'Digger' Armstrong Remembered

Page updated 9 January 2002

The Hon Sec, Bruce Legg, will be producing an article for the WEB-Site chronicling the life and career of A. J. A. ('Digger') Armstrong. This article will, we feel, be a fitting tribute to the 'Oldest Apprentice of Them All', a character warmly remembered by many ex-apprentices and now sorely missed.

Many of us owe a great debt to 'Digger' for his understanding, fairness, guidance and counselling. He is also remembered for his tirelessness in the pursuit of excellence and his continuing work promoting the value and benefits of apprenticeship schemes long after he retired.

This verse, written by Digger, and presumably 'penned' around the late 1940's appears in the front of the 1910 to 1960 Apprentice Record Book on a typed page insert.

'Digger' pictured with his daughter June 'plucked' out of a Technical College group photo taken around 1948.

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We were trained by the men who knew -

Cody, de H, Clarke and Busk,

And in the early days of flying we struggled-

from daylight to dusk,

To get earthbound men skywards -

in devices although very crude,

Contained all the basic ingredients -

for the mighty aeronautical prelude.

Since those early beginnings it's a -

honour, and a privilege to be -

R.A.E. Apprentices like the other two

thousand, and me.


Perhaps a fitting epitaph to all those who served an RAE Apprenticeship and to 'Digger' Armstrong.