Movements Related News
1 Jun 2018
It is with regret that we learner of the death of Arthur Taylor from cancer aged 86
30 May 2018
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of David Stevens, one of the original Team Leaders on UKMAMS, aged 76.
18 May 2018
Terry 'Dinger' Bell
It is with regret that we learnt of the death of Terry Bell from kidney / liver failure whilst in hospital. It was Terry's wish that a private family service would take place in Trenton, Canada where he lived.
5 Apr 2018
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the sudden death of Neale Harrison from a heart attack on 2 Apr 2018.
9 Mar 2018
It is with regret that the Association was notified of the death of Gp Capt Peter Holland from complications following surgey for colon cancer on 5 March 2018. Gp Capt Holland had served in a variety of roles in the RAF including SAMO RAF Akrotiri, OC NEAF MAMS, SAMO RAF Colerne and OC RAF Movs School.
5 February 018
It is with regret that the Association learnt from Al McGrath of
the death of ex-FS Myke Wood. Al said "It is with the deepest sorrow
to inform our Mover family of the passing of Myke Wood (FS Ret'd)
who died suddenly last Monday (29th Jan) at his home in Newark.
His wife Sue, was with Myke when he collapsed and bravely tried to resuscitate him whilst awaiting the Paramedics. At this time the cause of his sudden passing is unknown."
The thoughts of the Association are with Myke's family.
4 February 2018
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of
Andy Olsen following a fight with cancer. The thoughts of the
Association are with his widow and daughters.
8 January 2018
Sqn Ldr (rtd) Tony Hurst
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Sqn Ldr (rtd) Tony Hurst on Boxing Day 2017
15 December 2017
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Chas Collier on the 15 Dec 2017
4 December 2017
The Association was informed that Sad to report that Gp Capt Bill Girdwood, one of the first team leaders on FEAF MAMS and first OC Supply and Movements Wing at RAF Stanley, died at the beginning of December
11-12 November 2017
National Festival of Remembrance
The weekend started with an informal meet and Greet on the Saturday evening. Then Association had 42 members on parade at the Cenotaph for the National Festival of Remembrance. This was followed by a Meet and Greet in the Sherlock Holmes near by.
22 Oct 2017
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Andy Hartley on 22 Oct following a long battle with cancer.
20 Sep 2017
It is with regret that the Association has learnt of the death of Roy Armstrong on the 9 Sept.
8 Sep 2017
Support to Relief Operations in the Caribbean - Op Ruman
RAF C-17, Atlas and Voyagers have left RAF Brize Norton destined for the British Overseas Territories devastated by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean. Aboard the aircraft are military personnel drawn from specialist units from all three Armed Services including engineers and medics who will assist DFID - UK Department for International Development- in the delivery of humanitarian relief operations.They will be followed in due course by further transport aircraft carrying aid, equipment and helicopters
Text and photos from Royal Air Force FaceBook page
23 Aug 2017
it is with regret that the Association learnt of the death on 22 Aug of Bob Ford.
12 Aug 2017
Chris "Spike" Maris
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death on 12 Aug of Chris "Spike" Maris following a long battle with cancer.
11 Apr 2017
Ian "Dinger" Bell
t is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Ian "Dinger" Bell. Dinger died just after 1800 on the 10th April in hospital in Bath.
Dinger's funeral was on the 27 April at 1045 at the Semington Crematorium
16 Dec 2016
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Bob Wetherill. Bob had been suffering from COPD with complications and was admitted to hospital on the 10 Dec. He died peacefully on the 16 Dec.
13 Nov 16
National Service of Remembrance and March Past at the Cenotaph
35 members of the Association
took part in the in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.
6 Sep 2016
FS Lynton Muff Mufford
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of FS Lynton Muff Mufford after a long battle against cancer.
28 Jul 2016
The Association has received an invitation to attend the The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Sunday 13 November 2016. This will be the second time the Association has taken part.
25 Jul 2016
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Bob Henstock.
