back
on his eventful 25-year career in the RAF Police from 1975 to 2000,
during which time he worked at various locations in the United Kingdom
and overseas as far afield as Germany, Belize and Ascension Island.
In the course of his
career Steve would be involved in a wide variety of police work, from
basic guard and security duties to specialist criminal investigation
and anti-drug operations. Along the way he would learn a great deal
about police procedures, teamwork and personnel management, knowledge
which was later put to good use when he became an instructor at RAF
Police Training School.
Policing is, of course,
serious work and this is reflected in much of the narrative, in which
Steve details the challenges and problems he faced, both in fighting
crime and maintaining good working relationships with colleagues,
subordinates and superiors, which frequently called for all the
inventiveness and ingenuity he could muster.
There are many lighter
moments too, when Steve recalls some of the humorous situations he
encountered in the line of duty and these are described with a
mischievous sense of humour that is also evident the pranks and
practical jokes that he and his colleagues were fond of playing on one
This book is, of course,
highly recommended to any former RAF policemen, who will no doubt find
within its pages much to remind them of their own experiences, while
those who are young and inexperienced will find that it contains a
great deal of valuable information and good advice.
But you do not have to be
a policeman or even a military veteran to enjoy Steve’s articulate and
amusing tales of his years in uniform, which contain plenty of
entertainment value for readers of all ages and persuasions.
LAST POST AT NEWTON - THE LIFE OF ROYAL AIR FORCE NEWTON.
book takes you on a journey from construction in the late 1930s through
to the ultimate closure in 2001. Along the way, read about the wartime
years, the rescue of a Wellington Bomber crew from the ice cold North
Sea, the post-war missile training era, the Vulcan landing and Josef
Warchal's amazing jorney from Poland across war torn Europe to RAF
(collectors) edition was published in November 2008. Second (revised)
edition published in August 2009 and the Third (revised) edition
published in September 2010.
Hardback (size 175 x 245mm)
Over 200 illustrations, photographs, paintings and pen drawings.
Foreward by Group Captain C B Sid Adcock (Ret'd) the Last Station Commander, RAF Newton 1993-1995.
Introduction by Group Captain Hugh F O'Neil (Ret'd) No 12 Group HQ, Newton 1947-1950.
am able to negotiate a reduced price on this book which normally sells
at £25 + £5.50 postage. The author Tim wishes to support me in my fund
raising for Help for Heroes (Charity No 1120920). The Royal Air Force
Police Dog Handlers' charity Project has raised money at all of the QPD
Reunions held in 2008, 2009 & 2011. We have been granted Charity of
the Year status by Help for Heroes. This means I am fund raising from
September 2011 - September 2012. (This will be renewed each year). I
have been working on numerous exciting initiatives which will enable me
to offer all the RAF Police Family a range of items donated by
businesses large and small at attractive rates. This will give the
businesses and more importantly Help for Heroes an income stream.
you are interested in the RAF Newton book please email me or call 0116
2740443. The price I am to sell the book at is £20 + £2.50 postage. (It
is hoped based on interest shown to be less). The Author has a book
about the history of RAF Syerston coming out approximately February
2012. I will keep you informed when published.
is also a member of The Guild of Aviation Artists, please look at his
website as I am also in negotiations to be able to sell his prints at
very attractive prices.
I make you aware of a hardback (colour) book I self-published three
years ago on the history of RAF Newton which contains a chapter on
the RAF Police and dog section?
It is titled - Last Post at Newton: the life of RAF Newton and is only available direct from myself. More details on my website at http://www.timobrienart.co.ukA
sequel to "those Bloomin' Snowdrops" entitled, "More Bloomin'
Snowdrops" by RAFPA member Stephen R Davies, should be published in mid
November 2010. It can be ordered direct from Woodfield Publishing by
visiting their website http://www.woodfieldpublishing.co.uk/ Again, the book is filled with RAFP humour and cartoons and will definitely have you in fits of laughter.
RAF Police: The Great Escape Murders ISBN 1-84683-086-9
By Stephen R Davies COST£15-00
gives me great pleasure to inform you all that my new book is now on
sale and can be obtained direct from Woodfield Publishing. It is an
account of the official RAF Police investigation into the murders of 50
RAF POWs from Stalag Luft III in 1944.
