Assessment (04/40)

Assessment at RAF Cardington (9th April 1940)

On 9th April 1940, Wally was requested to attend a two-day assessment at No.2 Reception Centre, RAF Cardington, Bedfordshire.

Administrative Building ar RAF cardington

The administrative building, RAF Cardington

Arriving by train at Bedford he caught a bus for the three-mile journey to Cardington.  After reporting in he was assigned to a squad and marched off for kit assignment. The kit consisted of 5 blankets, two sheets, a knife, a fork, a spoon and mug, all carried in a white kit bag.

The aircrew candidates were housed in huts consisting of two rows of iron beds with springs and three biscuits (thin mattresses.)

The following morning Wally Layne underwent a series of medicals and a battery of aptitude tests aimed at establishing his suitability for aircrew in the RAF. He attended an  Aircrew Selection Board, which recommended him for training as a wireless operator/air gunner. This course, of approximately eight months duration, was the most time-consuming of all aircrew trades.

Having sworn his allegiance to King and Country, he was formally enlisted for the duration of the war with a rate of pay of 4/- (four shillings) a day during training, rising to 6/6 (six shillings and six pence) when qualified.

He was issued with a V.R. (Volunteer Reserve) lapel badge and was sent home on deferred service to await notification of his first posting.

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