The Brackley Memorial Trophy

Awarded to an individual, a complete aircraft crew, or an organisation, for an outstanding contribution to air transport or transport aircraft operations.

(amended Terms of Reference 2019)

Brackley Memorial Trophy

2020 Awarded to:  Number 32 (The Royal) Squadron RAF


Number 32 (The Royal) Squadron of Royal Air Force Northolt, delivers Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) to members of the Royal Family, Government Ministers and senior military leaders, and has done so for the last 50 years. The Squadron and its industry partners, British Aerospace, SERCO and Sloane Helicopters, have been nominated for their invaluable contribution to UK Government activity, most notably their support during the last year of EU withdrawal negotiations, whilst in parallel, having to operate their aircraft from RAF Benson during RAF Northolt's runway resurfacing operations. The Squadron and its partners have delivered well beyond their remit, often at very short notice, to provide an exceptional VVIP service to both the Prime Minister and senior government officials.

The Squadron provides four BAe146 aircraft and one Augusta 109SP in support of Key Leadership Engagement activity and a wide range of military transport tasks. In the past 12 months the tasks have varied considerably and included timely and cost-effective transportation of the Prime Minister, the Defence Secretary and the Foreign Secretary to their respective engagements throughout Europe, North Africa and the Broader Middle East. Given the unrelenting pace of EU withdrawal negotiations and concomitant tempo of Governmental activity, the Squadron has often been called upon at extremely short notice and has not failed to deliver.

Providing this level of complex and dynamic tasking has been even more impressive because it has been delivered away from the Squadron’s logistical support base at RAF Northolt, a deployment known as Operation BOLTHOLE operating from RAF Benson. Operational support was not only required for the BAe146 aircraft at RAF Benson, but concurrently for the A109 helicopter operating from RAF Northolt, bringing added complexity to operations given the need to co-ordinate personnel, logistics and engineering between the two sites. Moreover, the addition of an ‘airbridge’-dedicated A109 to facilitate transport for London-based VVIPs necessitated a substantial increase in tasking. Significantly protracted working hours were often required by all personnel, a challenge that was readily accepted by this highly committed, loyal and professional team, upholding the Squadron’s and RAF Northolt’s highly regarded reputation. During the entire deployment not a single task was lost and over 80 VVIP tasks were seamlessly delivered.

The members of number 32 (The Royal) Squadron and its contracted engineering support partnerships have been tested many times during the Squadron’s illustrious history, but none more so than over the past 12 months, which has required teamwork and dedication across the Whole Force to ensure unwavering support to the Government, despite the challenges of Operation BOLTHOLE. With limited manpower, an ageing aircraft and difficult circumstances, the Squadron has delivered everything that has been asked of it.  Moreover, it has done so with a professional, good-humoured and ‘can-do’ attitude.

In recognition of unstinting professionalism and commitment in support of the UK's strategic interests, Number 32 (The Royal) Squadron and its industry partners are thoroughly deserving recipients of the Brackley Memorial Trophy.

Brackley Memorial No 32 The Royal Squadron


Previous Winners:

1948/49 J L Parker Esq

1949/50 H W C Alger Esq

1950/51 Wing Commander B J Aikman

1952 Not Awarded

1952/53 G A V Tyson Esq

1954 Not Awarded

1954/55 Royal Air Force Station - Pembroke Dock (201 & 230 Squadrons)

1956 - 1957 Not Awarded

1957/58 Comet and Britannia Flights of BOAC

1960 Not Awarded

1960/61 Captain J S Shephard

1961/62 No. 216 Squadron RAF

1962/63 No. 22 (SAR) Squadron RAF

1963/64 Captain Richard Rymer (postumous)

1964/65 Captain Frederick Ladd MBE

1965/66 Commander P M Lamb

1966/67 J H Phillips Esq

1968  Not Awarded

1968/69 Nos 22 and 202 Sqn, Coastal Command

1969/70 Flying Crews of Bristow Helicopters

1971 Not Awarded

1971/72 Captain C M Ramsey

1973 - 1974 Not Awarded

1974/75 Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose

1976 Not Awarded

1976/77 Captain Brian J Calvert

1978 - 1979 Not Awarded

1979/80 Captain Hugh P K Dibley

1980/81 Commander J Young and Captain R Crippen

1981/82 Long Range Operations-Falklands Islands Gp Capt Price, Wg Cdr P J Squire, Flt Lt W F M Withers, Flt Lt T F Locke, Flt Lt J A Cowan

1983 - 1986 Not Awarded

1986/87 Captain J Mason

1988 - 1991 Not Awarded

1991/92 Captain H Gee

1992/93 Captain T R Fulton

1994 - 1995 Not Awarded

1995/96 Aircrew of 47 Squadron Special Forces Flight

1997 Not Awarded

1997/98 Captain W D (Jock) Lowe

1998/99 Captain Neville J Hay

1999/2000 Captain Iain McClelland

2001 Not Awarded

2001/02 47 Squadron RAF

2002/03 99 Squadron RAF

2003/04 Squadron Leader James Dalrymple Cunningham MBE

2005 Not Awarded

2005/06 John Cashman

2006/07 J Tactical Training Flight RAF

2008 Not Awarded

2008/09 Squadron Leader Keith Hewitt MBE RAF

2010 - 2011 Not Awarded

2011/12 Flight Lieutenant C D Maggs RAF

2013 - 2015 Not Awarded

2016  Flight Lieutenant Stephen Hewer RAF

2017  40 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force

2018  Not Awarded

2019  British Airways Concorde Fleet

2020  Number 32 (The Royal) Squadron RAF