32-22 GROUP FULL TIME OFFICER APPOINTMENTS
During the years of the Second World War the Corps was operational, nationwide, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. All Area and Deputy Area Commandant’s, employed by the Air Ministry, were full timers as were Centre Controllers and the Observer Group Officers who controlled the Posts.
Many of the Junior Officers and Observer’s, classed as “A” men, were also employed on a full time basis but this register only lists those who held the senior command positions.
In 1942 Air Commodore Ambler became Commandant R.O.C. and introduced significant changes to the structure and management of the Corps. This included the appointment of full time Group Commandants with the rank of Observer Commander. The Centre Controller’s title became Deputy Group Commandant with the rank of Obs/Lt First Class, and a rank braid of two thick and one thin ring. (1974 saw this ranks title changed to Ob/Lt/Commander.!) The Observer Group Officers rank became Observer Officer, with responsibility for a section of posts, and Duty Controllers were also given the rank of Observer Officer.
In 1947, when the Corps was reformed, changes to the command structure were introduced with Area and Group Commandants becoming part time appointments. Deputy Commandants, at both Area and Group, were still to be full time appointments along with one other Officer appointment at each H.Q.
1974 saw a significant change to both Rank structure and responsibilities for the full time officers at Group level.
The Deputy Group Commandant, previously an Obs/Lt, now became an Obs/Lt/Cdr.
The D.G.C. was still responsible, on behalf of the Group Commandant, for overseeing the day to day management of the Group but was now the primary Officer responsible for developing operational skills, and thus training, throughout the Group. When the Group was operational he acted as Senior Duty Officer, for all operational matters throughout the Group,whilst maintaining close liaison with the Group Controller the Deputy Area Commandant and his Group Commandant.
The Group Commandant, when the Group was operational, was responsible for all manning, domestic and catering issues throughout the Group. He reported to the Area Commandant whilst maintaining close liaison with the Group Controller, the D.G.C. and the Duty Officer in the control.
The Group Training Officer, with the rank of Obs/Off, now became the Group Staff Officer, with the rank of Obs/Lt, and became responsible for all administration matters within the Group reporting to the D.G.C. When the Group was operational he became the Deputy Senior Duty Officer. This position became redundant in 1984 when his role became that of Group Logistics Officer.
Unfortunately we can find no documentary evidence for the period 1947 to 1950 of those who served as D.G.C. in 32 Group Carlisle. We have documents signed by an Obs/Lt. Garton, dated in 1950, so we have assumed (correctly we hope!) that he was appointed in 1947! We are fairly confident we have the sequence of Officers correctly listed from 1950 but actual dates of arrival and departure are informed guesses! Information relating to those appointed as Group Training Officers cannot be found at all until 1962!
Group Commandant [GC]
Col. F.R.W. Graham Centre Controller
Brig. Pringle Observer Group Officer
1943 Introduction of G.C.’s
1943 Obs/Cdr. Graham
1944 Obs/Cdr. Rowlands
1945 Obs/Lt. Rowlands takes on caretaker G.C. role at Stand Down
1947 R.O.C. remobilised, and G.C. appointments no longer full time positions.
Deputy Group Commandant [DGC]
1947 Obs/Lt. Garton
No data found [as yet!] for the years 1948 to 1961
1962 Obs/Lt. J.C. Musgrave [likely to have been appointed prior to 1962]
1964 Obs/Lt. W.T.P. Johnstone
1969 Obs/Lt. P.R.A. Barrington
1973 Obs/Lt. A. Hardie
1975 Obs/Lt/Cmd. A. Hardie
1980 Obs/Lt/Cmd D.Underwood
1984 Obs/Lt/Cmd. P. Blockley
1987 W/Obs/Lt/Cmd J. Grey
Group Training Officer / Group Staff Officer [G.T.O. / G.S.O.]
1947 Holder of position not yet known.
No data found [as yet!] for the years 1948 to 1961.
1962 Obs/Off. Cooke [likely to have been appointed prior to 1962]
1963 Obs./Off. Kyle [Started Nov. 1952, moved Nov. 1963]
1965 Obs/Off. A.J. Gore
1968 Obs/Off. D. Dagnall
1973 Obs/Off A. Holland
Rank Structures change for Full Time Officers, G.T.O. becomes G.S.O.
[During operations, the Group Staff Officer was known as Deputy Senior Duty Officer until 1984, when they were retitled group Logistics Officer.]
1975 Obs.Lt. A. Holland
1977 Obs/Lt. G. Dorricott
1979 Obs/Lt. A. Angove
1983 Obs/Lt. P. Keane
1985 Obs/Lt. A Lawley
1988 Obs/Lt. P. Frey
STAND DOWN: 30th September1991
Information has been gleaned from documents and memories provided by various 22 Group R.O.C.A. Members.
Further details from the R.O.C.A. National Heritage Team Archives and the R.O.C. Museum Archives.
Grateful thanks to Edwina Holden and Neville Cullingford and our very own 22 Folk!
As usual, we appeal for any help which can be given regarding names and dates.
Any information will be much appreciated.