Did you go to RAF Worksop?

This page is designed for all those who trained or served at the base be they pilots/mechanics/WAAF/police or anything else really.

Probably the most famous trainee was Frederick Forsyth, the author. He skipped university, aged 19, to join the RAF and trained at RAF Worksop in Vampires. He was in the RAF from 1956 to 1958. His book 'The Shepherd' is a good ghost story about a Vampire pilot getting lost over the sea.

The Group Captain at 18 Operational Training Unit, Worksop was ??? MacDougal

Trainers include Flight Lieutenant Keith Ashley Lawrence DFC born in 1919 from Waitara, New Zealand. One of 'the few' he joined the RAF in 1939 was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in December 1941.  He was posted with 18 OTU at Worksop in 1944 to make simulated attacks on the Wellington trainees (does this mean a Hurricane was based at Worksop?) until January 1945. He joined 124 Squadron in February 1945 as Commanding Officer.  His commision was relinquished on 15th July 1945 when he rejoined the RNZAF.

Wing Commander Robert Milward OC at Worksop between 8th May 1945 and 20th June 1945

211 AFS was under the control of Wing Commander James B Coward from opening in 1952.  He had lost a leg over Duxford during the Battle of Britain. He was later awarded an AFC for demonstrating the dangers of the Meteor at the Central Flying School.  He sadly passed away on August 25th 2012 after living in Australia for several years.

FW Adjutant Flight Officer Kane   

Squadron Leader Crompton started A flight and first course at the base in November 1952

Flight Lieutenant Hampson started B flight and second course at the base in December 1952

L W Percival MBE to base for 'Technical Duties' during 1953...(Flight)

VV/C. J. G. Freeman. Senior Technical Staff Officer (Flight)

Wing Commander Alan Meyrick Kerr "Mickey" Phillips to Worksop 1954 (Flight). He was appointed as W/C on 1st July 1953 and retired on 21st October 1971. He wrote several books under the name Mickey Phillips: Meat, Lay Them Straight, Knock on the Door, Pick Up Sticks and A Good Fat Hen. Pick Up Sticks was later made into the film "The Cherry Picker" in 1974 with Lulu and Spike Milligan, although Lulu's voice was dubbed over due to her accent!



Wing Commander CER Tait OBE DFC to base for administrative duties in 1955/56... (Flight)

616 RAuxAF Squadron Leader was W G Abel between November 1954 when he was promoted from Flight Lieutenant until the squadron was disbanded in March 1957. He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in 1948 and eventually a wing Commander in July 1963.

Group Captain Frank Hastings Tyson took charge of the airfield around 1954. He had fought in World War 2 in Africa. He left Worksop with a grand farewell of flying aircraft during later October/early November 1955 and retired from the RAF in 1962.

Tysons replacement was Group Captain G L Barber and when 4FTS arrived he stayed on as Station Group Captain.

Flight Lieutenant John Sylvanus Clark Davis was an instructor at Worksop between 1955 and 1956

On arrival at Worksop 4FTS was under the control of Group Captain L T G Barber OBE AFC. He received the OBE in 1951. He retired on 18th January 1957 and died in November 2008.

During 1956 Group Captain Leonard E Botting DFC became the Station Commander, Initially a pilot at 49 Squadron,Fiskerton on Wellington's he became a Flight Lieutenant on 28th March 1944.  He was recalled to the 'active list' on 24th June 1947.  After his time at Worksop he went on to be the Station Commander again with 49 squadron for 'Task Force Grapple' on Christmas Island for the first 1 Megaton nuclear weapon drop on 15th May 1957. 

The last Station Commander was Group Captain William Lyall "Bill/Ferdi" Farquharson DFC* took over the duties.  He arrived at Worksop in 1956 as a Squadron Leader and acting Station Commander for the base. During World War 2 he served with 514 Squadron, 115 Squadron with Lancasters before the remains of that squadron formed 195 Squadron with William in charge of 'A' Flight. He was awarded the DFC on 14th May 1943 whilst as a Acting Flight Lieutenant with 115 Squadron and received his bar on 21st September 1945 whilst with 195 Squadron. On 18th December 1945 he was given the permanent rank of Flight Lieutenant after being on the active list for four years.  He was made a permanent Squadron Leader on 1st July 1946 later being promoted to Wing commander on 1st January 1957 and a Group Captain on 1st July 1966. He retired from the RAF in 1976 and is now a Vice President of the Bomber Command Association.

Vida Skillen from Carlton was a secretary at the base (Worksop Guardian)

Maurice Ward, was in the the Safety Equipment Section during 1958, he drove an MG J2