ISSUE No. 40 DECEMBER 2007
We have reached
another milestone with this the 40th issue of your Newsletter. So much has
happened in the world, not all for the good, since the Association was founded in
1995. During this period we have been reunited with many friends from those
halcyon days at
With Christmas approaching fast Seasonal Greetings are sent to all our readers. May 2008 bring you all good health and happiness.
Bennett had not enjoyed the best of health since he lost his wife, Zena, in April last year and following a short illness he
was admitted to hospital where he received his “home call” at end of September.
Dave was the Orderly Room NCO in the RAF Element at
Malcolm Hughes had suffered stoically with motor neurone disease for a couple of years before it finally
took him away from us in September. Malcolm was a driver in the Motor Pool at
General Paul Tibbits who
will be remembered as the Captain of the B29 Bomber “Enola Gay” that dropped the
first nuclear weapon used in warfare over
A LIFE REMEMBERED
On Thursday 18th October, along with Mike and Ann Capon, Peter & Ruth Fryer and Terry and Victoria Vine, I attended the funeral of our friend David Bennett. Following the service at St. Peter's Church, Portishead, we were present at the burial in the local cemetery , where he was laid to rest alongside his late wife, Zena. The funeral had been arranged with the Royal British Legion with whom we participated in forming a Guard of Honour for the coffin draped with the Union Flag.
Thankfully, a bright sunny day helped lighten this sad occasion and we were able to spend time with his sister, two sons and their families.
David was a staunch, loyal member of our Association
and responsible for introducing several to our ranks through his tireless
efforts. Both very involved with the Royal Air Forces Association, we would
often meet at functions. But our friendship goes back a long, long way. At Guynemer, back in 1958, while I was being given the sad
news that my brother had died in an accident, it was David, then Orderly Room
NCO, who packed my kit and made arrangements to get me to
Although we had spoken on the phone, we
met for the first time Maureen (Mo) Pelling David's
friend who had shared his final months. Many of us will recall how low and
depressed he was last year after losing Zena. But his
friendship with Mo gave him a new lease of life. He called me a few times in
Goodbye David ! On behalf of us all.........Many Thanks for your friendship !
I was really shocked to learn that Dave
Bennett has passed on because it is only a few short months, really, since the
Elaine Swift (Rotherhan)
Elaine and I are sorry to hear of the
passing away of Dave Bennett. Unfortunately we have been away and were
Tony and Elaine Bowdler (Droitwich)
I was sorry to read that David had passed away, I hope he didn't suffer for too long.
Another old team mate/member leaves us.
Thank you for the two donations received on behalf of my father David Bennett. I know how much it would have meant to him. His passing happened very suddenly and we are still coming to terms with it. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts which are much appreciated.
FROM THE POSTBAG
I have just downloaded Issue 39 Newsletter - very well presented, and thank you for the coverage ! Harry Horn's letter is a masterpiece and clearly he is a budding author. He has reminded me of some of our mutual chums and I would like to 'phone Harry for a chat. Do you have his number ?
Peter Goldsmith has been in touch with me at the weekend, and we enjoyed a long reminiscence - his voice has not changed in 50 years nor his enthusiasm for all things mechanical ! I must say this website of yours must be giving many people much pleasure.
Ian Davis (Horsham)
We had a great visit to
Thanks for a marvelous piece of work that I'll re-read but won't ever forget.
Glad the reunion was a success. I expect we will meet up again sometime. Jack also suggests I come to the next reunion and by then it might be something to look forward to so that I can meet up with everyone again. Gwenda Millin (Hermitage, Berks)
I am sorry that I
missed the last Reunion because I was in
Peter Argent (Bexleyheath)
Anyone want a Beverley pullover made by Dennis Johnson’s late wife Jean around 1990/91 for my wife - never used - hardly necessary since our move to Queensland in 91! 32" chest or tight 36" dark blue with grey Beverley motif. Email me and I will post it on if you give full address.
Christine and Ronald Fraser, Clairinsh,
Tel : (07) 4934 4422 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine & Ronald Fraser (
The article on the research on Air Chief Marshal Sir Basil Embry struck a cord with me as an RAF Museum Cover Collector, and RAF Escaping Society Cover collector.