This book tells the remarkable story of the Great Escape made by British, Commonwealth and Allied prisoners-of-war
from Stalag Luft III in March 1944, the brutal murder of fifty of the
recaptured RAF officers by the Gestapo on the personal orders of
Hitler, the story of those recaptured and sent to concentration camps
and the subsequent complex post-war investigation carried out by the
Royal Air Force Police Special Investigation Branch, which identified
those responsible ~ all the way from German High Command down to the
Gestapo executioners who carried out their orders.
wanted men from the Gestapo and Kriminalpolizei (Criminal Police) who
survived the war were swiftly hunted down in the chaos of worn-torn
Europe, rounded up as war criminals by the small but dedicated RAF
Police investigation team and later brought to justice in Hamburg. Sixteen of those found guilty by the International and British War Crimes Tribunal were sentenced to death and were hanged at Nuremberg and Hamburg, while a further four were hanged by the authorities in Czechoslovakia
for a variety of war crimes against humanity. Others found guilty by
the tribunals of complicity received various terms of imprisonment.
a change in British government policy in 1948 prevented others who had
been arrested by the RAF Police from being prosecuted by the
International War Crimes Tribunal and in most cases they walked away as
free men, in spite of the blood on their hands.
remarkable war crimes investigation, the only one of its kind entrusted
to a British military police force, began at the end of hostilities in
1945. Over 23 years later, in 1968, one of the last suspects in the
case was traced and convicted by a West German Court for his part in this infamous wartime mass murder.
Since 1993 Stephen R Davies has been researching the complex history of the RAF Police since its formation on the 1st April 1918. His first successful book, ‘Fiat Justitia – Royal Air Force Police’
was published in April 1997. Since then many former Provost Officers,
RAF Police Warrant Officers and NCOs came forward with a story to tell
him of their service around the world and as result, his research has
continued and he is currently working towards recording the first 100
Years of the RAF Police 1918 - 2018. In November 2005 ‘RAF Police Dogs on Patrol’ was published and ‘RAF Police Operations in Europe’ was published in November 2006. ‘RAF Police – Cape Town to Kabul’was published in November 2007 and ‘RAF Police – Bombay to Ascension Island’ and ‘Those Bloomin’ Snowdrops’ are being published towards the end of 2008.
is also currently working on a book about the Great Escape from Stalag
Luft III in 1944, the murder of 50 re-captured RAF prisoners by the
Gestapo and the RAF SIB investigation which hunted down the killers and
brought many to justice. He is hoping to publish that together with the
sequel to ‘Those Bloomin’ Snowdrops’ towards the end of 2009. After
that date more books on the subject of the RAF Police will be offered
The books already published can be ordered direct from the publisher:
served in the RAF Police between 1975 and 2000 and retired as a Flight
Sergeant qualified in Special Investigations, Counter-Intelligence, and
Instructional techniques. He completed the British Home Office
detective training course with the Lancashire Constabulary and drug
related courses with the Avon & Somerset Constabulary, the United
States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Royal Navy.
RAF Police Association is currently trying to expand and recruit new
members; producing a further wealth of historical material on which to
drawn from. Indeed, can the other Service Police organisations recount
their first 100 years in such detail? The answer is ‘No’. The RAF
Police however, are already on the way to doing just that. If you can
contribute anything to this unique history then please send Steve your
submission. It matters not whether you did National Service or a full
blown career so please contact me, you may hold an important piece of
this gigantic jigsaw that is indeed, the History of the Royal Air Force Police.
the RAF Police have undergone a major realignment in the way it
supports global RAF tactical operations and joint military manoeuvres.
In 2005 the former RAF Provost & Security Services (P&SS),
located at RAF Henlow Bedfordshire, was renamed as the Headquarters
Provost Marshal (RAF). An officer of Air Commodore rank is appointed as
Air Officer RAF Police while the appointment of Provost Marshal is held
by a provost Group Captain. While the Air Commodore remains the
figurehead of the branch, unlike the Provost Marshal, he has no remit
to investigate or influence criminal or security matters.
