From John Dudley
Prior to arriving in Edinburgh, I had always enjoyed an interest in aviation; building models, flying some and joining the ATC/CCF at school, and having a first flight in an Anson on Summer Camp at Cranwell.
I came up to Edinburgh to read Agriculture. Responding to an invitation to join the EUAS because of my interest in aviation, and so that I could get into the RAF for National Service. There was also, the attractive annual Bonus that was available (this effectively doubled my spending money). Membership of the Squadron enabled me to explore a new social existence which developed many skills.
Following National Service during which I gained my Wings, I was posted to Transport Command as a second plot on the Hastings. This experience gave me a new insight into life and I realised that agriculture was no longer a career path that suited me. With the defence cut backs of the time, I realised that a career in the RAF would probably have limitations, so I applied for work in the civilian air transport industry.
I joined BOAC, which became part of British Airways, remaining until my compulsory retirement, aged 55 years. Three years later, I found myself at university for the second time, reading Theology at Oxford. This experience, coupled with the realisation that I had enjoyed a privileged life, led ultimately, to a further life changing experience by being ordained priest, in the Anglican Church.
It was of great interest to me, to find that the personal statements of the gathering without exception reflected that the EUAS experience had been life changing to some extent. It certainly was so in my case, instilling in me a sense of responsibility with the courage to accept a challenge.