“ROC does well in recent magazines"

Journal of the Orders and Medals Research Society    (updated)

The March 2011 issue of the Journal of the Orders and Medals Research Society has a five page article entitled ‘The Royal Observer Corps – An Analysis of the Long Service Medal and Other Awards’ by Philip Whittingham. The article deals with some general ROC history but then analyses the complex history of ROC Awards such as the Special Constabulary Medal, ROC Long Service Medal and Clasps, OBE, MBE and BEM. The numbers of awards are given and some examples of recipients are described. An interesting table lists OBE, MBE and BEMs awarded 1932 to 1995.

more reading...  Journal of the Orders and Medals Research Society

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The Armourer

The spring of 2011 started off well for articles on the ROC in national magazines. In the March/April 2011 issue No 104 issue of the ‘The Armourer’, a magazine aimed at people interested in military memorabilia, the very front page was devoted to an excellent photograph of two WW2 post observers with post instrument and the caption ‘Plane Spotting – The eyes on the Skies in WWII’.

From page 50 is a good three page article called ‘The Plane Spotter’ by John Mills. There are 15 excellent photographs of the Observer Corps from 1940 to 1944 including photos of a number of badges and insignia. There is a rare photo of an officer wearing a first issue officer’s cap badge and another rare photo of a first pattern Observer Corps round chest badge even including a WW1 veteran observer wearing it ! Another photo is of a later WW2 W/Obs wearing a service forage cap with ROC lapel badge fitted.

The article covers WW1 through to 1919 and to the formation of the Corps in 1925. Radar, early exercises and the mobilisation of the Corps in 1939 is dealt with. Life on the posts in the war are described, as are uniforms, berets and badges and even the flight of Rudolph Hess is mentioned. Ladies in the Corps, title ‘Royal’, Hearkers Club, tip and run raids, Seaborne and Diver operations are all described. The article mentions the nuclear role very briefly but does correctly mention the reorganisation of 1968 and final stand down in 1995. All in all, a very good account of the aircraft role of the Corps with some interesting photographs.

Words and pictures...

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Best of British - Past and Present

The ‘Best of British - Past and Present’ magazine is described as the UK’s top nostalgia monthly and has been running since 2007. In the March 2011 issue is an article called ‘Forewarned is Forearmed – A reader’s memory of service in the Royal Observer Corps’. The author is observer Derek King who joined the Corps as an observer on S3 Shefford post in No 7 Group Bedford in 1957. He was promoted to L/Obs and served for 11 years until the 1968 reorganisation led to the closure of his post and his resignation.

The article is two pages long and contains five photographs. One photo is of some of the S3 post members, and two are examples of other nuclear posts, one photo is of Veryan Preserved Post in Cornwall. There is also a photo of observers having a flight in a Beverley from an ROC Camp in the 1960s. Derek describes briefly his life in the ROC, first dealing with ‘Rats’ and the aircraft reporting role, and then moving on to the nuclear role. Life on the nuclear post and the nuclear instruments is covered as is the ROC summer camp. Derek has made one or two small mistakes, but overall his article makes interesting reading.

Words and pictures...

Lawrence Holmes


[19mar11 19:00]