Bill Wyman in 1955

I was called up for national service in the RAF in January 1955

I reported to RAF Cardington for about 10 days – then was posted to RAF Padgate for 8 week’s basic training – which was a nightmare

My Service number was: 2745787

From there I was posted to RAF Credenhill near Hereford for Trade Training, & passed out as a Clerk Progress (maths, graphs, statistics etc)

The Photo from Summer 1955 in Hereford

In the autumn, after signing for an extra year (for more benefits & better treatment) I was posted to RAF Oldenburg in North Germany (BFPO 40), where I spent the rest of my service in the Motor Transport Section

The camp was comprised of 3 Hawker Hunter squadrons - 23 Squadron, 26 Squadron & 33 Squadron, & included 1,000 RAF Regiment members – the whole camp comprised 4,000 military personnel

The camp was on a 4-hour (evacuate the camp) alert for most of the time I was there, being only 100 miles from the Russian border

The Suez Crisis occurred while I was on leave in England, & I was obliged to return to base immediately

It was here that I heard the beginnings of Rock ‘n’ Roll on AFN Radio (American Forces Network), & took up guitar playing for the first time

In 1957 I formed a skiffle group on camp

I was demobbed in January 1958


RAF Credenhill,, situated North West of Hereford, opened and housed No: 11 School of Technical Training in June 1940. It then supported at various times the RAF Secretarial Branch, the RAF Equipment Officers School, No: 1 School of General Service Training, the RAF School of Administrative Training and until 1985, No: 1 School of Catering until that moved to Aldershot. From March 1974 until 1982 it housed the WRAF School of Recruit Training, then in 1983 the camp saw the formation of the Youth Training Squadron (YTS). In all the time RAF Credenhill had been used, and despite the presence of its hangers, it has never housed an airstrip. In 1994 the YTS closed and the Army bought the site. After 22 SAS Regiment had obtained funding to develop the site, extensive rebuilding which started in 1997 took place. 22 SAS finally moved into Credenhill in May 1999.

A view from The Royal Theatre, Derngate, Northampton, England
....June 7, 2000....

Bill Wyman...that "dragging, booming bass player" was for three decades one half of the rhythm section of the "world's greatest rock and roll band", The Rolling Stones. His technique was never overdone, always understated and unpredictable....letting each note reach it's full potential.


Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

Copyright: Text and Pictures: Bill Wyman


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