Airmen reunited after 50 years

Published: July 12, 2007 | 6437th good news item since 2003

TWO former RAF servicemen have had a reunion nearly 50 years since they last saw each other.

Conisbrough resident Brian Boyes and Reg Bamforth, of Barnsley, became friends when they started their national service as two young 21-year-olds in 1957.

They both completed their harsh ten-week “square bashing” training at the airforce barracks in West Kirby on the Wirral as part of the Churchill Squadron.

But following their passing-out parade, they were sent to different camps and never saw each other again.

Until this year, when Mr Boyes, 71, managed to track down his former comrade – just weeks shy of the 50th anniversary of them starting their national service.

Speaking from his Milner Gate home, he explained: “I had been hoping to meet up again with him for the last few years and just on the off chance I asked our friends who live in Birdwell to look for a Reg Bamforth in the phone book.

“His name was listed and I rang him up. When I told him who I was he said ‘Blimey! I never realised I would be speaking to you again’.

“Once we got chatting it was tremendous. We just started talking as though there had been no space of time between, we were talking as friends just like we were back in the airforce again.

“He came round to our house and we’ve since been out for a few meals and have been swapping memories from our time in the RAF.”

Reg, now 71, of Carlton, added:

“It was a real surprise to hear Brian again. I knew Brian used to live in Mexborough and when I’ve been through in the past I’ve often wondered if he still lives there.

“I never thought I would speak to him again but I’m glad now that we’ve become friends again.”

During his national service, Reg was trained to repair coastal aircraft and Brian worked as an instrument technician on various planes, including the famed Lancaster Bomber.

Their lives since national service have also followed a similar path. Both left the airforce after completing their two years required service and both went on to run retail shops.

Reg married and had six children and 12 grandchildren and Brian is married with three children, three grandchildren and a great-grandson.

They are now planning a party with family and friends in the near future to celebrate 50 years since the start of their national service.

Published in Reunited
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