Police Wing (SPW) now carries out the functions previously undertaken
by P&SS, and comprises three squadrons; RAF Special Investigation
Branch (SIB), Counter-Intelligence Squadron (CIS) and Security Services
Squadron (SSS). SSS is based at RAF Henlow with HQPM (RAF), along with
the command nucleus of the SIB and CIS, while SIB and CIS teams are
established at three dispersed UK units; HMS Caledonia (Scotland), RAF
Cranwell (Lincoln) and RAF Halton (Buckinghamshire) to provide
specialist local support to RAF unit commanders. RAF Police are also
employed overseas with joint police and security units in Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands. The RAF Police are also fully committed to ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to the Tactical Police Wing (TPW), five RAF Police squadrons within the UK
have been formed as part of the General Police Wing (GPW) to undertake
general police duties, higher level security tasks and Air Transport
Security operations on and off RAF units. As a consequence of the Armed
Forces Act 2007, operational RAF Police are no longer subject to the
control of station commanders, but instead answer to the Provost
Marshal in respect of police and security matters, rather like the
system employed by the Royal Military Police (RMP). RAF Police training is carried out at the DefencePoliceCollege at SouthwickPark,
Hampshire, an establishment shared with the Royal Naval Provost Branch
and the RMP. Other specialist police and security training courses,
such as the Home Office Detective training course, continue to be
conducted at other service or civil police establishments around the UK, while basic and specialist training courses for dog handlers are conducted at the Defence Animal Centre, Melton Mowbray.
My name is Stewart Gemmill. I've just launched a website last month ( www.greenockrevisited.com
) and already it's attracted over 560 hits. It is for the purposes of
selling an ebook on the Greenock Blitz of 1941. I believe it will have
worldwide appeal since I've sold hardcopies of the book to people in
Arizona in the USA and Geelong in Australia. This is partly
because during the war Greenock was the busiest port in the world.
Between May 1942 and the end of 1944 alone, 1,319,089 G.I's had been
delivered safely to the Clyde. Exiled governments also set up bases and
billets in Greenock e.g. the French, the Poles and the Czechs.
The Hamburg Dossier
by John Law
An RAF Police officer investigates a murder in postwar Germany
early days of the British occupation of Germany after World War II saw
a rise in Black Market activities that often resulted in violence and
Harry Penrose of the RAF Special Investigation Branch investigates a
series of such murders with the tentative co-operation of the Hamburg
Polizei. His investigation takes him into the seedy clip-joints and
brothels of the notorious St Pauli area of Hamburg, but he is unable to
bring the case to a successful conclusion.
years later, after rising through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police
with a 100% murder investigation success rate, and after a second
career with a security company, Penrose returns to Hamburg with the
intention of clearing the blot on his record.
meets up again with two women who had been part of his earlier life and
the now aged German investigator with whom he once worked.
Together they hope to set the record straight.
Author is our own John Law and it is available from
may be interested in details of my new book. It is available from the
publisher at a cost of £16 (UK). Many thanks in anticipation of your
support ............ Steve
‘RAF POLICE - CAPE TOWN TO KABUL 1918 - 2006’
By Stephen R Davies
This informative book describes in detail the wide ranging operations undertaken by units of the RAF Police from Cape Town in South Africa through Africa, Malta, Cyprus, the Middle East and Persia to Kabul in Afghanistan between 1918 and 2006.
After the formation of the RAF in 1918, members of the RAF Service Police were deployed on RAF airfields in Iraq, Palestine and in Egypt. After the outbreak of World War II, the RAF quickly expanded and so did the RAF Police. RAF deployments throughout Africa, Malta, Cyprus, the Middle East and Iraq
rapidly spread and additional RAF Police units were formed to support
RAF commanders on the ground. Violent post war anti-colonial unrest
within Palestine and in Egypt
saw the RAF Police at the very forefront in protecting RAF units,
aircraft, materiel and personnel from the daily threat of terrorism,
sabotage, subversion, espionage and widespread pilfering. Additionally,
similar RAF Police operations undertaken during the later Mau Mau
uprising in Kenya, the Cypriot EOKA terrorist campaign, and the Yemeni
backed guerrilla conflicts within Aden and Oman were extremely
effective in maintaining RAF security on the ground and in the air. As
the global political situation changed and the operational range of
military aircraft increased, the RAF withdrew from its former units
within the region but maintained an ever-ready presence on the troubled
island of Cyprus.
