Newsletter 2016 – 1


President: Wg. Cdr. John Rush MBE, BA FCIM Ieng Fraes RAF [Ret’d]
Life Vice President: Vacant
Chairman & Welfare Officer: Fred Knox BEM
Vice Chairman: Bill Baker
Treasurer: Peggy Reading
Secretary& Membership Secretary: Des Stewart
Entertainment Member: Vacant
Service Liaison Member: Position Vacant
Ladies Liaison Members: Jeannette Stewart & Gillian Williams

General Secretary & Membership Secretary’s Contact Details: Des Stewart, 31 Crossmead, Watford, Herts, WD19 4JQ – Tel No. 01923 461 056; Email:

Dear Member

As you will see from the headings above, the position of entertainment member is vacant following the sudden death of Norman Williams, (see St. Barbara’s for more information). Ken Brown has kindly stepped in as an interim entertainment member until the AGM, where the post will be up for nominations from any member interested in taking up the position.

Fred Knox, as Chairman will be standing down after the AGM and before the election of a new committee. Therefore, we will be seeking nominations from members interested in taking up the position.

As General Secretary and Membership Secretary I am also considering relinquishing the position for someone else to take over with a fresh input on taking the Association forward. It will require a person with a computer and familiar with Word or a similar programme and Excel database.

We have a new member, Elizabeth Speechly, to welcome to KEBAA. Hopefully she will be attending the reunion this year.

2016 Reunion

You should have received your booking form for the 2016 reunion in Stourport on Severn. So far we have 43 bookings confirmed. If you are going to attend, please make sure that you return your completed booking form to Shirley or Vanessa of Isle of Wight Tours. If you would like to bring family members or friends, please add their names to the booking form.

We had hoped to have a new group at this year’s reunion, but unfortunately they couldn’t make it. John Morris has agreed to step in and bring his music, even though he has had a bit of a rough time of late. He really enjoys attending our reunions, talking to those attending and playing his music for us.

KEBAA Merchandise

The new KEBAA blazer badges (10) have been sent to Keith Reading and will be for sale to those who want them for £18 plus £2 pp.

Also there are KEBAA wall shields available at £35 plus pp. Not sure at present what the cost of post and packing would be. However, as the shields are hand painted to special order, delivery at present is in the region of 8 to 10 weeks.

Other items for sale include:

Baseball Caps @£ 4.50 each; Headscarves @ £ 2.50 each; Coasters @ 4 for £ 1.00; Car Stickers @ £ 0.50 each; Key chains @ £ 1.00 each; lapel badge @ £ 0.75 each; Armourers ties @ £ 7.50 each; KEBA Ties @ £ 5.00 each; Credit Card holder @ £ 3.50 each

If you would like order some of these items listed, please let Keith know, either by email ( or telephone number 01526 323 885.


For those with computers, I have logged onto our website and clicked on the link photo pages of armourers. There are surprisingly a large number of photos of armourers from wartime up to present day. There are a few of Bob Copping as an apprentice, and on bomb disposal courses. There is some of our stuff on there, including a report of a reunion a few years ago and our current logo. Don’t know how or who put them on. If you are interested, have a look.

Talking about the website, I have had 11 ex armourers saying that they would like to join the association, I have contacted them but heard nothing further. We can but hope.

Members contacts

I have included a current list of members’ contact details, and as far as I can ascertain, it is fairly up to date. Listed below are 12 members who I have been unable to contact either by phone or email. Alan Pragg is still listed in the New Zealand telephone directory but no answer to my phone call. I use Skype for making overseas calls as it costs just 2p per minute, which is a lot cheaper than using any of the current phone providers.

31 Eddie Clarke;                         49 Alec Cuthbertson(Spain);             66 Ian Gallacher ;

137 Steve Stevenson;                         208 Peter Jones;                         233 Des Barker;

255 David Griffin (USA);             296 Alan Pragg (NZ);                         403 Victor Strange;

424 John Lusher (Canada);             476 Donald Clark;                         499 Rod McGuffie

St. Barbara’s

It is with sadness that I have to report the sudden death of Norman Williams (KEBA 417) whilst on holiday in Australia in November 2015. Arrangements were made for him to be cremated in Oz and for Gillian to bring his ashes back to the UK for a memorial service to be held in Bridgend. This took place on the 15th December 2015, and was attended by Bob Johnson, Des & Jeannette Stewart representing KEBAA, along with his family and many friends from the area.

Another member we have lost is Des Starbuck (KEBA 297). I received a letter from John Starbuck informing me that his father, Des Starbuck had passed away peacefully on Sunday 13th December after a short stay in hospital. He was hoping to attend last year’s reunion, but unfortunately slipped over on the ice and broke his pelvis around Christmas time. However, he made a full recovery from this, and was looking forward to attending this year’s reunion, but had a minor fall late last year, which wasn’t bad but resulted in pneumonia setting in. John went on to say that the family found it very comforting to know what a great circle of friends Des had and how much he appreciated those friendships during his long and happy life.

We have also lost the following members to St Barbara’s since our last reunion:
Dorothy Nockles, wife of Ron Nockles (KEBA 480) in August last year.
KEBA 327 John Williams – 25th January 2016
KEBA 516 – Frank Stackhouse in February this year, (I read about Frank on Facebook).
KEBA 523 Derek Forth – early March this year
KEBA 160 – Idwal (Taff) Jones, 10th March 2016