RAF HALTON 1953 - 1956

In Memoriam Page

(Updated 23 April 2014)

This page is in two sections, the first listing those departed for whom we have no information other than their 'passing' , the second section contains a little more information about our departed Comrades

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM ALL.


Section 1 - 34 Names
589087 Alexander, Stuart
589044 Brooks Terry
589155 Jordan, Geoffrey
589132 Lill, Alan
588607 Malloy, John
589115 Roberts, David
589071 Shirfield R
589109 Thompson R
588929 Whitehead John
10066 Young, Darryl
588578 Cole B J H
588966 Ellis L W
589007 Lynch, David
589031 Hogarth, William
589077 Hollands Ken
589117 Chatfield, John
589187 Norton, Kenneth
588999 Relf, Alan
588968 Anscombe, Michael
588644 Watkin, Robert
588934 Wilkins, David
589097 Parker, Geoffrey
588988 Stocker, Derek
5049 Maynard (Htoo Wynn)
5053 Goddin K
5059 Thein Zan
5060 Tin Pe
5047 Peters
5048 Tin Myint
5077 Tun Zaw
5050 Ohn Nyunt
5052 Kyaw Tint
5076 Tint Swee
589069 Rice, David - July 2007
588917 Smith, Fred - Sept 2009
589104 Thomas, William - Dec 2009
589089 Keefe, Bob - June 2012
589042 Busby, Barry - ? 2012
5074 Hla Aye

 

Section 2 - 19 Names
Click on a Name
6
589060 J/T Arundell P - Singapore 588957 J/T Veck   Christmas Island (?)
589030 Harris J - England 589209 Girdler E - England
589170  Stiens H - Australia 589183 Johnson C -England
589120 Longstaff B - England 589148 Winterton S - England
589181 Hall A E - England 589248 Dibbs T - England
589102 Rees R C - Indian Ocean 589139 Bulbick P - England
589204 Townsend P - England

589103 Ramsey J - England

589096 Knight D- England 589186 Lewington D M - Holland
589215 Henry Bird - England 588960 Ken Halls - Indian Ocean
588963 Wash, Ronald - England 589208 Gibson, Gordon
589256 Rosvear, Roger - England 588296 Blunt, David S - May 2008
589086 Jory, Brian DW - Oct 2008 589147 Clift, Gordon R - July 2009<
589047 Holcroft, David - July 2009 588974 Miller, Collin - May 2010
588783 Tayler, Peter - Jan 2012 589003 Thompson, Robert C -Dec 2012
5892370 Beare, Wilson H - Nov 2013 589064 Hart, Ian - April 2013
588966 Ellis L W - 1968 589024 Bradshaw, David - Feb 201

 

Pete Arundell (Electrician)


Pete Arundell - 589060

The following two photo's were taken during a visit to Singapore, at Kranji Military Cemetery, by Mike Smith.(see Mike Smiths text page)

As you can see from the date, Pete was barely out of Halton when he was killed (on the ground) in an Aircraft accident, at RAF Tengah.
I had the sad duty of being one of the Pall Bearers at his Funeral. - Dave Howell WebMaster

 

Mike Smith at the grave side.

R F Veck (Electrician)

R F Veck - 588957

Bob Veck (to the best of our knowledge) died in a swimming related accident on Christmas Island, 6 months ( almost to the day)  from Pass Out, thereby being the first of our comrades to be lost. If anyone can fill out the details I would be pleased to receive them. (WebMaster)

 

Robert Veck (to the best of our knowledge) died in a swimming related accident on Christmas Island, 6 months ( almost to the day)  from Pass Out, thereby being the first of our comrades to be lost. If anyone can fill out the details I would be pleased to receive them. (WebMaster)


Memorial Plaque - I believe the plaque is located in a church on Christmas Island



Christmas Island Church - Constucted from local materials
((Photo obtained from the Internet - WebMaster)

Jack Harris  (Armament)

Jack Harris passed away in December 2000, after a short illness. Several of us attended the funeral at Basingstoke Crematorium, and a moving part of the ceremony were the tributes to Jack from Naomi and Rachel, his Grand-daughters.  Naomi and Rachel have kindly given me permission to reproduce them here.