On the 21st February 1977 RAF Escaping Society Cover SC16 was issued to commemorate the escape activities of Sir Basil. The cover was taken by car to St Omer and the route of Sir Basil's capture and escape completely retraced as far as Neufchatel. This was from Devres, Hucqueliers, Contes, Hesdin, Dreuil-Hamel, Cayeux Eu and Neufchatel.
1047 Covers were produced and sold towards funds for the RAF Escaping Society. I have a copy of this cover and if Les Hills would like to have it I would appreciate his address.
Thank you once
again for a first class Newsletter. Some very interesting letters some of which
took me back to my days in
Dave Keery (
Well another re-union has come and gone, I must congratulate you and others who make this happen, A lot of work must be done to achieve this success. It was very good, and enjoyable and I look forward to the next one.
Malcolm Degville (
Fay and I had a
very enjoyable week-end in
The Hotel informed us that all rooms will be modernized and the heating sorted by next year.
George Durant (
In June Gwen and I were having lunch at Dunkerswell Airfield, near Honiton
when some diners behind us were talking about
Gilbert Wilkins (Yeovil)
quick one to congratulate and thank you for another great reunion. Ann
and I have no complaints. We arrived back at about 4.15 after enjoying some
hospitality with Pam and Keith in
Ted Caton (
One evening just before our 46th wedding anniversary on the 12th May last the telephone rang. My wife answered and a voice said this may seem strange but is your name Maureen and is your husband Brian? My wife replied yes the voice then said I used to stay with you when I was about 7 years old, to which my wife replied “and if I am not mistaken your name is Chantel and your mother is called Monique” She agreed this was a very nice surprise and wonderful to hear their voices again.
This all came about because Monique receives the Fontainebleau Vets Newsletter and recognised us from our photographs as new members after nearly 46 years a surprising and welcome voice from the past.
Whilst serving in Fontainebleau we lived at 30 Rue De La Parroisse and the concierge there was Monique's mother and father (Lucien and Leon) who we got on with very well - they treated us like a son and daughter as we where just married when we moved into the apartment. This is how we met Monique.
Finding the Fontainebleau Veterans web site purely by chance brought about this great event and reunion after so many years.
Arrangements were made and we agreed to
meet the following Saturday which was exactly 46 years to the day when we first
arrived at the flat so we drove down to Hitchin. Chantel
showed us around RAF Henlow married quarters to see
how it had all changed since we where there. Then it was time for lunch after which the photographs
came out and we chatted over old times. Before we knew, it was 9.00 pm and time
for us to leave to return to
Brian Bursell (
My letter in SAGA magazine about HM Customs ripping apart a young National Serviceman's clothing to find a diamond ring which he had already given to his fiancee (she had asked him for the box, from Paris) had a reply from a former Customs officer throwing doubt as to whether his fellow officers would treat a young soldier like this, and I have found this gem, in Road To Resistance by George Millar, M.C., D.S.O., Croix de Guerre, Legion d'Honneur:
"I wandered up to the Rock Hotel, and met
Alan Moorhead and Alex
Clifford, now war correspondents (they
"In Poole Harbour HM Customs hated the
sight of me, in my foreign clothes.*** The Brigadiers had a few bottles of sherry
between them, whereas I had sherry, brandy and elastic. Everybody had told me, both in
"HM Customs loathed elastic.They demanded from me in duty what seemed like a month's rent in cash. I said that if they gave me a cheque I would make it out. No, was the answer.
"Now see you here," one of the brigadiers interrupted. "This young officer has just completed a trying flight. We are not going to see him bullied by you, are we Jim?"
"Absolutely not," said the second brigadier.
"Here's your cheque form then," the head Customs officer said angrily. "And that will be twopence for the stamp."
"I haven't got twopence."
