Requesting Childhood Memories/experiences



My name is Debbie Purdy, Ex WRAF, born into the Airforce , joined up 1975, married and then left the Airforce in 1988. All in all I had 30 years of service life and experiences, but what Iam interested in is the memories and experiences of Scaley brats as we used to be called. People born into the services and how the life etc has affected them good and bad into adult life.
A very brief history from my own perspective, Born in 1958 at Chippenham Wiltshire, there for 6 months then through no end of moves, 22 schools from infants to senior. Father dies at 40 in 1974 whilst still in the Airforce 6 months before retiring after 22 years service. I then join up 1975 at 17 years as a Dental Nurse, get married to the classic RAF Policeman, Lots more moves for us all over, children,both girls both born in RAF Wegburg Germany, came back to the UK then came out of the forces 1988.

I have often thought about how life within the services as a child can affect your thoughts, feelings and outlook on life, obviously based on my own experiences and also to a lesser extent my daughters. Talking to them now at 29 and 26 years respectively they have expressed some of the same that I felt both good and bad.
Good memories are mostly the freedom to explore, meeting lots of new people, exploring new camps,new house, new bedroom : )) Going to foreign countries to live and learning so much about life and the world.
Bad memories, going to new schools and being the new girl AGAIN. Not knowing anyone, trying to fit in, march outs, off to the grandparents while quarters are prepared for marchout. Losing friends, gaining dwindling aquaintences. Being on a completely different planet/wavelength to civies who think you are 'making up stories' about true life experiences.
Its not all depressing, I now share the running of a successful business that has been paying the bills for the last 8 years from home. I would say a pretty good acheivement for someone who only JUST managed 8 CSE's none of which were grade ones, failing to get graded in Accounts and never left school understanding decimals and fractions. These were self taught at home to pass the entrance exam to join up : ))

What Iam looking for is to hear from other 'Scaley brats' who have had or are having interesting life experiences, good or bad. I would also like to hear if its any different for a child in the Army or Navy, compared to a child in the Airforce. Obviously I would prefer to hear from forces children who can give an outlook on what it was like for anyone in the 5o's through to the 80's. This gathering of info is to go towards a book of short stories based on real experiences.
If you wish to contact me directly please do and I look forward to hearing from anyone in the near future, thank you.

Back to top