A Tribute To My Grandfather

Memories are the most important asset we can own,
We enter this world with nothing and we leave with nothing,
Nothing but memories.
Like so many of you, I have my own memories of my Grandad,
He may have seemed domineering, strong and hasty at times,
But deep inside he had a heart of solid gold,
And an amazing, unique sense of humour.
Throughout my childhood my sister and I received letters and cards from my Grandad.
Inside the envelope we would find pieces of cereal, cat biscuits, screws and all sorts of things that he put in the envelope just to make us laugh, and he was right! It did make us laugh. It was such a bizarre and daft thing to do, you couldn't help but laugh!
But that was the thing about him, although he was practical and serious he could always make you laugh because of daft things he would say or do!
He would always speak his mind,
and I think some people were afraid of this.
If you asked his opinion for something he would give you his genuine opinion,
And I think that's important in remembering him,
He was a genuine person.
For this I admire him greatly.
One of the greatest memories I have of my Grandad, is when he and my Nan took my sister and I to Disneyland, Florida. It was a surprise Christmas Present. 
That day he had everything sorted out and showed us a video of where we were going and had leaflets and brochures. He was just as excited as we were and when we got there he wasn't any more relaxed!
I remember he would wake us up early in the morning and we would go and. have breakfast. Even if we didn't feel like eating, we had to have something.
It was just him looking after us and I remember him saying " make sure you eat plenty you've got a big day ahead of you", and he was so right! He would do everything he could in a day. He would come on the rides with us and take us to every corner of the parks to make sure that we didn't miss a thing. He was so eager we didn't even stop for lunch and that's when we knew we were glad he made us have breakfast!
He even came in the Nickelodeon studios with us. We were invited to be the audience of a children's game show and my Nan and Grandad sat in the audience full of children, having just as much fun as we were! Even after a day out he wouldn't stop there!

Every night he took us out for dinner. We went to a different restaurant every night, and he always wanted us to be adventurous and try something new!
And that's the type of person he was. He wanted to experience everything and wasn't afraid to do so! And as many of you know he was always.jetting off to some place far and new, to experience as many different cultures as he could!
He didn't put his arm around me to tell me that he loved me,
But I knew he did!
He showed his love by sharing his experiences with you!
He once took me to London to visit Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. He wanted me to experience the atmosphere and beauty of them. He took me to Chinatown and wanted me to eat duck. I didn't want to, but I now know it was only because he wanted me to experience it!
Not only did he want to experience life and everything in it,
He wanted to share his experiences,
And wanted us to experience life too!

I wrote a poem for him and I think you will all agree with me when
I say that the words I have used, reflect his personality.

A Tribute To My Grandfather

Love is a precious gift,
Without love we are nothing,
For love shines from within.
You had love,
Love that could be seen in your eyes,
Love that showed through your actions,
Indeed love which shone from within.
You have shown me,
what achievement is,
and for this I am thankful.
you leave me no objects to keep,
But memories,
memories that I cannot lose,
or misplace,
But memories that will stay with me,
forever,
And into eternity.
I know that you will be with me,
and all your loved ones too,
In spirit,
Watching Upon Us,
And protecting us,
Showing us that love,
Doesn't need to be expressed,
By the words,
"I Love You"
But by laughter,
Discussion,
And kindness.
I shall not think of you,
As gone forever,
We will be reunited again,
In peace,
And harmony.
For all the love that you gave,
Deserves love in return,

Written by his loving granddaughter
Naomi Potter

The following poem was read by Naomi's sister, Rachel

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away - into the next room,
I am I 
And You are You,
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way, which you always used,
Put no difference in your tone 
Wear no false air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
All the little jokes we enjoyed together
Play, Smile, think of me, Pray for me,
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow on it, 
Life means all that it ever meant, 
It is the same as it ever was,
There is an unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am only out of sight?
I am waiting for you, 
For an interval - Somewhere very near
Just around the corner, 

All is well.

Ted Girdler (Engines)

Ted was killed in an aircraft crash during a flying display, in summer 2000.

We reproduce below the letter from his son to the members of the Flying Club Ted ran. (See also Teds Photo page)

Dear Friends 
I would like to thank all those of you who have expressed your sympathy for me and my Family with the untimely loss of Ted during his display at Eastbourne. We miss him very much but take great solace in the fact that he enjoyed his life and his flying so much. 
He recently told a friend that he had no regrets and that he had achieved everything he had wanted in life. We thought that your members might like to read a short summary of Ted's career and achievements.

Son of a Kent miner, Ted was born in Deal, Kent where he attended Dover Grammar School. On leaving school at the age of 16 he joined the RAF in September 1953 as an engineer apprentice at RAF  Halton where he met and married Joyce in 1957. Subsequently he served with the Air Service Flight, The Queen s Flight as an engineer then a Sergeant Signaller on Shackletons at Kinloss, with a tour at St. Mawgan. 