22 Jul 2016
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Baz Chappell.
4 Jun 16
It is with regret that the Association has learnt of the sudden death from a heart attack whilst on a flight to Malta for a holiday of Norrie Radlciffe.
1 Jun 2016
The current MAMS of 1 AMW will be renamed UKMAMS from 1 Jun 2016. 1 AMW consists of he Operational Support Sqn (OSS) and the United Kingdom Mobile Air Movements Sqn (UKMAMS); within UKMAMS there are 5 mobile flights providing dedicated manpower to meet exercise and operation tasking, both contingent and enduring. OSS provide all Logs support to UKMAMS including an additional flight dedicated to the Permanent Air Movements Detachments (PAMDs) at six locations worldwide.
29 Feb 16
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of Peter Pitchers from his brother, John. He said "My brother Peter Pitchers was an ex mover. He passed away yesterday. He did his training at RAF Hereford, passed out as a supplier general. Moved over to movements 68 was a time RAF Gutersloh until he returned to UK. Postings to Cyprus Lyneham and Brize Norton. Where he had a stint with MAMS. lm just trying to contact his old mates."
26 Feb 16
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death of
Graham "Geordie" Flanagan.
27 Jan 16
It is with regret that the Association learnt from Mick Day of the death of Harry Cooper on the 5th Jan following a long battle with cancer. Harry completed 2 Movements tours in Changi in the 1960s.
21 Jan 16
It is with regret that the Association learnt from Bob Dixon of the death of Eileen Stewart, widow of Flt Lt Jim Stewart on the 19 Jan 20116
30 Dec 15
New Years Honours
WO Elisha Evans
Mrs S Stewart 1AMW
FS C M Fitches
Sgt E A Knight
AOC 38 Gp Commendation
Sgt F A Morgan
Team Commendation - Special Forces Support Group Movements Detachment
19 Dec 15
WO Ray Hedinburgh
It is with regret that the Association learnt of the death on the 19th Dec from cancer of WO Ray Hedinburgh.
8 Nov 15
National Service of Remembrance
23 members of the Association took part in the in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.
20 Oct 2015
Message received from Colin
Allen "It is with great sadness that I have to inform
the RAF Movements group that my dear friend; retired
Movements Warrant Officer Dave Howley passed away on 20th
Oct after a short battle with cancer.
He died following a diagnosis at the end of July of
oesophageal cancer, his decline was much quicker than
the Doctors suggested and the last few weeks he went
downhill very quickly. "
His funeral was at Grantham crematorium on 5th Nov
17 Oct 2015
It is with regret that the Association heard of the death of Flt Lt Peter Spear Rtd from cancer.
12 Aug 2015
It is with regret that I
pass on the following news from Chris Roberts
"I wanted to write and let you know that my father passed away this last week. He was MAMS for most of his career in the RAF serving in Cyprus (where I was born), Lyneham, Scampton, Stafford, Belize, Decimomannu and a number of other locations.
From what I know he retired and did a number of years out in Brize Norton in the reserves. I just wanted to let anyone know who might have known him. My Fathers name was David Roberts, he retired to the US for a while, then ended up spending the last 10 years or so in Thailand."
Dave's funeral was held in Chang Mai, Thailand on the 13th Aug.
13 May 2015
The Association learned
of the death of retired FS Al Scarisbrick (ex FS
Load Plans Bize Norton among other places). The funeral
was on the 14th May at 1400 in Black Bourton Church.
From the Witney Gazette
SCARISBRICK Alan At home, with wife Maureen by his side, on 6th May, after 3 ˝ year battle with cancer, aged 69. Loving father to Carl and Michael, father in law to Stacey and devoted grandfather to five grandchildren. Funeral Service to take place at Saint Mary the Virgin Church, Black Bourton on 14th May at 2.00 pm, followed by burial.
6 Apr 2015
It is with regret to inform you of the death of Michael
Mylchreest, who passed away on Mon 6 April 2015. Michael died
peacefully after a short battle with cancer.