In more recent times, RAF Police units have served alongside Coalition
forces in both Gulf wars against Saddam Hussein, and during operations
in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al-Queda. Furthermore, the RAF Police have rescued British and foreign civilians from war-torn Beirut and were also deployed to Sierra Leone in 2000 to support British military operations to stabilise the country after a bloody civil war.
by Stephen R Davies, who served with the RAF Police for 25 years this
informative book is illustrated with many photographs, and supported by
many first-hand accounts from former and serving members of the branch
who were stationed within the region at the time of those events. This
easily readable book is full of interesting facts and is certain to be
of great interest to those who served in the RAF Police. However, there
is also much to be enjoyed by anyone with a general interest in the RAF
or modern military history and current affairs.
The book, along with my previous RAFP books can be ordered from the publisher:
The lost history of this WW2 Bomber Command squadron is revealed for the first time
the remains of a Lancaster bomber and its crew were found in a
river in Hannover in 1977 an investigation began that was to take
over 25 years to complete...
the time, the author, Bryan Clark, was in charge of the SIB of the
RAF Police in Germany and his initial investigations in the line of
duty led him to the discovery that the squadron to which the
missing aircraft had belonged - No 619, based at RAF Woodhall Spa
in Lincolnshire - had all but disappeared from history. It
did not even have a squadron crest in the RAF Club [having lost so many
airmen and Commanding Officers that nobody ever got around to
struck Bryan that the story of these valiant young airmen, who had
perished so far from home in the service of their country, should not
go unrecorded and he determined to discover everything he could
about the seven crewmembers who had perished in this particular
Lancaster - EE109 PG-F - and to record their story for posterity.
researches led him to all sorts of unexpected discoveries,
including the identity of the teenage German anti-aircraft gunner
(now an elderly former professor) whose flak battery had shot the
aircraft down. But as well as recording the story of the crew of
EE109, Bryan also meticulously gathered statistics about
every aircraft and every crewmember lost by 619 squadron and many
other details about the squadron's activities throughout the war.
These too were added to the narrative to make an impressive volume of
97,000 words telling the entire squadron history.
to Bryan's efforts No 619 is no longer a forgotten squadron and can at
last take its place with honour alongside its many World War
Two counterparts. - order through http://www.woodfieldpublishing.com/
Saturday I received Steve Davies’s latest book, ‘RAF Police Operations
in Europe 1918 – 2006’ for entry into the RAF Police Association
have not been able to put the book down and have read all 264 pages
over the weekend. Having served for 22 years I thought I knew a lot
about the branch but I have learnt a lot from this publication.
is a well crafted book, well researched, full of facts, and information
on personalities we have either met or heard about. This is supported
by number of anecdote submitted by former, and serving, members of the
Well done Steve a book well worth reading.
any serving, or ex members of the RAFP, are not sure what to have as a
surprise Christmas present this year then say you want this book from
Woodfield Publishing at Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 5EL
‘HALT OR I'LL RELEASE MY DOG
RAF POLICE DOGS ON PATROL’
By Stephen R Davies
the start of 2005 the RAF Police had been working with dogs for 60
years and during that time the relationship has been a very special
one. Chances are, if you told anyone you were in the RAF Police they
would invariably want to know all about your police dog, assuming that
every member of the branch is issued with one on appointment; such is
1942, at the height of World War II, Lieutenant Colonel Baldwin formed
the Ministry of Aircraft Production Guard Dog School (MAPGDS) at
Woodfold near Gloucester, turning out professionally trained RAF dog
handlers which in turn released hundreds of men for war duties who had
previously been employed as guards. In 1944 the MAPGDS was absorbed by
the RAF Police and re-titled as the RAF Police Dog Training School.