Commissioned as a Flying Officer in September 1964, Ted commenced flying training on Jet Provost at RAF Syerston and on completion of the course was awarded three cups - Best All Round Student, Best  Flying and Best General Duties Training. He led the passing out parade at the end of this course (having told  the family that he may have failed the course!). From here he went to weapons training at RAF Chivenor flying the Hunter then joined 111 Squadron flying Lightnings at RAF Wattisham. 

This was followed by a tour at Central Flying School to become a Flying Instructor and two years as an  instructor at No.4 FTS Valley. In November 1971 Ted joined the Red Arrows at RAF Kemble where he  remained until leaving the RAF in 1975. 

In June 1975 Ted became CFI at Tayside Aviation, Dundee where on taking over he upgraded the Club to a full time operation. He left the Club in 1982 to return  home  to Kent and after a short spell of air charter  work, the family bought Thanet Flying Club and formed TG Aviation. 

The next 18 years were then spent building Thanet Flying Club and TG Aviation into what you see today, one of the best flying school, engineering and aircraft operations facilities available in the country. During the  difficult times such as the recession, competition from Secoat and the withdrawal of the RAF from Manston,  Ted s enthusiasm for life and flying always managed to pull everyone through. He was so pleased that the hard work over the years was recognised this year when AOPA/Flyer awarded TG Aviation the Best Flying  School of the Year Award. Ted received the award from Neville Duke at Aerofair 2000 at North Weald. 

As well as being Chief Flying Instructor/Managing Director of TG Aviation, Ted also took over as Chairman of the AOPA (Aircraft Operators and Pilot s Association) Instructor Committee in 1996. With his experience and expertise Ted re-activated the Committee. As an active Flight Instructor Examiner Ted led the  Committee to obtain approval from the CAA to undertake the Flight Instructor refresher seminars, required  as part of the revalidation requirements for instructors under JAR-FCL (the new European licencing). 

Harry Stiens (Engines)



After John George, one of our members in Australia did some research into other Ex 75th in Australia he found out that Harry died in 1995. We have since received the following from Harrys Daughter, Jeanette.

"Dad passed away 7 years ago. Having just retired, he had spent the last 12 years of his life loving every minute of his job as a engine fitter for the Australian Governments FA/18 program. He was also a member of the RAAF Air Force Reserve." 

Clive Johnson (Engines)



We only located Clive in June of 2001, and sadly he passed away on the 12th March 2002 following an illness.

Brian (Bert) Longstaff (Airframes)



After his RAF Service, Bert worked at Westland Aircraft in Yeovil for many years, but had to retire a while back due to ill health.

Simon Winterton (Armaments)



Simon sadly passed away in June 2001.The following is from Tony Bowden (a fellow Armourer).

I knew Simon well because he was a plumber and he also went from Halton to Culdrose with us for two years. At Halton Simon was a quiet confident person, unobtrusive, I think I recall he played football and of course was a bandsman, playing the trombone.
Ten of us plumbers went to the Culdrose holiday camp after we passed out, the RAF section had just opened and were support to ATDU, (Aircraft Torpedo Development Unit) trials. The holiday camp comment arises from the fact that on the inside cover of the Trials diary were 26 reasons why we could not conduct trials that day, the most implemented one in those days being due to the Cornish weather. Anyway, Simon was one of ten which included, Peter Bowden, Arthur Knight, Fred Daniels, ? Drysdale, Keith? Brooks ex-74th, ? Thomas, Ginge Walsh and ?
Simon arrived in a Austin 7 Tourer, with dickie seat, as you all know cars were just a dream to us, all about to be revealed, (where did we have intimate relations with the other gender before cars we available to us neuvo riche ?)
We soon discovered , like one hour after arrival on that friday, that the real Airforce didn't work weekends, not down there anyway, so off went Simon and I in the cab, (I was no fool in those days) with Pete and Arthur in the open climate dickie seat to Plymouth and Torquay. The roads in Cornwall were primative that far west, and before long the overladen Tourer had to overcome brake deficiency's by turning sharp right down a lane and reducing momentum against a grassy bank.
A later trip to Torquay occurred when Simon had exercised his weakness for exotic cars, this time a pre-select gear box Armstrong-Siddeley. During the trip we discovered one of the solid disc wheels was cracked, the crack was cicumferential, we wondered how long it would last and I remember resting my head on a headrest to get some sleep and detecting a click, click, click as we drove on. Simon taught me to drive in that car.
Simons lust for the exotic car developed apace when he discovered in the back of a Helston garage a Daimler of vintage, he had it completely rubbed down and resprayed, it looked magnificent, Simon prided himself in travelling along in top gear, selecting reverse, kicking the clutch and changing direction. To his disapointment the engine was not as magnificent as the body and the crankshaft failed. Its the same old story, why can't the engine bods keep up with the riggers?
For Simon's other love , music, we were in the habit of going to dances in Penzance where one night a Trad jazz band were looking for a trombone player and we, lets say, volunteered him, after a good session they wanted him to become a member of the band however in his quiet way he declined.
After two years at Helston with many a good memory, the unit suffered from the '57 defence cuts and we drifted away, during my conversion to "Fairy" at Yatesbury I ran into Simon again briefly, this time it was a,... well what else, a ROLLS...

