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Wings Over Wick
Rev Leonard Arridge, Bangor, Gwynedd
I was posted to Wick in November 1942, from RAF Pembroke Dock, to which I had only just been posted from Training School.
So far as I can recall, it took about two days to get to Wick via Glasgow, and I must confess as the train travelled through Sutherland and Caithness, I began to think that I was very far from home and not a little 'fed up'.
I was posted to the wireless section at Station HQ. One of the important duties of the day was to receive a broadcast in code from the 'Met Flight" aircraft, which went up each day to provide a weather report, which was quickly passed on to the Meteorological Section next door. I soon became the Traffic Clerk, whose duty it was to pass on this and other messages to their destination by means of a "runner".
I spent Christmas 1942 in Forse House, then a hospital, near Latheron, with a chest infection, and was transferred to Inverness later, returning to Wick sometime in January of 1943. At Forse House I met a young nurse whose home was at Thurso, and she and her mother were very kind to me during the rest of my stay at Wick, and I often spent time staying with them. I shall always be grateful to them, though I have long lost touch. They lived then at "Juniper Bank House" in Thurso.
Two other memories I recall. The first was to see the "Aurora Borealis" during the summer of 1943, something I have never seen since. The other was to take part in a "Wings for Victory" march through Wick that same summer, when our marching left much to be desired. Any ex-RAF man will tell you how to do the "Padgate Crawl".