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Royal Navy 1946-1959

By SPP Reporter

The Royal Navy took over Bramcote Station on 3 December 1946. It became known as Royal Navy Air Station, Bramcote ‘HMS GAMECOCK’. The ship’s badge was ‘A Gamecock proper’ on white background with the motto ‘Spurred for the Skies’.

At the commissioning ceremony, Captain G N Brewer DSO, Ofcer Commanding, remarked to the assembled gathering “You have seen the White Ensign hoisted for the rst time about as far from the sea as is possible in England. You are serving in the most inland ‘Stone frigate’ in the country”.

The main function of RNAS Bramcote was to be the technical training for Naval Airmen Aircraft Mechanics. About one thousand men were under training at any one time. After completing New Entry and Airmanship Courses, the trainee then joined an aircraft carrier for one month’s sea experience.

HMS Gamecock, as the name implies, suggests an association with the game bird and it is believed that a cock-fighting pit did exist within the station perimeter – not far from the Ofcers’ Mess. It is not surprising to nd therefore that the Navy had a mascot – yes – a Gamecock. The rst one was ‘Wallis’ – to be followed by many more and he was paraded in his spherical cage at all Divisions and Ceremonial parades –the re tender had a special xture on which to carry the cage containing ‘Wallis’. Of course, he rst had to be caught to be put in his cage and many a tale can be told about such escapades and his crowing.

With the run down of the RNVR (AirBranch) Bramcote eventually became surplus to requirements for the Navy and the training was transferred to Arbroath. During the long run down the local press headlined the question“ What is to happen to HMS GAMECOCK?” Their fears were alleviated by the announcement that the Camp was to receive new tenants.

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