Simon was an quiet,unobtrusive gentleman with a love for classy old cars.

Tony Bowden.

Alan (Ollie) Hall (Airframes)

Ollie was(to the best of our knowledge) killed in a car crash in 1962.

He was in to all things modern - the latest inventions, latest thinking in aircraft design and so on. He was was 'Cool' before 'Cool was invented. He introduced me to the delights of Modern Jazz ( for which I will always be grateful to him) and weaned me away from a musical diet of Doris Day and Guy Mitchell.
He made high speed model aircraft, fashioning one futuristic machine (with a piece of broom handle for a fuselage) which we proceeded to launch from 30 feet of ¼ square rubber stretched to it's limit. We estimated that it was doing over a hunderd miles and hour off the end of the launch!

He was for a time drum major and was very skilled in the use and throwing of the Mace..(see Dibbs & Hall Page)

WebMaster

 

Trevor (Cash) Dibbs (Airframes)

Cash was an original. everyone who knew Cash genuinely liked him immediately. He was into all sorts of mayhem. Who can forget his impersonation of Hitler (with 'Chips' Fisher as his gestapo 'kapitan') at the Christmas party. He had us all in stitches (even the permanent staff) with his pseudo german ranting.(see Dibbs & Hall Page)
He was a leading light in the 'Hanging man on the pimple' jest which had the Snoops hurtling around the woods trying to discover who had hung themselves on the 'Pimple', only to find the it was just a cut out piece of lino in the shape of a hanged man artfully arranged so that the camp (in the dawns first light behind the 'Pimple') got an excellent view of the macabre sight.
His sense of fun was outstanding and he kept the same humourous outlook through the rest of his life. (WebMaster)

Cash Dibbs Remembered

Trevor was universally known at 'Cash' throughout his career in the Royal Air Force. This was derived from the old English Dib(b)s and Dues, meaning monies due.
Trevor's career in the RAF lasted thirteen years and, on demob, he joined his father in the shop fitting business and later returned to engineering, finishing up as a quality assurance manager.
The real point of this obituary is to mark the passing of a unique man; all who came into contact with Cash are richer for the experience. I have not met anyone who even saw him angry, let alone enter into an altercation. To lapse into the modern vernacular, he was 'Mr Cool' - for the oldies, a Halton Perry Como. He was the man whom everybody knew, partly for the pranks he was alleged to have got up to, but mostly because he was just a nice chap - always smiling, full of fun and making you feel that you were the best friend he'd ever had. Trevor was an atheist, but if he's wrong, no God in his right mind would want a heaven without Cash there somewhere.

Rest in Peace, my dear friend, Tom Broughton

R C (Taff) Rees (Airframes)

'Taff' Rees was in and Shackleton which had an Engine Overspeed and fire over the Indian Ocean on 4th Nov 67.
The Aircraft Ditched and there were only Three survivors. Sadly Taff was not one of them.


Peter Bulbick (Engines)



I received the following E-Mail on the 5th Feb 2003 - WebMaster

I found your site by chance and saw a mention of my late brother in law Peter Bulbick. Sad to say, Peter passed away on July 6th 1994 aged a mere 58 years. Needless to say, he lived life to the full to the very last. I noted that Peter's whereabouts were listed as unknown and the above might just help to bring records up to date. He often spoke fondly about his time at RAF Halton. Ken Warburton.

I replied - Thank you for your E-Mail. We are sorry to hear of Peter's passing. It was very kind of you to let us know of Peter's death. We had been searching for him (amongst many others) but had had no success. Could you tell me where did Peter finish up Living/Working? As Archivist I am interested as we like to know how our members got on in life.

I got this reply from Peter's Brother in Law.
When Peter left the forces he set up his own dry cleaning business, first in the home counties then moving for the last 20 years or so of his life to his home town of Stamford in Lincolnshire. He was born in the town and went to Stamford School so he really did return to his roots. It was a thriving business highly regarded for the quality of the product. Knowing Peter, there was only one way of doing things - the right way.