1949, the RAF Police Dog Demonstration Team appeared for the first time
at the Royal Tournament in London and became an instant public success.
In 1957 the first annual RAF Police Dog Championship Trials were held
at Netheravon. In 1969 the Dog Demonstration Team covered 8,000 miles
around the USA and Canada giving 65 public performances in 23 cities
and became a favourite at every venue. The RAF began training dogs to
detect illicit drugs in 1970 and later trained dogs to detect firearms
and explosives. Soon after, HM Customs & Excise began using RAF
Police drug detection dogs against smugglers. In 1991, in line with
defence reviews, RAF Police dog training merged with the Royal Army
Veterinary Corps at Melton Mowbray and the Defence Animal Centre was
life of a RAF Police dog handler may seem glamorous, but in reality the
job demands a lot. The men and women who volunteer, do so because they
love the challenge of working with dogs even though a considerable
amount of their time is given up to the training and welfare of their
charges. In 60 years, the RAF Police have earned a glowing reputation
both at home and abroad for their high standard of training dog teams
and for their highly professional use of dogs for patrol duties as well
as in specialist roles. RAF Police dogs on loan to HM Customs &
Excise have since 1971 recovered illicit drugs with a value of many
millions of pounds and represent the smuggler's worst nightmare.
is the first time that the story of RAF Police dogs has been told and
will be of interest to anyone interested in military history; RAF
history; police-work; the training of dogs for police and security
operations, or anyone who is merely fond of dogs. The author served
with the RAF Police for 25 years and was frequently responsible for the
overall management of dog sections under his control.
am now looking towards getting my next book 'RAF Police Operations in
Europe' ready for publication next year. After that, I have 3 more
books being prepared which will tell the story of RAF Police Operations
in; Africa - Cyprus east through to Afghanistan - Pakistan east through
to the Atlantic Islands. The master document 'Snowdrops - 100 Years of
the RAF Police' (already over 1,000 A4 pages of text alone) will
hopefully continue towards 2018, when I hope it will be accepted by the
RAF Police as an historical account of their first rather impressive
century in being.
Casa da Mó - Beco do Serradinho 2, Tras do Outeiro, 2510-194 Obidos, Portugal
my History of No. 549 Fighter Squadron RAF in Northern Australia, The
Squadron comprised RAF pilots ex-234 Squadron who had been shipped out
from England in the “QUEEN MARY”, and RAAF ground crew and
administrative staff posted from all points of the compass, and was one
of three which comprised No.1 Fighter Wing (also known as the
‘Churchill Wing’) in the defence of Darwin and northern Australia. It
had been formed in Lawnton, Q in late 1943, and, and was subsequently
disbanded in Queensland at the end of the war in the Pacific.
review. I have read this book and it's an excellent read from
cover to cover. Not just those who are snowdrops but anyone with
an interest in the RAF from just before the war and for 25 years after.
Please contact Frank and order it - I know you will enjoy it -
couple of weeks ago, Steve C put us in touch with a book written by an
ex - RAF Chiefy - Frank Authers. During last weekend I took the
opportunity to finish reading my copy and I enjoyed it immensely.
One of the things that I have found most enjoyable about
this Royalwings group, is that its crew room covers a wider spectrum of
RAF life than the squadron and aircraft servicing personnel crew rooms,
that I experienced whilst I was getting my 12 years in. For a start the
Padre never visited ours, whereas now he is 'resident' as also are our
MT chaps, Fairies who had their own 'aloof' little hideaways to check
out Sara(h), Blacksmiths banging on, or Clerks Sec and Admin (P1 &
P2?), let alone a Clerk Accts. We certainly never had or even saw a
Snowdrop - even in early Spring, and
Photogs were here and gone in the blink of a shutter.
From this point of view, we were 'deprived.,' and our present scope has
added greatly to the enjoyment, probably of most of us who
actually needed and aircraft to work on to achieve a degree of job
satisfaction. We now have the missing input, though I think we still
lack a chef. Frank Authers contribution to the book scene benefits from
him having seen and experienced life as a Squadron bod, as well as that
of a Snowdrop, with pretty well all that a Policeman's lot encompassed.
