OVER the coming weeks the Western Telegraph will regularly feature photographs from the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre’s archive, reflecting the community’s unique and long-lasting connections with all three armed services and its remarkable social story.

In the first of the series the RAF’s arrival is remembered.

Ninety years ago today (April 1) the Royal Air Force officially took over parts of the former Pembroke Royal Dockyard – neglected and forgotten since the Dockyard closure in 1926. It was a ray of hope for a beleaguered community.

This opened a chapter which lasted nearly 30 years and the RAF made many changes inside the imposing dockyard walls for its flying boat operations.

This aerial photograph, taken in the very early 1930s, shows the dockyard as inherited by the RAF – before so many of the original structures were cleared and replaced by two huge hangars and other buildings.

In the early days the RAF presence was small and the first CO was a Flight Lieutenant engineering officer, Bill Liniker.

He is pictured with the first airmen, Air Ministry ‘works and bricks’ officials and the RAF Police contingent.

The names of the police are known and include surnames still familiar in Pembroke Dock today – Jim Dooley, Dick Johns, Jack Baskerville, Jack Perkins, Bert Greenaway and Charlie Morris. Bill Liniker became a Group Captain during the war.