 


Peter Townsend (Airframes)


Peter Townsend 589204 (Airframes)

Peter came to Halton from the Deal area of Kent, a county which was the home of several of the Entry, and will be remembered as a cricketer of some renown having played for the station and for the Apprentices against such opposition as the Navy. He is also remembered as a private person, a quality which he carried throughout his life. Perhaps one exception to this is that in 1997 Peter stood as a candidate in the elections for Crowborough Parish Council on behalf of the Labour party. That he was not elected ( it takes a brave man to stand for Labour in Crowborough ) would have been disappointing, but later mollified by the goings-on within the Council with which Peter would not have wished to be associated. It was through one of his election flyers that Peter was 'rediscovered' by the Entry.

Peter served in the RAF until 1970 being based in Cyprus for a tour. His later career was as a building services engineer within the National Health Service, designing equipment such as air conditioning and heating for hospitals. Peter retired in 1992, moving with Janet to Crowborough in 1995 where he produced DIY to a high standard. Among his other interests was gardening. Janet tells me that Peter had four ambitions:- to run a marathon, to grow a beard, to gain an Open University degree and to join a political party. He achieved them all !

Peter died on October 3rd, 2002, after a dignified battle with cancer.

We send our sincere condolences to Janet and the family

v

John Ramsey (Instruments)

John (Jake) Ramsey 589103 Instruments

John died on August 2nd, 2003, after a dignified battle with cancer.

We send our sincere condolences to Sylvia and the family

v

Dave Knight (Armourer)

Dave Knight 589096 (Armourer)

Dave came to Halton from Bristol and will be remembered as a quiet, unassuming type. His later life was, however, not without incident - Laurie Richards recalls waking one cold night at Pembroke Dock with his bed on fire after Dave had overstoked the iron stove! Dave's next posting was to Chivenor where he performed the exacting task of Weapons Controller covering some 100 sorties per day. A later posting was to Tangmere in 1970. His last posting was to Innsworth where he played hockey and, after demob, worked nearby at Dowty.

In later life Dave lived with his family at Dawlish Warren, Devon, and attended several 75th Entry functions, the last being our 50th Anniversary at Warwick. The link with the Entry has continued for many years as George Deacon is married to Dave's sister.

Dave died on the 17th March, 2004, after suffering cancer for five months and was cremated at Exeter. Several of the Entry attended the funeral.

We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Dawn, and children, Sandra and Stephen.

 

Kenneth Halls, (Engines)

 

Ken Halls, 588960, (Engines)

The following Obituary by Bill Pash (33rd Entry) appeared in the Haltonian and is reproduced with the permission of its Editor, Bill Kelley.

I first knew Ken as a Pilot with Air UK back in the 79's. When I later joined Channel Express based at Bournemouth as Flight Manager, Ken was already there and I remember the warm welcome I received from him. I wondered why he had not been appointed to the job, but quickly learned that he was just not interested. His real passion was restoring and racing vintage Motorbikes. He always turned up for work on one of them and had frequent falls when indulging in hill racing but was always back at work on time. I had long retired when he had his retirement party after spending his last working days flying Lockheed Electras. When asked how he proposed occupying his time in retirement he replied that he was going to sail his boat around the world. I believed him!

The first E-Mail he sent was after he had passed through the Panama Canal and these continued after the arrived in New Zealand with a u/s engine, no electrics, no SatNav and limited sails. He spent the rest of 2004 with his son, readying the boat, "Mistic Lady" for the journey back to the U.K. The next E-Mail arrived from the East coast of Australia and long, descriptive messages continued almost weekly until Durban and beyond.

On the 26th July 2005, Ken was washed overboard by a freak wave and never seen again by his two crew members who were obviously very shocked. The boat was towed to safety by the South African Rescue Services. Ken Lived his life to the full, was an outstanding Pilot, and epitomised the spirit of Halton.

 

David (Lew) Lewington (Armourer)

David (Lew) Lewington 589186

For 'Lew' who was a well remembered member of the entry we have two reminiscences -

From His wife, Ann…

Dave left Halton and went straight to RAF Bruggen. On his return to the UK we met and were married in 1960. We had two children one boy and one girl who have five of their own.
He was posted in 1962 to RAF Seletar in Singapore with his family and he thoroughly enjoyed his time there.
After much upheaval in his trade as an armourer, he remustered through RAF Locking from 1967 to 1969 to the electronics trade something which he called the "fairies" in his armourer days. You will know the correct name for this trade.
From 1971 to 1976 he had a great time at RAF Cottesmore with the flight checking team travelling the world doing his job. In 1976 he was posted to Tongeren in Belgium to work on a NATO site. For the remainder of his service career until 1987 he spent this mostly in Tongeren interspersed with a few months in the UK as I had already was working there for NATO as a civilian.
He retired from the Service at age 51 and joined NATO as a civilian until he retired in 2001. he is remembered by his colleagues as having a remarkable sense of humour. You may remember he was also a talented football player and later a keen golfer.

