RAF ARMOURERS – AKA Kirkham Ex Boys & Armourers Association
The origin of the Association goes back to when Boy Entrant Armourers were trained at Kirkham; hence the reason for the name, which started life as Kirkham Ex Boys Association. KEBA was first formed back in 1990, so we are 29 years old this year (2019). It came about after a Boy Entrant from Kirkham, Matt Macintyre, wanted to find out what had happened to other boys once they had either left the service or were still in the RAF. Matt served for 39 years, so had a bit of a job tracking the original members, but he did find a few to get the Association started.
As word began to spread we realised that some people thought they didn’t qualify to join, as they weren’t ex Boys or hadn’t been to Kirkham. Things quickly changed however, and now Kirkham Ex Boys & Armourers Association (KEBAA) is for all serving and ex RAF Armourers, regardless of gender or type of service. Ex Boys, Ex Apprentices, WRAF, National Service, Regulars, Direct Entry, Pre war or Post war.
Current membership spreads from pre-war armourers to present day, and can talk VGO guns, .303 and .5 Brownings, 20mm Hispano, Tall Boys, Grand Slams, Cookies, Turrets, as well as Aden Cannon, Ejection Seats, Paveway and Typhoon Systems.
Over the years we have made donations to a sheltered housing community in Kirkham; the British Junior Sports Association for the Disabled; to Richard Peck House, which is a RAFA convalescent/residential home in Lytham St. Annes. We helped with sponsorship for Jon-Allan Butterworth, an armourer who lost an arm in Basra through indirect fire.
Our committee consists of 7 KEBAA members plus 2 partners liaison for the wives and partners. We do try to cater for and include the wives and partners into our Association and hopefully they feel a part of the KEBAA family and not an outsider. In the event of a member having a last posting to St. Barbara’s, the Partner can become an honorary member and still attend the reunions in their own right, which some do.