It is a great and humorous read, a story told without wasting words
(Andy has noted), and also having been written pre - Iraq war time,
contains precursory humorous
remarks concerning our immediate neighbours across The
English Channel, that probably set the trend for at least some of those
disparaging remarks made more recently by others. They are remarks made
without rancour, at which the
reader would laugh out loud! Simplicity seems to have
been the key operative word of Frank's writing - as simple as
A,B,C..... as Doug Tidy would say. It is a very refreshing change too
to read a book written no of an aircrew war, but of a ground crew war,
and in support all of all that took place in the air. Frank, clearly
enjoyed his 30 years of service and yet there is an underlining
poignancy in the passage relating to his return to Civvy Street.
He took with him a very positive attitude and applied
himself to making a business out of what had been for quite some years
a 'major interest' in buying and selling cars. He appears also to have
met with some success in that direction too...... hardly surprising for
a man of wide experience in dealing with many different peoples in many
different countries. His book is a great read, and I have copied a
'flyer' and attached it, so that everyone has the same chance to get a
copy whilst there are still sufficient supplies available. It is a
great read and a 'must' for anyone
who has served in the RAF.
I second that one hundred percent Andy. I too, have read Frank's book
and it is excellent. A great read. When I started it I pretty well
went right through without putting it down. I recommend it as a good
read for all of the Wingers.
FIAT JUSTITIA - A HISTORY OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE POLICE
By Stephen R Davies
Royal Air Force Police formed on the 1st April 1918, at the birth of
the RAF and has developed a colourful history along the way to becoming
the large organisation of today. Over the years many books have been
written about the RAF in general and its various flying squadrons.
However, until now nothing had ever been published about the history of
the Royal Air Force Police which at the end of World War II, had 21,000
men and women within its ranks.
Davies was a member of the Royal Air Force Police for 25 years. In 1975
he joined the Royal Air Force as a policeman and during his service
completed tours of duty in the United Kingdom and numerous countries
around the globe. He qualified as a specialist in Royal Air Force
Police Special Investigation and Counter-Intelligence matters and
successfully completed the Home Office Detective Training program and
Drug Enforcement courses with the UK civil police and United States Air
Force Office of Special Investigations. In 1991 he qualified as an
instructor and lectured at the Airmans' Command School and the RAF
The book comprises 9 informative chapters complimented with 34 photographs
Synopsis of Each Chapter
Chapter 1 - The Origins of the Provost-
This chapter briefly relates the history of the Provost Marshal from
the 13th century to the turn of this century when the RAF was formed.
In 1629 King Charles I, issued his `Articles of War' which described
the role of his Provost Marshal. During the Peninsular Wars, the
Provost Marshal, serving under the Duke of Wellington, was granted
extensive and somewhat harsh powers of punishing soldiers committing
acts of indiscipline. In 1855, the Corps of Military Mounted Police was
formed at Aldershot and the Corps of Military Foot Police were later
formed to enforce military orders and regulations.
Chapter 2 - Formation of the RAF (1918 - 1939)-
Using as a background, the uneasy political situation in Europe between
the wars and the struggle to retain the RAF as a viable entity, this
chapter describes the formation of the RAF Police, the early training
school and the Special Investigation Branch. After years of being
controlled by a series of `caretaker' directors, the first dedicated
RAF Provost Marshal was appointed by the Air Ministry in 1931 to
organise the development of the branch. In 1936, during the build-up to
the second World War, a Nazi spy was arrested at Harwich and later
convicted on the evidence supplied by the RAF Police SIB regarding his
clandestine activities in and around RAF stations in Kent and East
Chapter 3 - The War Years (1939 - 1945-
Using wartime events as the main theme, this chapter describes the
rapid growth of the RAF Police and the introduction of their white caps
and webbing equipment. During the early part of the war, thirteen
geographical `District Headquarters' were formed within the UK and
police dogs were introduced into service, when the branch took over
control of the Ministry of Aircraft Production Guard Dog Training
School. Prior to D Day, specially selected and trained RAF Police &
Security Units were formed which later supported the Allied invasion
and subsequent liberation of Europe. Finally, the events concerning the
brutal murder, by the Gestapo, of 50 re-captured RAF officers,
following their €˜Great Escape€™ from Stalag Luft III, is described
along with the early events which lead to the major investigation
carried out by the RAF Police SIB after the war into the circumstances.
