The Arborfield Old Boys Association


THE ARBORFIELD ASSOCIATION (the “Association”), more commonly known as the ARBORFIELD OLD BOYS ASSOCIATION (“AOBA”), was duly registered by the Charity Commission of England and Wales with Registration No. 1086198 on 19th April 2001 and represents all those young men and women who passed through the gates of the Arborfield Army Apprenticeship establishment during the years 1939 to 2004.


Whilst the Army Technical School was established in 1939 the AOBA was not formed until August 1948 with the aim of fostering esprit de corps and comradeship among all ex-Apprentices, Military and Civilian Permanent Staff of the Army Apprentice School as it was then known. Over the years, the names of the various Apprentice Schools and Colleges have changed but the theme of comradeship endures through the AOBA, and as at 2020 celebrates its 72nd year! HISTORY

With circa 800 active Members we have a structured Committee, who are also the nominated Trustees of the Charity (currently 8 Trustees and 2 Volunteers) CONTACTS to deal with the day to day running of the AOBA, and our own Constitution and Rules in compliance with the Charity Commission of England and Wales C&R


To promote the efficiency of the Army by:

Maintaining contact between former Apprentices of The Schools and Colleges and their REME Junior Soldier Successors and fostering mutual friendship between them and providing for social gatherings for them.

Fostering esprit de corps, comradeship and preserving the traditions of The Schools and Colleges.

To relieve either generally or individually Beneficiaries of former Apprentices of The Schools and Colleges and their Dependents, who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress.

To commemorate and remember Members or former Members of the Armed Forces of the Crown and in particular those former Apprentices of The Schools and Colleges and their REME Junior Soldier Successors who have lost their lives or suffered injury, or put themselves at risk of loss of life or injury, in service to the public.


We hold an Annual Reunion, an Annual General Meeting and three scheduled Committee Meetings per year.

We publish our very own Old Boy’s Association Newsletter (the “OBAN”) OBAN

We proudly boast our very own ex-Apprentices Pipes and Drums Band, turned out in their AOBA tartan kilts and available for bookings!

The AOBA are represented as a ‘marching contingent’ at the Royal British Legion Cenotaph Annual Parade and our Members, throughout the year, attend the various REME organized events across the country and other notably annual events.


The Annual Reunion is held in the Midlands in mid-July where we gather at the National Memorial Arboretum for a Parade and Drumhead Service, before heading back to the hotel for the Annual General Meeting and an evening Gala Dinner REUNIONS

The emphasis for the year is celebrating the individual yearly Intakes 50th Anniversary of the date of entering the apprentice system.

We also congratulate and celebrate with those on their 60th Anniversary and would you believe, their 70th Anniversary, such is the bond that brings the ‘Old Boys’ back together. The reunion formula has worked well, year on year, and long may it continue.


This website provides a wealth of historical information that should be of great interest not only to those who served their Apprenticeships or were Permanent Staff at Arborfield but also to their families and anyone else who may be researching the whole topic of Junior Soldier Tradesmen in the twentieth century.


If you are an ex-Apprentice, Military or Civilian Permanent Staff of The School and Colleges and upon request, any former Apprentice of a unit that does not have its own similar Association, then please seriously consider joining us JOIN US


Although most of the current Membership are retired, there are still ex-Arborfield Apprentices serving today [2022]. Princess Marina College closed in 2004, and those from the last intake are in the main SNCO’s, Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers, and as time passes and their time comes, we look forward to them to step up to be the custodians of the AOBA as a Charity and its day to day management on behalf of the Membership, preserve the history of The Schools and Colleges in both written and photographic form, correlating memories as shared by ex-Arborfield Apprentices, with their prior approval, by posting in this AOBA website and/or published in the OBAN, and honouring the traditions of the Annual Reunion as a focal point of gathering for the ex-Arborfield Apprentice.