The funeral took place on Thursday 16 April at 1530
Durham Crematorium, South Road, Durham DH1 3TQ
1 Mar 2015
News received from Keith Parker "It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the sad death of Gus Cobb. Gus had been ill for some time with cancer and died yesterday at 11 am with his family beside him."
11 Jan 2015
It is with much sadness we learnt of the death of Dave Eggleton from Bryan Morgan. The funeral was private family service. A memorial service for Dave took place on Monday 16th February at St. Helen's Church, St Helen's Wharf, Abingdon.
1 Jan 2015
New Year's Honours
Movers honoured include Neil Cutler, Tug Wilson, Lee Gibney, Gino Green, Tim Twaites, Mark Evans and Matt Holmwood. JADTEU Air Portabilty were awarded a Team Commendation.
News received from Tony Gale I've just received a message from Wendy Mulqueen. Terry passed away in his sleep from a massive heart attack on 19th October. Terry and Wendy were in Tobago at the time. Final arrangements are not known at the moment. In the meantime, should anyone wish to get in touch with Wendy, her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message received from the brother of ex-Cpl Jim Casey
"I thought you might be interested to know that my elder brother Jim Casey (Cpl, ex-UKMAMS) passed away in July 2014.
Jim left the RAF in the 1980s and went on to be a primary teacher in Edinburgh. He contracted Brain Cancer 5 years ago
and underwent 2 serious brain ops and countless chemotherapy sessions and well exceeded the 6 months they gave him!
6 May 2014
Colin Allen and Sam Heaphy have informed the Association that Brian Kingdom lost his fight against cancer yesterday, 5 May. Brian was an SAC on Mobile around 1975/76.
28 March 2014
Message from Bob Dixon "It is with
sadness that we have heard that Neil Mackay has unexpectedly died
after a heart attack. Many will remember Neil who was both a Mover
and a ‘Fueli’ (Fuels and POL) in his RAF career. I worked with him
in both disciplines and his energy and forthright manner challenged
the slower moving and stimulated action wherever he went! I
thoroughly enjoyed his company. On leaving the Service he
subsequently became a successful diving instructor in the Virgin
Islands for several years and, on return to the UK, he eventually
lived in Melksham. I am sure that you will all want me to express
our condolences to his wife, Ruth, and to his family still in South
Africa - from whence Neil came.
I would be happy to consolidate any messages you wish to send and pass them on to Ruth. You can send them to me at: email@example.com
The funeral will take place on Monday 14th April at 1430 at the Semington West Wiltshire Crematorium (Devizes Road, Semington, BA14 6HL), near Trowbridge, Wiltshire. More details will be forthcoming about where donations should be sent instead of flowers and also where folk will meet after the ceremony.
My regards to all
19 March 2014
22 Mar Message received from Ian Berry. "I sadly have to advise that Brian Connellan passed away on Wednesday 19th March at home (his wish) after losing the fight with cancer of the kidney which eventually spread to his lungs. His funeral will be held on Wednesday 2 April at 2pm at the Church of Our Lady of Victories,"
30 Nov 2013
PHIL "NOBBY" CLARKE
It is with regret that we announce that Philip "Nobby" Clarke lost his long fight against illness this morning
18 Oct 2013
It is with regret that we announce that Bru Brunell lost his long fight against illness this morning. The following was posted on Facebook
"Hi. Thank you for you kind comments about Steve. We his family are devastated by him passing but take joy from reading all the kind comments from his friends. He is to be buried at Startforth church on Friday the 1st of November at 10.30 am. If you would like to attend we welcome all. We can arrange accommodation if required"
20 Aug 2013
It is with deep regret that we announce that ex FS, Trevor "Oz" Oswald died peacefully this morning after losing his fight with cancer.
23 July 2013
Bob Dixon has told the Association that Sqn Ldr Bill Jacobs, the first OC UKMAMS, died recently.
Plans for the future development of RAF Lyneham released.