From his friend and fellow Armourer, Bill Mountford

When Dave Lewington arrived at Halton he was one of a Southampton contingent which included like Bray, Tony Collins, Brian Drysdall, Mike Topp, Trevor Nutland and myself (Bill Mountford), all of whom,except Trevor, attended the same school, Tauntons Grammar. Lew was one of the first group of Armourers to be raised to LAA status, I think the others were Bert Braillard and Jerry Baker. He also soon became a prominent member of the outstanding Apprentices football team.
After passing out we were both posted to Bruggen,along with Geoff Jordan, Jim Harris, Ken Hollands and Derek Welsh (ex 73rd). Here Lew was again a regular member of a Station football team which included some outstanding National Service players.
Following our Bruggen tour we lost contact for several years. Around 1975/75 he arrived at Marham aboard an Argosy checking out radar equipment -- he had re-mustered to Ground Radar in the intervening years!
There then followed another long period of no contact.
When the 7T5 Club started up Dave Crosby asked if I could help in tracking down 2 or 3 Armourers, one of whom was Lew. By pure chance I saw an article and photo in the local rag about a Mr and Mrs Lewington celebrating their 50th or 60th anniversary in a retirement home. I recognised Lew's father, contacted him and was given the address and phone number which now appear in the 7T5 Club Directory.
It transpired that Lew's last posting was to SHAPE HQ (or AFCENT HQ) in Brunssum,Belgium. While there he and his family set up home across the border in Holland. He carried on working at Brunssum as a civvy after demob along with his wife Ann. Lew apparently played golf regularly at, of all places, Bruggen.
His popularity was typified at the Re-Union in Bournemouth last year. Virtually everybody I spoke to asked "Have you heard from Lew?" or "How is Lew getting on?"
It's amazing how you can so miss someone you haven't seen for years,as I'm sure many of you will agree.

We send our sincere condolences to Ann and her family

Henry Bird (Electrician)

 

Henry Bird - 589215 Electrician

Henry "Dickie" Bird passed away on the morning of 31st December 2006. Dickie joined the 75th, as an electrician, in 1953 as some of us did. From the start it was obvious with a name like Henry and Bird he was always going to be called Dickie. I cannot recall his whereabouts after we left Halton. I only came upon him about 5 years ago when I was playing golf at Chippenham. He did leave the RAF early and worked for the aircraft industry. He suffered for quite some time with breathing difficulties and it was sad to hear today that his heart stopped beating of the morning of 31st December 2006.


RIP Dickie. Dave Bidgood

v

Ron Wash (Armourer)

Ron Wash, - 588963

Ron, and his wife Betty, came from Sidcup in Kent. At Halton Ron was a member of the military band playing second cornet and at times conducting rehearsals in the absence of the bandmaster. He was posted from Halton to Culdrose and was married during his time there. From Culdrose he went accompanied to Aden and then to Melksham as an instructor. Subsequent postings were to Germany and Waddington from where he left the Service as a Chief Tech after 22 years. He was then employed by Securicor in various roles including depot manager before leaving to start a taxi business with his son. Eventually his arthritis got so bad that he could not stay behind the wheel for long, so they sold the business. Betty and Ron had four children; Janet, Andrew, Alison and Nicola who between them have produced six grandchildren.

Ron died on the 17th September, 2005 of a heart attack which followed an operation for bowel cancer, and was cremated at Lincoln. Seven of the 75th attended. The family thank them and other 75th members who sent their condolences.

Gordon Gibson (Armourer)

Gordon Thomas Gibson 589208

Gordon died on 28 May 1996. He had a long and successful career in the Royal Air Force, rising to the rank of Chief Technician. On retirement, he worked in Saudi Arabia and shortly after underwent heart bypass surgery. Gordon then took up work involving computers and, like everything else he attempted, became very good at it. At Halton, Gordon was Pipe Major, a testimony to his smart appearance as well as his skill with pipes. He could often be heard practising the pipes and his signature tune was "The Creep".

 

Roger Rosvear (Electrician)

Roger Rosvear 589256

Roger passed away on the 9th of November 2007 after a long illness.His Wife said that he was very proud of his RAF Career.

