No. 1 School of Technical Training RAF

No. 1 School of Technical Training is the Royal Air Force's aircraft engineering school, based at RAF Halton from 1919 to 1993, as the Home of the Aircraft Apprentice scheme. The Aircraft Apprentice scheme trained young men in the mechanical trades for aircraft maintenance, the graduates of which were the best trained technicians in the RAF and would usually progress to Senior NCO ranks. However, ninety one ex-apprentices went on to achieve Air Rank. Many more became commissioned officers, including Sir Frank Whittle "father of the jet engine", who completed his apprenticeship at RAF Cranwell, before the move to RAF Halton. Graduates of the Aircraft Apprentice scheme at RAF Halton are known as Old Haltonians.


As well as the three-year apprentice scheme No.1 S of TT also carried out training of Craft Apprentices on a newly developed two-year long apprenticeship, from 1964, commencing with 201 entry. Sgt Craft Apprentice Glenn Morton of 203 entry was the first craft apprentice to receive a direct entry commission after graduating from Halton. The immediate past senior serving member of the RAF Halton Apprentices Association is Air Vice-Marshal Paul Colley OBE, who joined the RAF as an apprentice of 127th entry. The oldest living member of the association is awarded the honorary title "King Brat" as a mark of respect.
The Patron of the "Old Haltonians" Association is Air Chief Marshal Mike Armitage and the Vice-Patrons are Air Marshal Cliff Spink and Air Marshal Sir Graham Miller .
The RAF Aircraft Apprentice Scheme was initiated by Lord Trenchard at the No.1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton in 1922. Initially started in 1920 at Halton camp, the site was not ready to accept apprentices until 1922 so the first four entries were trained at 'RAF Cranwell'. Between 1922 and 1993, when the scheme ended with 155th Entry, over 40,000 young men known, more or less affectionately as Halton 'Brats' had graduated. Richie Waylens is officially the last apprentice to graduate from the apprentice scheme at Cosford in 1993.
In July 1952, No.1 S of TT received royal recognition when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented the School with a colour. The colour was received on behalf of the school by the 63rd Entry of aircraft apprentices; the colour party being Sergeant Aircraft Apprentice F.M. Hines, and identical twins S/A/A's Clive and Richard Grant. The Colour is unique among those awarded to United Kingdom forces in that it is paraded by non-commissioned personnel. This is a tradition inaugurated by the Queen when she presented the original Colour in 1952.
From 1993 to the present No.1 S of TT has been based at the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering, Cosford.