This page is dedicated to the Thousands of RAF Regiment personnel that were Stationed at RAF Akrotiri over the years.

We want your stories and accounts of  your time at Big A , send us a couple of your favourite pictures too. We hope this will jog some memories and put you back in touch with some of your old pals.

Gordon Boam is the man on the spot here in Cyprus, who threatened the webmaster with a bottle of Keo to produce this page, read Gordons Story.

A Rockape Remembers



Leslie Heatley Sent these.

Here are some rather faded photos as 5 wing personnel prepared to celebrate Christmas either 1957 or 58 and a picture of the gun lines.  The 28 squadron Christmas theme was Western and was called Akrotiri Creek with a donkey tied outside for effect.  [ I'm not sure where the donkey was acquired from ] I think the jockey was Lofty Higgins.    The other picture is the inside of the bar the barmen with moustaches and string ties Tommy ? Paddy Heatley Jock Martin [ like the old joke an Englishman an Irishman and a Scot ]    Sgt Rocky Herdman can be seen  other side of tent pole and Keith Woodvine on right.

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Hi Bill, Have just heard from Les Heatley , I was at Akrotiri in mid 1957 I was camped near Ladies mile , and smugglers cove , RAF  reg known as groupy ex cpl townsend can not remember many names , jock rennie / cpl lupton, if you can not remember me never mind. e mail  ps now living in oxford

Akrotiri Days

I was called up for National Service in 1959 and duly arrived at Cardington reception centre on 9th Febuary . After a week of the usual Medical, ENT checks, uniform issue and other necessary items, I was sent to Bridgnorth to do my" Square Bashing" and then to Catterick camp and finally to Akrotiri. I arrivedB Flight boys.JPG (71996 bytes) at Nicosia after flying out from Lynham in a Comet 2 and after spending the first night in at Nicosia in a makeshift transit camp was given my posting to Akrotiri.
I arrived at Akrotiri about the first week in July with my mate Des Kells. We were dumped off at the Station Headquarters with no idea where the 3 Wing compound was and asked an LAC at the desk how to get there. Without saying a word he a pointed a finger in the direction of the compound and Des and I set off towards our destination and running the usual gauntlet of " moonies get your knees brown ". I knew from that moment we would have to put up with this for some time to come. When we finally reached the tent lines and our ' B ' Flight tents ,the cries of " moonie " were again to be heard .We were put in a tent with an S.A.C. called Des Hutchinson who left us in no doubt that this was his tent and his word was final because he was an S.A.C. and we were just A.C.1 scumbags.
Des Hutchinson wasn't a bad bloke though and the three of us got on very well. I thought however ,three in a tent was a bit crowded and started to search for a spare tent or a tent with one occupant who was prepared share his abode with a lowly B.Lee,R.Smith,K.Chandler, A.Hyatt.JPG (120010 bytes) AC1. I finally found a spare space in tent occupied by an S.A.C. Joe Aspinal who informed me that he was returning home in a couple of weeks and that I would be the sole occupant.
The next morning I was told to report to the Flight Office to find out what my duties would be and found myself attached to a gun crew .The interviewing Officer was the Flight Commander ,Flying Officer Collinge who was a bit strange at times. On parade one day, he told me that a haircut was long overdue and was informed that I would be on a charge if I didn't have one that afternoon. I went to the barbers shed after duties and found that the two Indian barbers had left . I was left to figure out what punishment would be handed out and I stood on parade next morning waiting for the hammer to drop. Mr.Collinge carried out his usual inspection and when he got to me he gave me a good looking over and said " well done Lee ,good turn out ".
I was called to the Flight Office on another occasion to be asked what I did in "Civvie Street" and when I told Mr.Collinge I trained as draughtsman and keen on art ,he asked " do you draw cartoons " to which I replied with a grin " yes sir ". : He then leared in my face and said " if you do any cartoons of me you will be in hot water,Bob Lee.JPG (144884 bytes)
Working on the gun crew and having to shout " gun clear Sergeant ! " every time we jumped down from the gun and having to strip down the gun every so often and cleaning it with paraffin and greasing it with  LG grease,that fried your arms, didn't appeal to me. I decided that I would like to have a cushy job like that of Brian Sheehan who worked almost continually in the Wing Club pouring Keo beer and satisfying the great demand for a chocolate biscuit called " Chocoprince". I thought,though,that an A.C.1 was never going to get that lucky .
The one job I did not mind was working on wiring detail on the air field. As long as you had a packet of fags and a couple of bottles of " Coke " ,it was quite a good little number. The N.C.O's being released from the gaze of the Keith Pomeroy & Bill Brown.JPG (78044 bytes) Officers ,seemed to take on a different attitude, they would crack jokes and idle the time away like the rest of us. I remember the sergeant, Dougie Back and the corporal, Paddy Wherity; Dougie Back had the annoying habit of calling me "Dixie", I suppose after Dixie Lee the once was wife of Bing Crosby.They were decent enough blokes and never came down hard on us and even shared their fags.
In the early days of September 1959 and having just received my L.A.C., I was in my tent just taking things easy ,when a face peered round the tent flap : it was a corporal whose name I cannot recall who said " Well Lee ,you're not on your own for much longer " and I immediately thought " Oh No! ,I haven't been lumbered with a couple of moonies who are going to shatter my peace", I need not have worried though for they turned out to be two decent blokes and soon became mates. They were Alan Hyatt and Ken Chandler. In fact ,when demobbed I found that Alan Hyatt had joined the flying club I was in at Biggin Hill . We have been great mates now for 50 years.
One day , Mr Collinge called for me and said " I want you to gather a group of airmen who can use a paint brush, good with wood and enjoy a challenge". The challenge turned out to be constructing a set based on a London Underground station as part of a London theme to decorate the officers mess for a Battle of Britain day party. We lived like lords, free beer and sandwiches and working in civvy clothes. After this I was always picked out to dolads on wagon.JPG (175284 bytes) jobs that required a lick of paint like re-painting wagons and the number plates .In fact it got to a point that I hardly ever carried out the duties I was supposed to.
During the middle of 1960 and now an S.A.C., I witnessed the arrival of a new batch of bods fresh out of " Blighty " and as they passed by my tent G2, I heard myself call out " Moonies get your knees brown". I thought to myself ," this is where I came in".
I think, all in all ,my time at Akrotiri was a happy period in my life. I soon lost my dislike of the place and after making many pals, going into Limassol for boozy nights out, visiting various places on the island with my camera ,I really began to enjoy myself.
In the latter part of 1960 I, along with some of the other boys,were told that we ,as National Service men, would be new arrivals 1960.JPG (120927 bytes) going home for Christmas and demob . I started to have doubts about wanting to go home; I had become conditioned to Akrotiri and felt a bit sad about having to leave. I arrived back in England after spending 13 days on the HMT Dunera and was demobbed just before Christmas at RAF Innsworth. 