 

Dave Blunt (Airframes)

David Stanley Blunt - 588296

David Stanley Blunt passed away on Wednesday 7th May 2008. As some of you are aware David had suffered with prostate cancer which spread to his bones causing him latterly in his life quite a lot of pain and discomfort. He died peacefully and quietly at home with his wife and children with him.

We remember Dave as a cheerful and helpful fellow Brat who would always cheer you up in his broad countryside accent. Dave was a regular attendee at our Re-Unions

Ian Hart attended the Funeral as representative from the Entry.
Our Condolences to his wife, Margaret, and Children, James and Beverley.

Brian Jory (Engines)

Brian Jory - 589086

Brian died of cancer, on Sunday 5th of October 2008. It was at home and very peaceful.

Our Condolences to his wife, Terri.

Gordon Clift (Armourer)

Gordon Clift - 589147

Gordon passed away on 23rd July 2009 at his home in Llangadfan, Powys peacefully after a short illness.
The following information was sent to us by his son, Tim Clift.


Dad told me that he served in Cyprus & Malta as well as Norfolk & the North East of England, but I'm not sure of the names of the RAF stations. Dad served in the RAF until 1962, shortly before marrying my mother. After the RAF he joined ICL as a Computer Engineer. He stayed with ICL until he retired & moved to Wales in 1994.

 

David Holcroft - Engines

David Holcroft - 589047

The following was provided by Tony Page (75th Airframes)

Wg Cdr David Holcroft OBE RAF (Retd)

I cannot remember ever meeting up with Dave at Halton even though we spent three years in close order there. In a way it is hardly surprising I suppose as he was training to become extremely proficient at avoiding getting saturated in used engine oil whilst changing spark plugs and I was learning how to keep Her Majesty's front line aircraft airborne by diligent use of the Herringbone stitch. Furthermore, Dave's 'off-duty' time - what there was of it- was apparently spent in sporting mode whilst I, in comparison, spent much of what should have been my leisure time in the tin room of No1 Wing Mess, working off yet another totally undeserved three, five or seven days jankers.

Our paths never crossed either during our time in uniform, for me it amounted to thirty seven years whilst Dave easily surpassed that. Even when we both gave up the struggle and joined that strange company of people known as 'civilians' neither of us knew that the other lived less than a mile away along the road.

We met for the first time in rather a strange way..

The chairman of Shrewsbury Town Football Club had embarked on a campaign to move the club in its entirety to a new venue close to where I live, much against the wishes of some of the club's directors. Not prepared to raise their heads above the parapet for fear of being 'black-balled - as is often the case in such circumstances - one of them asked if I would write a letter to the local paper querying the wisdom of such a move. Like Daniel wandering into the lions den I duly obliged; the letter was printed with the result that the paper was saturated the following week (and for months afterwards) with derogatory missives from angry fans calling my sanity and parentage into question. What to do?

I decided to retaliate in similar fashion and did so, the final sentence reading "I have recently completed almost forty years service in the Royal Air Force and have been messed around by experts, you guys don't bother me at all!"

This was picked up by Dave who immediately located and phoned me. We had a good laugh, a long chat, and a great friendship was born.

As many will know, 'olcroft was, for some considerable time, the welfare co-ordinator for the RAFHAAA, a position that he held with great pride not only for the financial assistance and friendly counselling that he was able to give to those who sought or were offered advice, but also for the trust placed in him to ensure that the Association's assets were handled with due care. It was whilst attending a meeting at Halton some two years ago that Dave suffered the stroke that eventually compelled him to hand over the reins and attempt to take life a little easier.

Nevertheless, he continued with welfare work by involving himself with SSAFA where he 'flew the desk' for one morning each week. Previously, he had been on the team of our local Citizens Advice Bureau but, as I understood him to say, Dave had disagreed with the introduction of some paid members into management positions and so had resigned rather than cause a stir. As you may gather, he believed passionately that those who were able to should give their time and services freely to those less fortunate than themselves.

Never one to make mention of his achievements in life, Dave had absolutely no swank about him in any way. Perhaps, when hard pressed during one of our many 'discussions', he may just mention that he was one of an elite few who left Halton with the rank of corporal, forcing me to remind him that I was the only one who left there a fully trained dual tradesman - Airframe Fitter/ Scullery Maid!

Many people that I know from all walks of life had enormous respect for Dave Holcroft. He made friends easily and most certainly didn't suffer fools gladly. He enjoyed a pint, a political argument and a good laugh (except on the occasion when I proposed him for membership of a 'gentleman's dining club'. Asking me the form that his initial attendance would take I jokingly told him that he would be expected to give a brief account of himself. On the night, when introduced and to everyone's amazement he gave a typical OC Eng Wg's speech relating his life from primary school to pension book, holding up the meal for some twenty minutes. I was never forgiven!)His reliability in everything he did and promised was unquestionable and it is one of life's sad ironies that those who deserve the greatest consideration should be taken from us too soon.