Chapter 4 - The Post War Years (1945 - 1950)-
Using post war colonial unrest as a background, this chapter describes
how before the wartime demobilisation started, the establishment of the
branch had reached a record 500 commissioned officers and 20,000
non-commissioned ranks. In the UK the District Headquarters were
reduced from thirteen to six and for the first time, commissioned
officers acting as Assistant Provost Marshals, were officially
appointed into the Provost Branch. In Singapore the first native RAF
Police Auxiliary Force was formed and in occupied Germany, following
the successful RAF Police investigation, the Nazi defendants, accused
of murdering the 50 RAF officers from Stalag Luft III, were convicted
at their `war crimes' trial in Hamburg. In 1948, the RAF Police Dog
Demonstration Team appeared for the first time at the Royal Tournament
and instantly won over the hearts and minds of the public. As a result
of the largest ever Allied humanitarian airlift and the formation of
NATO, the Soviet Union lifted their blockade of West Berlin.
Chapter 5 - The Cold War (1950 - 1959)-
This chapter describes the development of the `Cold War' and the
troubles in Egypt, Kenya and Cyprus. As the RAF Police took over
responsibility for security matters within the RAF, the regional
policing aspect, under the control of the Provost Marshal, was
re-titled as the RAF Provost & Security Service. In addition, RAF
Police formations around the world were re-organised into the `District
Headquarters' system. The RAF Police School moved to RAF Netheravon and
was re-titled as the RAF Police Depot and the RAF Police Museum was
established. Air Cdre de Putron retired after nine years as the Provost
Marshal and Lt Col Baldwin retired as the Chief Training Officer
(Dogs). In the UK, six RAF Police Volunteer Reserve Flights were formed
and at the start of 1953, RAF Police re-enforcements were called upon
to assist the civil authorities in dealing with wide spread chaos on
the East coast following severe weather conditions and flooding. In
France RAF Police NCOs were established to join the multi-national
military police unit providing security at the NATO Headquarters. In
Egypt, an RAF Police NCO was killed and his partner was seriously
injured during a shoot out with terrorists and at RAF Manston, another
RAF Police NCO and two other airmen were shot dead by an American
serviceman who went berserk with a rifle. Finally, having taken over
responsibility for protecting the RAF nuclear deterrent, RAF Police
were established on Christmas Island prior to the British nuclear tests
being conducted there.
Chapter 6 - The End of an Empire (1959 - 1968)-
As the British Empire started to shrink, the RAF Police Depot moved
from Netheravon to RAF Debden and the training syllabus was widened to
take on board the newly established Counter-Intelligence, Nuclear
Security and Travel Control Security tasks being undertaken world-wide.
RAF Police were involved for the first time in recruiting duties while
a large number of their colleagues were kept increasingly busy as the
Movement for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) increased their
protest activity. As National Service in the British Forces ended, the
RAF Police `Village Constable' system of policing was introduced to
make up for the shortfall in the overall establishment. The `Annual
Working Dog Trials' were introduced for all UK Dog Sections and as the
Berlin Wall was constructed, Checkpoint Charlie in the British sector
of West Berlin was built and manned by both Military and RAF Police. In
Cyprus, which had been granted independence, RAF Police were attached
to the UN Peace Keeping Force and two British Sovereign Base Areas were
formed and a new civilian police force was authorised to police them.
However, because of initial manning problems, RAF Police NCOs were
attached to the force to run it until sufficient recruits could be
engaged and trained to carry out the task. In Aden, the RAF Police were
stretched to full capacity as violent terrorist activity increased at
an alarming rate and at RAF Changi, RAF Police NCOs acted as Customs
and Immigration Officers on behalf of the Singapore Government.