S.A.C.Bob Lee, ' B ' Flight ,27 Squadron.

Name: Geoff Hughes  Taff  939


Arrival Date: Jan 1963

Message: Served with B flt 27 laa sqdn. My best mate was Scouse Poynton. Some of the best two and a half years of my life. Enjoyed every minute of my posting to Akrotiri.

I spent two happy years with 3 wing rockapes during 56/58 at Akrotiri, as I have read the pages many memories come flooding back.
The tented accommodation we had next to the NAAFI, I worked in the cinema for a time, we had live shows on as well and as a driver I remember having to take John Pertwee and his troupe down to fishermans cove one afternoon so they could go swimming, we had a great time with them that day, although I don't know how they found riding in the back of a Bedford RL 4 x 4
We had the French Air Force on site for a while, they where camped up near the sick quarters, as duty driver one night I had the job of taking a load of them back from the NAFFI they were to say the least well oiled.
My journey to and from Cyprus was a 14 hour flight via Malta in a Air Charters Avro Tudor aircraft.
Well I could go on for ever but have to go for now, but can I wish all at Akrotiri a HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR for 2009
SAC John Davies ex 3 Wing

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I hope all is well in sunny Cyprus. It's cold, wet and miserable here. Not to get too down in the dumps though, it could be worse, we might run out of booze.
Looks like we had a few KEOs in the club on this photo i'm sending. I would like to wish you and all the old ROCKAPES
A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

King Hussain RAF Akrotiri Sunday Morning 1961

The King used to fly over every Sunday morning for the Ko Cart racing on the Perry track. He was married to an English girl then cant remember her name. We met her quite often, she was very nice to us rocks.

I think it was 1961? it might have been late 1960. 

Joe Davidson

I have attached three photos of RAF Akrotiri 1960. I got them from the RAF Museum (foc) I think in 6827-4, you can see the Astra Cinema with 3 Wing compound to the right? what do you think.
Joe Davidson

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Alb Smith

Looking through the Akrotiri website which I recently discovered I wanted to contact someone over there regarding the unit I served in which seems to be absent from the list of past squadrons, and maybe Gordon B would also be interested as we both served in the Regiment in the early days, reading comments on the website like "favourite posting" and "didn`t want to go home" made me smile because back then we could`t wait to get home.

