RAF Hednesford

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RAF Hednesford
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
near Hednesford, Staffordshire, England
RAF Hednesford is located in Staffordshire
RAF Hednesford
RAF Hednesford
Coordinates52°44′02″N 1°59′10″W / 52.734°N 1.986°W / 52.734; -1.986
TypeTraining camp
Site information
Open to
the public
Yes as Cannock Chase Country Park
Site history
Built1939 (1939)
In use1940–1956
Demolished1970

Royal Air Force Hednesford or more simply RAF Hednesford is a former Royal Air Force station situated 7.5 miles (12.1 km) south-east of Stafford, Staffordshire, England.

History[edit]

Opened in 1938/39 as No 6 School of Technical Training Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm mechanics received technical training on a variety of airframes and engines. In 1950 it reopened as No 11 School of Recruit Training where many National Servicemen received their basic training. It was very first base of most personnel there during the 1940s and 1950s. most of whom were newly called up in the rank of AC2 (the very lowest rank in the RAF) for their 2 years National Service in the British armed forces known as a "square bashing camp" in the vernacular.

At RAF Hednesford new recruits into the RAF were given their initial training, which included first learning of RAF parade ground drill with rifles, intensive physical fitness training, training in ground combat and defence under Non Commissioned Officers of the RAF Regiment and some education about the RAF and its history.

Men while undergoing their basic training at Hednesford were accommodated in wooden barrack huts, each one housing about twenty men. Because Hednesford was a basic training camp with no airfield there, discipline was very much stricter than it would be at any normal RAF operational or trade training camp.

Recruits normally spent a period of 8 weeks on their training at Hednesford before being posted on to their "trade training" camp elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Thousands of conscripts went through its gates up until 1955. The station was subsequently used as a refugee camp for Hungarians fleeing the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. It was located just south of Cannock Chase, which was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958. The nearest railway station was Brindley Heath (1939-1959) on the Walsall to Rugeley line.

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