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Kirkwall 4 T C
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Kirkwall 4 T C

Written on the back of this picture is "Kirkwall 4 T C", but the 4 is rather faint and may be something else. I know nothing else about it. Anyone recognise any faces? Date estimated.
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Picture added on 28 April 2007
Try ATC (Air Training Corps)
Added by Tom Mainland on 30 April 2007
I think the '4' is probably an 'A' for Air Training Corps. The officer leading seems to be wearing an RAF type cap.
Added by Mike Clouston on 30 April 2007
Great photos, Paul. Could it be ATC for Air or Army Training Corps? Someone may recognise the uniforms.
Added by Fiona on 30 April 2007
Paul, The 4 is probably an A which would make the caption Kirkwall ATC or Air Training Corp. And judging by the uniforms the familier RAF style tunics and greatcoat of the Officer my guest would be a local unit of this cadet organisation. The ATC is still in existance which has the same roll as the Sea Cadets and Army cadets, but many young people now join the Combined Cadet Force which gives them the opportunity to try all three services.
Added by Ian MacDonald on 30 April 2007
The cadet unit depicted is indeed the Air Training Corps, still very much in existence with a number of squadrons and detached flights across the Highlands and Western Isles - all forming Highland Wing ATC. Unfortunately the Kirkwall squadron (does anyone know the number?) has been long since disbanded. The officer would have been commissioned in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training) - RAFVR(T). A number of ATC squadrons in the North have remained in continuous service since before the Second World War - 1731 (Isle of Lewis) Sqdn. being one. As to why some, such as Kirkwall, failed to survive is interesting and if anyone can enlighten us, please add a comment.

Thanks for the comments. You're all quite correct - on closer inspection what I took for a 4 is indeed an A.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 30 April 2007
The date of this photo is nearer 1943. All of the lads in the photo were potential RAF aircrew recruits and those wearing the white flash in their caps had already succeeded in passing the Air Crew Selection Board which was a stiff medical, fitness and intelligence series of tests taken over a period of three days in Edinburgh. The boys with the white flashes would have been seventeen years of age and would already have been enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, minimum age seventeen and three months and awaiting call-up when approaching eighteen. I should know these boys as I went to school with most of them and, although not a member of the ATC, I went through the same enrolment procedure and eventual recruitment to the RAF for aircrew training.
I am hoping my good friend Ian MacGillivray will add to this as he was a member of the Kirkwall ATC at that time and he and I enlisted together and served the first year or so in the RAF until we went our separate ways.
Added by Tom Scott on 15 May 2007
This is definitely the ATC [air training corps. From memory it was 1412 squadron known to it's members as the fighting fourteen twelve.The picture would have been taken in 1943. In the middle front file, with a white flash in his cap is Roostie Kemp Kirkwall.I got my flash in Sept '43 shortly after him. The white flash denotes that you have already been accepted for aircrew training. In the front row second from right is John Muir, Kirkwall. Just showing at the very end will be Mr Goodall, Science Teacher, Kirkwall Grammar who was the officer in charge. I do not remember being on this parade but I was working queer hours on the Post Office at the time. Thanks Paul this certainly brought back memories.
Added by Ian MacGillivray on 15 May 2007
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