22 Feb 2013
It is with very great regret that I must inform you of the death this afternoon of Terry Roberts. As most of you know Terry had been very ill for some time; he was taken into the Hospice yesterday and sadly died, with Isabel and his family by his side, a few hours ago.
Terry was a valued friend and was always ready with any help and advice I required when I first joined UKMAMS in 1991; I will always remember him with great affection. He was the perfect gentleman and had a great sense of humour. I know he will be sadly missed by the many friends he had in the Movements Trade, and beyond.
MAMS Assn Welfare Secretary
Funeral Arrangements for Terry
Terry's funeral was held at Kingsdown Crematorium, Swindon on 11th March 2013 at 2.15pm and well over 200 family and friends attended. It was followed by afternoon tea at Pear Tree, Purton.
There were family flowers only. Donations to Prospect Hospice, which may be sent to:
T: 01793 813355
Alternatively gift aid monies via the following:
16 Feb 2013
Flt Lt Fran Capps
A woman who was one of three people who died in an avalanche in the Highlands on Thursday has been named.The Ministry of Defence said 32-year-old Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps, from Dulverton in Somerset, died after the avalanche in the Chalamain Gap area.
One of the other victims had been previously named as Sqn Ldr Rimon Than, 33, who was based at RAF Valley in North Wales.
21 Jan 2013
Algeria siege: Gwynedd man (and ex-Mover) Garry Roberts safe and
Relatives of a Gwynedd man working for BP at an Algerian gas plant which was attacked by militants have been told he is safe and well.
It is understood Garry Roberts hid in a loft with another man during the four-day siege in which 48 hostages are now thought to have died.
It is believed Mr Roberts may have run a fish and chip shop in Barmouth, where he has lived for about 20 years.
He is a former member of Barmouth's RNLI crew.
His family have been told he is being debriefed prior to returning to the UK.
4 Jan 2013
It is with regret that the death of Bob Thacker is announced.
17 Dec 2012
End of an era for Lyneham RAF base
Residents and councillors gave three cheers for military staff at the former RAF Lyneham base when they said a final goodbye.
Around 2,500 staff made the move from Lyneham to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire last year, making space for a new Defence Technical Training College.
Only a handful of staff stayed at the base to take charge of a final clear-out and, on Monday, they spent their last day there.
Squadron leader Rob Connolley, Master Aircrew Chris Bogg, Flight Sergeant Peter Willbraham and Senior Aircraftman Steve Kingdon, were the final four military members stationed at the base.
They took part in flag lowering ceremony signalling the end of an RAF presence there. The short ceremony was watched by local civilians, including pupils from Lyneham Primary School.
Sqn Ldr Connolley also gave a speech reflecting on changes at the base since the final four Hercules planes left in July 2011.
He said: "Lyneham opened on May 18, 1940, with four officers, one other rank, 15 civilians, nine vehicles and no aircraft, which is quite similar to what we have today - there's not many left behind."
"The occasion is a thank you to all the people who have supported us over the years and a thank you to all those who have turned up today. A lot of the people who have come today are ex-RAF and it's a sad time for them as the village's association with the unit goes."
Although the flag has been lowered, the unit will still be owned by the RAF until December 31.
After this it will be handed over the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which manages all grounds on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.
The new Defence Technical Training College will be fully established by 2020, with 1,950 students and staff there by 2015, rising to 4,300 when training is fully established.
Demolition work at the air base will start this month, beginning with some of the most derelict buildings on the site.
Coun Ron Glover, chairman of Lyneham and Bradenstoke Parish Council, was in the RAF for 30 years and worked at Lyneham for four years as a Corporal at the start of his career.
He said: "The community of Lyneham have come together today to say a fond farewell to our friend and neighbour, the Royal Air Force.
"As neighbours do, they are moving to a new home and we in Lyneham and Bradenstoke will be wondering, just as Brize Norton have done, about the new people moving in. Will they be better or worse than the neighbours before?"