He leaves behind a lovely family and many, many friends. We all miss him terribly.

Collin Miller - Armourer

Collin Miller 588974

The following was received from Dusty's Son Mick.
I am writing to inform you that my father, Collin, of the 75th Entry passed away on 28 May. He had been fighting cancer for nearly a year and died peacefully with his family around him.

Your website did bring some joy to my Dad in his final weeks as I downloaded the photos and we went through them, in particular the wet passing out and his memories of being a drummer in the band. He was very proud to have been a Halton Apprentice and he had many happy memories of those days. I am still a serving Armourer and only too well know what serving in the RAF meant to him

 

Peter Tayler - Airframes

 

Peter A H Tayler 588783

The following was received from Tony Coles, 74th Entry

Pete Tayler Died on 10 Jan 2012

Pete Tayler (airframes) enlisted in April 1953 with the 74th. Shortly afterwards he caught pneumonia and was confined to hospital for several months. The result was a re-course to the 75th. Pete had a very successful RAF career finishing up a Ch Tech on the Queen's Flight. When his engagement finished at age 30, he was offered a branch commission. But by this time he was married with two children and, seeking stability for the family, he decided to leave. They settled in Didcot, close to his final posting at Benson. Peter entered teacher training college in 1966 and began a second career that was equally successful. He finished up as Head teacher of a local primary school

Lou Ellis Engines

Lou Ellis 588966

The following was received from Wally Hammond

Lou Ellis, died in Changi in 1968, I have visited his grave in Kranji war graves cemetery, after I was informed second hand that he had been killed in an accident on the airfield, but cannot confirm this. I knew Lou well as he was in the next bed to me in Block 11 when we joined in 53.

Bob Thompson - Armourer

Robert (Bob) Charles Thompson 589003

The following was received from Mike Thompson, Bob's Brother.

Bob attended Borden Grammar school and on completion of his education he joined the Royal Air Force as an Apprentice joining up with the 75th Entry at RAF Halton in 1953.
The RAF was to prove the mainstay of his career serving 28 years and on retirement, in 1979, had attained the rank of Warrant Officer.
Bob was an Armourer by trade and on leaving Halton was posted to RAF Honington, followed by postings to RAF El Adem, RAF Waddington, RAF Tengah, RAF Cosford, RAF Leuchars and finally RAF Stafford.
On his retirement from the RAF Bob went into the pub trade thus keeping his favourite hobby close by!!!. He ran the Four Crosses in Stafford and then The Nags Head in St. Leonards on Sea.
Health reasons forced Bob to make a further career change and he joined British Aerospace in Stevenage as a Technical Author then moved with the company to Scotland where he retired and lived until 5 years ago when he came home to Kent, ending up at the Isle of Sheppey.
Bob leaves a wife, two sons, a younger brother and a sister.

Wilson Beare - Engines

Wilson Beare 589237

Wil came from the West Country and was proud to be a Cornishman. Trained as an Engine Fitter, his first posting was to the Far East where he met his first wife and subsequently had two sons and a daughter. Ultimately arriving back in the UK he completed his 12-years service as a Senior Tech. On entering civvie street he joined BAC and set up home in Bristol. He then applied for a job with the parent company Rolls Royce as one of their technical representatives and was posted to India, then China before retiring to Derby where he had earlier bought a house.

Wil was a big supporter of reunions, but one year with Terri his second wife the flights from China were so delayed that they only had time to turn round and catch the return flight thus missing all the celebrations.

We met regularly in a brew pub in Burton-on-Trent, where the conversation inevitably turned to aviation. I remember once asking him, what was his favorite A/C. He said the sight and sound of the English Electric Lightning, climbing vertically with after burners crackling --- then he added --- it was a sod to work on!

Wil upheld the Halton ethos 'that only the best was good enough'. Sadly he lost his four year battle with cancer at the end of November this year.

Dave Bowen

Ian Hart - Airframes

Ian Hart - 589064

Ian was a regular supporter of our re-unions and sadly passed away in April 2013 after a long battle with Cancer.
Our condolences to his wife Joyce.

 

Dave Bradshaw - Airframes

 

Dave Bradshaw - 589024

Ian was a regular supporter and sadly passed away in February 2014 after a 7 Year battle with Cancer.
Our condolences to his wife.