My national service started in 1956, and with the promise of a hot sunny posting instead of cold weather and bullshit in Germany where our intake were heading I signed for an extra year, of course they never tell you where you are going so it was hello to the middle east and Aden (The Rock) the land of flies and gritty coffee, I did a one and half year stint at RAF Khormaksar 66sqn (anyone you know served there?) before making my way to Cyprus.

Back in the UK I was posted to RAF Felixstowe 194 LAA Sqn and from there we arrived as a unit on the island around April 1958, we had a couple of days in transit at Nicosia then on to Akrotiri, I remember we drove on up past the main camp to a barren stretch of scrubland which we were told had just been vacated by some French forces, welcome to your new home boys!.

Everything on the camp was either under canvas or just out in the open, we slept six to a tent meals cooked outside and we ate from our mess tins, we had open air wash house and thunder box latrines, the camp had a main entrance guard house and a rear guard house set at the opposite corner with dirt access roads, the camp was designated as Top Camp Akrotiri. although we were supposedly a LAA sqn we did not have any heavy equipment (Bofors ect) but we were all issued with the new Belgian FN automatic instead of the old 303 rifle.

Although the Eoka hostilities were more or less over security was still high on the island so our time was spent on 24hr guard duties on the camp, power/sub stations on the main roads, police stations and carrying out curfews in Limassol, most of our time off was spent swimming at a small beach which was just a short walk over scrubland from the camp down a steep cliff, to the right of the beach on that stretch of coast was a high rock/coral formation a few hundred yards out to sea which was used for weapons testing/target practice (hopefully still there), somewhere in the history of Akrotiri there is mention of a mutiny and a broken flag pole of the Regiments colours, yes that was 194sqn, all I can remember of it now is that it was a small number of rockapes having too many beers protesting at the conditions, I only had eight months to demob and counting the days.

I have never been back to Cyprus since then but I hope to visit next year and maybe have a tour of the camp and find out (if known) what happened to 194sqn and the Top Camp, I will bring a couple of old black/white photo`s that the museum might be interested in, one is of the actual broken flag pole and the other of the camp as it was back in 58,the commander of the camp when I left was Sqn Ldr G Hoddinott.

Cheers Bill,      Ex 4177684 LAC Alb Smith 194 Ind Field Sqn, Top Camp, RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus BFPO 53

Name: Tom Feeely
Arrival Date: Late 1960
I was a Cpl on 34 LAA Sqdn RAF Regiment. 34 was moved from Nicosia to make up 3 Wing RAF Regiment.I was on the Advance Party. We were lucky when we got there as we were able to move into the Cawood blocks, some of the old 3 Wings lads were still in the tented site on 3 Wing compound. After so long memories are a bit blurred but great memories of the Cpls Club there & the Police Club (can you imagine it Rocks mixing with the SP's!!) Did plenty of guards down Ladies Mile & the sailing club. Devon & Dorset Regt was there when we were there & worked with them some times. Still in touch with many of the lads from those days, great times had by all. Unfortunately some have gone to that "Parade Ground in the sky". WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. Tom Feeley

Name: Keith (Moggie) Morgan

Email: KEMO3522076@AOL.COM

Arrival Date: 1958

Message: I was one of 12 RAF Regiment unfortunates, though I believe otherwise, that was posted to Akrotiri to supplement the RAF Police on the station. A most unusual combination! I remember the resident Rocks had been told we few had been specially trained at Netheravon to go over and sort them out. That stupid rumour did nothing to help us settle in and life was a bit strained for a while. My own claim to fame was being stood down to go back on duty at 0100 at the Guardroom, as it was alleged I was good with a paintbrush, to paint HALT and a broad white line in the road outside on the road through the boondocks.! They had Brens on the Guardroom roof covering me and floodlights to help me see what I was doing. I learned then that adrenaline was brown. A lot of folks came to see what was going on, and years later in the Officers Mess at Waddington, I heard someone talking about the poor s.. having to paint HALT in the road. I didn't know where to look. A friend recently told me the white line is still there!

I served in Cyprus 1961- 63. Attached are three pictures which may be useful to the museum. Benny Hill circa 1960/61 at Akrotiri and a photo taken of the mural painted on the wall of the RAF Regiment 3LAA wing club around this time. I have a number of pictures taken around the base if you can use them?
Kind regards. Graham Brooks
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