"Most probably, as with any neighbour, they will be much the same. The friendships will only develop over time when we feel comfortable in each other's company."
"For now, Lyneham and Bradenstoke will be vigilant and watch over this empty base until our new neighbours are ready to move in."
15 Oct 2012
It is with regret that the death of Peter Underwood is announced. Peter died peacefully on the 15th Oct 2012 in New Glasgow, Canada.
9 Oct 2012
Sean "Paddy" Brick
Message received from Al Hart
"Sad to announce the death yesterday (9 Oct 2012) of Sean 'Paddy' Brick Waiting for details of the funeral from Cynthia and will keep you posted. Please pass on this news to other colleagues"
27 Jul 2013
Movements Sgt at Olympics opening ceremony
Sgt Gary Main was one of the servicemen who raised the Union Flag at the Olympics opening ceremony.
30 Apr 2012
Hugh (Stan) Garvin
It is with regret that I have to inform you that Hugh (Stan) Garvin (ex-Cpl 1970-80s; RAF Brize Norton, Wildenrath and UKMAMS) sadly passed away on Monday 30 April 2012.
The funeral will take place on Saturday 5 May 2012 at 0900 hrs at South Lanarkshire Crematorium, Sydes Brae, Blantyre, G72 0TL, Scotland. This will be followed by the Wake at Cadzow Welfare, 4 Alness Street, Hamilton, ML3 6RU, Scotland.
Condolences can be sent to the Garvin Family at 42 Mill Road, Hamilton, ML3 8HX, Scotland or via myself and I will make sure that the family receive them.
Jackie Brice, RAF MAMS Assn Welfare Secretary.
16 Apr 2012
It is with regret that I have to inform you of a message received from Tony Dunphy.
Shirley Batty, wife of ex-WO Eric Batty (FEAF MAMS, NEAF MAMS), sadly passed away on Monday 16 April 2012. The funeral will take place on Friday 27 April 2012 at 1330 hrs; Oxford Crematorium
13 Apr 2012
t is with regret that the death of Allan Carter is announced.
20 Mar 2012
Tony Gale of the OBA sent the following
It is with deep sadness that I have to inform you that my wife, Hilary Middleton, passed away yesterday. The funeral was on 20 March at 1130 at Cambridge City Crematorium.
The strong bond between the team members and families of the Blue and Red Teams of NEAF MAMS will never be forgotten.
4 Dec 2011
Sqn Ldr Dave Allan
The Association has been informed that
Sqn Ldr Dave "Chunky" Allan rtd (MAMS, JATE and Aux) died on the 4th
Dec 2011. Funeral was on 22 Dec at 1230 at the St Austin, Catholic
21 Sep 2011
Norman "Taff" Thomas
"I notice your member listed as Mr Norman Thomas, and feel that it must be my Father! But somehow I don't think anyone would remember him as 'Norman' - more likely Tommy or Taff Thomas, the piano man...
I regret to inform you that he passed away on Saturday 17th September, peacefully and at home, just 5 weeks short of 82 yrs. He was a great family man - and with 7 children, I guess you could say he proved that. We will all miss him dearly. I hope he may be remembered by some of his colleagues, or team over the years, and I regret that we didn't make it easier for him to go 'electronic' and keep in touch as it's a great way to share stories, and thank you for the insight. He wasn't able to get about very easily after his retirement in the 80's, and in fact ended up staying in one place for 26yrs - which must be unheard of - for a Mover!
Am not sure of his history but he joined UKMAMS @ RAF Abingdon in the early 70's, and continued to travel far; having joined the RAF in 1947, and being posted to all those far-flung places required of those ever-changing times.
Kind regards, Julie Clark (daughter)"
1 June 2011
1st June 2011 - Colin Allen and Ian Berry have stood down from the Chairman and Deputy Chairman positions. Colin and Ian have been involved in the running of the MAMS Association for over 23 years from the initial idea of forming the Association. Flt Lt Tony Geerah has agreed to become the new Chairman. Keith Parker has taken over as Deputy Chairman and Mick Cocker has handed over Team Brief to John Conduit. John is looking for any articles or photos for the next editions of Team Brief. If you want to contribute to Team Brief, please send your article to John.