Chapter 7 - Fifty Years and Beyond (1968 - 1985)-
1968 marked the Golden Anniversary for the RAF and it's police force
and the formation of the RAF P&SS Support Squadron and the
sentencing of Chief Technician Britten to nineteen years imprisonment
for espionage. During this period, HRH The Princess Margaret carried
out the first Royal Review of the RAF Police at RAF Debden and RAF
Police dogs were trained in the detection of dangerous drugs. RAF
Police assisted the RAF pilots through the London traffic to the
starting point of the Daily Mail
transatlantic race. The RAF Police Dog Demonstration Team toured Canada
and America with the Parachute Regiment and as the troubles in Northern
Ireland increased, RAF Police NCOs were detached onto the strength of
Royal Military Police units, to assist them in policing the province.
The RAF Police School moved again from Debden to RAF Newton and HQ
P&SS(UK) was honoured with the award of a unit badge. The P&SS
Support Squadron provided security protection for HRH The Prince Andrew
during helicopter pilot training and the IRA planted a bomb at RAF
Uxbridge. In 1982, the UK went to war with Argentina who had invaded
the Falkland Islands and RAF Police in Cyprus helped to evacuate
foreign refugees from Beruit. The CND set up their peace camp at RAF
Greenham Common and RAF P&SS Germany was awarded the Wilkinson
Sword of Peace. Computer security methods were introduced onto the
training syllabus and the RAF Police assisted with the humanitarian
relief in famine stricken Ethiopia.
Chapter 8 - Thawing of the Cold War (1985 - 1989)-
During the four years which witnessed the thawing of the Cold War and
the collapse of communism and the Warsaw Pact, the RAF Police launched
an investigation into the fire which destroyed the Headquarters of RAF
Support Command near Huntingdon. RAF Police re-enforcements were flown
into Gibraltar and Cyprus as the US Air Force launched an attack on
Libya and as a consequence of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act
1984, the Service Police Codes of Practice were introduced. The branch
was fully vindicated following an independent enquiry into allegations
that RAF Police investigators mistreated suspects in the `Cyprus Spy'
investigation and to assist in combating the ever-growing problem of
drug abuse in the RAF, Drug Intelligence Teams were established.
Following the channel ferry `Herald of Free Enterprise' disaster, a
number of RAF Police NCOs were attached to the investigation team to
assist with the identification of victims. In the Falkland Islands the
Joint Service Police & Security Unit was formed and on the European
mainland, the IRA started one of their bloodiest campaigns against
British servicemen and their families. Finally, one of the longest RAF
Police close protection operations ended when HRH Prince Fiscal of
Jordan completed his flying training with the RAF.
Chapter 9 - A Time for Change (1989 - 1997)-
As the governments' defence cuts took effect, Iraq attacked Kuwait and
in response the forces of the coalition launched `Operation Desert
Storm' to liberate it. In Florida, RAF Police NCO's provided the
security protection for two NATO satellites prior to their launch from
the NASA Space Centre. With the formation of the Defence Animal Centre
at Melton Mowbray under Army control, independent dog training by the
RAF ceased and shortly after the much loved RAF Police Dog
Demonstration Team was disbanded. As the civil war in former Yugoslavia
developed, RAF Police NCOs were tasked with carrying out Air Transport
Security duties at several airheads in the region. In the UK, the RAF
P&SS regional headquarters were re-organised and increased from
three geographical areas to five. As part of the cost cutting exercise,
the three separate service security organisations were merged to form
the MOD Security Directorate and the RAF Provost Marshal left London
and re-located at RAF Rudloe Manor with the new title of Air Officer
Security & Provost Marshal (RAF) & Chief of Air Force Police
before moving on again soon after to the Headquarters of Strike
Command. As the RAF Police completed the task of training military and
Air Force Police NCO's from Zimbabwe, the news was released that the
RAF Police and RAF Regiment would not be amalgamated and that the RAF
Police would take over running the guardrooms on RAF stations once
again. Finally, the RAF Police School moved once again back to RAF
Halton where it originally formed in 1920.
How to Order
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2002, 'Fiat Justitia“ A History of the RAF Police is no longer
available for sale in hard form. However, it is still available on CD
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