On 26 August 2021, Mr Albert Jarrett and I were invited to RAF Cosford Museum for interviews as veterans of the RAF. Mr Jarrett left Cosford in 1947 for Jamaica where he ultimately demobbed from the military after WWII, so this was his first visit in 74 years!

The interviews allowed Mr Jarrett provide integral first hand accounts of life at the base from over 75 years ago. I too was able to recount the years from my childhood in Jamaica to a place called Birmingham England to join mother and father, to enlisting in the RAF.

Mr Jarrett was delighted to see the grand and unrecognisable changes at Cosford which now provides Tri-Service training for Aeronautical Engineering. He was equally thrilled with their fantastic museum housing several aircraft types including Spitfire, Hurricane, Victor, Vulcan, Jaguar, Tornado, Typhoon among many others.

Veterans Mr Jarrett and Donald Campbell at RAF Cosford Museum recounting their years of service

Our encounters with the planes stimulated many memories for Mr Jarrett, especially the Spitfire since he helped maintain these planes during the war.  It was amazing to witness his recollections as he examined the gun turrets up close.  These historic pieces definitely served as keys unlocking Mr. Jarrett’s precious memories stored over these many decades!

Mr Jarrett reuniting with a Spitfire at RAF Cosford Museum for the first time since WW2

Mr Jarrett admiring the engineering of the Bomb Bay of a WW2 aircraft at RAF Cosford

Mr Jarrett by a Gun Turret at RAF Cosford Museum reminiscing of his service in WW2

This was an extraordinary revisit to RAF Cosford for many reason for both Mr Jarrett and myself as veterans of the Royal Air Force. The memories of yesteryears came flooding back, especially for 97 year old Mr Jarrett. Recounting his years of service in such pleasant surroundings and quizzed with admirations by other visitors was indeed a blessing. Having served 7 years at Cosford as Training Manager of my Trade Training School, and viewing many of the aircraft type that I worked on with various squadrons also resurfaced countless memories for myself.

Mr Jarrett expressed how immensely proud he felt in summing up his visit to RAF Cosford for the first time since 1947. Very well done Sir. It is a very proud moment for us all to thank you for your service so we can be as free as we are today. Thank you.

By Donald Campbell October 2021