19 May 2011
It is with regret that I have to inform
you that the Association has received a message from Chas Cormack
informing us of the death of Bob Turner. Bob passed away in Swindon
Hospital yesterday. Bob's funeral was held on Thurs 2nd June at
Our deepest sympathies go to Bob's wife Claire and his family at this sad time.
23 Apr 2011
David "Griff" Griffen
I am very sad to bring you the news of
the death of my friend David 'Griff' Griffen.
Griff passed away in the early hours of this morning, 23rd April, after a two year battle with cancer. Griffs Wife, Liani and his Daughter Jordan were with him at the end.
Liani will be having a small service in Belfast, the date to confirmed after the Easter holiday.
Griff was never a traditionalist, and as such Liani has requested no flowers. If anyone does wish to show their respects, a donation to the USPCA would be greatly appreciated.
Please send any messages of condolence to this email address. I will pass them on to Liani.
16 Feb 2011
It is with regret that I have to inform
you of the death of Sandy Sandiford, aged 80, who died in the John
Radcliffe, Oxford on Weds 16th February.
Sandy was a Cpl on Echo Team UKMAMS Abingdon between May 1966 and May 1972.
He was suffering from end stage Alzheimers for the last 5 years but during that time was lovingly cared for by his wife Terry and family.
31 Dec 2011
New Year Honours - 2011
WO MA Jones - 1 AMW
FS AP Stacey - 1 AMW
5 Dec 2010
It is with great sadness that I have to
inform you that yesterday I had a very hard phone call with Phyllis
Cromb - Dave Cromb's wife.
Dave passed away on the 5th Dec in Brisbane after a massive heart attack. Phyllis said that he had not been that well for the past couple of weeks with his foot but for the past two days he had been feeling really unwell and had had lots of chest pains. After not wanting a fuss, he eventually agreed to call an ambulance and was actually talking to them when he had a massive attack. The Paramedics worked on him for an hour but could not resuscitate him.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this difficult time.
Please pass on the sad news...
1 Dec 2010
No 1 Air Mobility Wing Grow "Mos"
During the month of November, 1 AMW took up the challenge of growing moustaches or 'mos' for the globally sponsored charity event "Movember"
Movember challenges men to change their and the face of men's health by growing a moustache to raise awareness regarding prostate cancer and to aid the funding of its research. The rules are simple, starting on the 1 November clean shaven; the men had 30 days to grow their best effort moustache. The Movember moustache campaign has grown into a global phenomenon with the UK campaign specifically benefiting The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC), the country's leading prostate cancer charity.
On the last day of the event and donning WWII style RAF uniform, the thirteen 1 AMW personnel braved the weather for 'tea and medals' and met in-front of the WWII Dakota gate guard outside 47 AD Sqn's HQ to establish whose 'mo' had won the challenge. In judging the event, RAF Lyneham's subject matter expert, the SWO said: "Having been born with my 'tache', I can't fully appreciate how difficult a task this has been for the guys, but the effort has been tremendous all round."
With the formal parade and inspection complete, the SWO decided that the winning title should be given to Sergeant 'Muff' Mufford for his superb effort, particularly with regards to the fact that it only took thirty days to achieve! The thirteen participants from No 1 AMW were, Squadron Leader Mark Clulo, Flight Lieutenants Ben Winters, Adam Hale, Trev Batey, Mike Trewhella, Conrad Steele-Benny and Matt Stott, Flying Officers Piers Compton and Aaron Fulton, Warrant Officer Martin Jones, Sergeants 'Eccy' Eccles and 'Muff' Mufford and Corporal Steve Lauder.
