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David Jenkins

b. 1940 | Royal Air Force

Carmarthenshire County Counsellor David Jenkins describes his childhood and upbringing in Carmarthenshire, his service in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft electrician and his career after leaving the military.

Early Years

Counsellor David Jenkins was born in Glanamman in 1940. As a child, he attended Glanamman Primary School and, upon passing his eleven-plus exam, went on to attend the Amman Valley Grammar School. He left school in 1957 and became a trainee draftsman for Unifloc Ltd. in Swansea. David spent five years in the role, before deciding to visit the RAF recruiting centre which he passed each day on his way to work.

Team photograph showing the RAF Oakington rugby team during the 1960s.

RAF Oakington Rugby Team, ca. 1960s
David played for the team while stationed in Cambridgeshire

RAF Career (1962 – 1967)

David joined the Royal Air Force in 1962 and completed his twelve-week-long basic training course at RAF Bridgenorth, before being initially posted to RAF Benson. While there, he joined the station’s rugby team.

He was then sent to complete trade training as an aircraft electrician at RAF Melksham and, following his passing out parade, was posted to RAF Oakington in Cambridgeshire.

David was in the RAF Flying Training Command and was on standby during the Aden Emergency.

He completed his RAF service in 1967 and returned to South Wales with his new wife, the daughter of a serving Sergeant whom he had married during his final year in the force.

Newspaper clipping covering a rugby match between RAF Oakington and RAF Acklington. Photograph.
Newspaper clipping covering a rugby match between RAF Oakington and RAF Acklington.

“Oakington Kicked”

Newspaper clipping covering a rugby match between RAF Oakington and RAF Acklington, ca. 1960s

Post RAF Career

After leaving the Royal Air Force, he initially worked as a quality control engineer in Pontardawe, progressing to an assistant buyer and then buyer, before eventually becoming a senior buyer within the same company. An avid learner, David received an Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) in Business Studies from Coleg Sir Gâr.

He then became a company buyer within the ventilation industry and continued to pursue his academic career, receiving a Higher National Certificate (HNC) from Swansea College of Technology. David subsequently worked toward a postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) and continued to study and gain qualifications throughout his working life.

David worked in senior purchasing management positions for a number of companies in South Wales. Upon his retirement from full-time education, he also worked as a part-time lecturer at Coleg Sir Gâr in Ammanford, delivering Computer Aided Design (CAD) classes at City and Guilds Level 4, before becoming a Carmarthenshire County Councillor. He has represented the Glanamman Ward since 2008 and is now an Executive Board Member and Armed Forces Champion for the council.

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Tony Bird

Royal Navy | Cowbridge/Freshwater East