Flight Lieutenant Ben Winters, who organised the event said: "The guys from 1 AMW have done a fantastic job in raising the profile and awareness of such a worthy cause. They have all made a great effort with the challenge and raised over 1800 pounds for the charity." The event captured the imagination of the local and national media with footage being shown on National BBC Breakfast News and articles appearing in the Daily Star, Guardian and a series of local newspapers and web sites.
27 Nov 2010
It is with regret that I have been informed by Paul van Aardt that fellow mover Henry Downes chocked out of life on Saturday 27 November 2010. Paul wrote:
Sorry to have to pass this on mate but, Henry Downes died today. No idea of the cause of death. He did not show at the pub and subsequent inquiries and phone calls were unanswered. Police were called and gained entrance to find he had died. Bless him."
Paul van Aardt"
Eulogy - Henry Downes by his brother
Thank you all for coming here to see Henry off on his final journey,
I say that because I once had a conversation with Henry and asked how many countries he had been to, he told me that there were very few parts of the world he had not been to. He said this not in a boastful way but in a straight matter of fact way. That was part of the character of my brother; he said it as he saw it.
I shall now start by giving a brief history of Henry's life. By the time I have finished I hope I can fill in a few holes in his past that you may not have known about him. This will perhaps help you understand the Henry that we all knew in our different ways.
Henry was born in Cuxhaven, Germany on the 28 September 1941, not long after his first father who had been wounded on the Russian front died in a hospital in Norway.
After the war ended my father met Henry's mother, they fell in love and got married. My father then adopted Henry and his older sister Giselle. Henry's early years he went to Prince Rupert Boarding School, there he learnt English and all the other usual subjects. He struggled with written English so my mother used to help him by buying him copies of The Beano and Dandy to help him. He told me it worked.
Eventually the family moved from Germany to England. It must have been hard for him in those days so soon after the war. He did adjust well to life in England. He told me it wasn't hard and said he was surprised how well people treated him. After that he fell in love with England and being English. The kindness shown to him had a great impression on him at an early age.
Now we move onto his teen years. He tried to work in civilian life, getting a job in a furniture factory in Maidstone. To be honest, he hated it.
Soon after this traumatic experience he decided to join one of the forces. My father thought the obvious choice was the Royal Engineers. But Henry being Henry decided on the RAF. One of the best choices of his life. He remained in the RAF for 36 years.
During that time, he met his wife, Pat, whom he loved more than anything else in his life. Between them they had a child, James. Unfortunately, James had a long history of illness in his short life. He died at the age of 6. After this tragic time, Henry and Pat although heartbroken got on with their lives and seemed to even get closer than ever.
Near the end of his RAF career they both decided to find somewhere to put down permanent roots. As a family, we hoped it would be in Kent, but Henry and Pat decided on Plymouth. As it turned out, probably a good decision.
Unfortunately, not long after moving to Devon, Pat developed cancer and after 30 years of a great marriage, Pat died. After this we all thought Henry might come back to Kent but he decided this was the place he and Pat wanted to live so he would stay.
It was a good decision. He made a new life, he made a great circle of friends and got on well with his neighbours especially Vic. He often told me how much he enjoyed life down here. I should like, on behalf of the family, to thank all his friends and neighbours for keeping an eye out for Henry and for making his life so much fun.
Coming to the end of this life history, we all know Henry went too early especially having seemingly beaten cancer and we all thought we going to have the pleasure of his company for many years to come. But that is not how it is.
In trying to sum up Henry, I was a little lost, until my sister in law, Lynda gave me a list of e-mails from people who knew Henry in the RAF or just knew him. IN it there is a common thread that comes out. They all seem to say of Henry:
He was a big man physically
He had a big heart
He had a big personality
He had all of that
To me and my other brothers he as a great brother. He was a very much loved uncle and a very good friend.
12 June 2010
Queens Birthday Honours
Chief of Air Staff's Commendation
FS SJ Constantine
C in C's Commendation
Team Commendation - 1 AMW SF Movements Flight
Cpl PJL Swallow
Sgt SM Wooles
Team Commendation - Civilian Airhead Detached Flight