But the first brigadier paid it. The second customs officer reappeared. "Field Security,
*** Lt. Millar, of the Rifle Brigade,
wounded and captured by the Afrika Corps, had his leg
cured by a German doctor, and he was introduced to Rommel in his tent to show
him "the kind of men we are fighting." The blonde, handsome Millar was a prisoner in
parachuted back into
"Another point, Emile" the General said, "at Vielley, do you remember the main street had a name, the street under which you hid in a sewer? Well, it's now the rue Charles de Gaulle. Amusing, is it not?"
Peter Kinsley (Peckham)
The following article appeared in the Warwick Courier on 28 September and is reproduced here by their kind permission.
MEMBERS of the Allied Air Forces Central
Europe Association, who served in
The men were handpicked from the Royal Air
Force who, together with the founder members of the NATO countries, worked to
The Association was formed 10 years ago and has brought together old comrades, some of whom had not seen each other for years.
Mrs D A Hogg, one of the member's wives, said: "In those dark days after the second world war, it was the skill and dedication of these hand picked serving airmen and officers that provided vital intelligence to the free nations of the western world, and their work was rated highly top secret.
"These veterans now have their own Association, badge and necktie and wear them with pride.
"Members come from all over the
She added: "The group has returned to Fontainebleau on a number of occasions and such is the high esteem that this special group is held by the French that they are the only group allowed to march up the Champs Elysee to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in memory of those who didn't return from various theatres of operations that they were involved in."
The reunion and dinner dance will be held
It was reported in
the Oct – Dec issue of Air Mail that George Millington collected the grand sum
of £1736 over 4 days for the West Bromwich Branch and was awarded the Sheldonian Shield for the highest individual collection of
the year. George trained as an RAF medical orderly and served in
"Decorations & Honours Register" <email@example.com>
The Decorations and Honours Register is now accepting registrations for the Commemorative Edition to be published in the spring of 2008.
We believe that many of your members are eligible for inclusion and we would welcome their entries in this new and unique book.
Registration is free of charge and painless, via our website
www.honoursregister.co.uk http://www.honoursregister.co.uk or by simply sending in an individual's name, list of medals, decorations and/or honours with dates awarded, to us by post to the address shown below. The closing date for registration is 29 February 2008.
Please see our press release http://www.honoursregister.co.uk/PROct07.pdf which contains all the information your members should need to participate in this new reference book. Perhaps you may kindly print it off and post it on your member's notice board or mention the Register in your member's magazine or newsletter.
The Register has been featured in the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph, the British Legion magazine and Medal News. Our Editor, the honours expert Charles Mosley, was recently interviewed on BBC Breakfast and SKY television.
If you would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact the writer.
Adrian Checketts (Director)
The Decorations & Honours Register
Bournemouth BH1 2EF E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 01202 201405
CHANGES OF ADDRESS
You may wish to note my new address : email@example.com
Please note my new email address for all RAFA, RAFPA and personal email, effective immediately: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is to let you know I am back on line
again - Mwoolton@aol.com Not totally out of touch now. Spoke to Terry
the other week. Was hoping to go to
Mike Woolton (
Terry Byant’s new e-mail address is : email@example.com
Terry Bryant (Warminster)
TENTH ANNUAL REUNION & DINNER
This is the item you have all been waiting for!
On a bright sunny
week-end at the end of September after we had a group photograph take by the
Warwick Courier snapper 73 people sat down at 7 p.m. to enjoy the Tenth Annual
Reunion Dinner at the
The fare was first class and the music provided by Mr. Bojangles had most of the Veterans and their wives and partners on the dance floor. Unfortunately Colin Hogg was unable to perform this year due his stroke.
Thanks to the
generosity of the members in providing prizes the raffle generated £375. It was
rewarding to see so many new members attending their first
The fact that the function was such a success is due the contributions from Colin and Daisy Hogg who decorated our tables, Mike and Ann Capon purchased and brought back the champagne and wine from cross channel trips to France and provided NATO magazines etc, not forgetting Pam Adams and Hazel Bryant for selling so many raffle tickets.
During the afternoon the Annual General Meeting was held. The main points arising were:
The approval of the 2006 –07 Accounts (included in the last Newsletter),
Agreement to run a coach trip to France in September 2008 subject to sufficient support.
To hold the next Annual Reunion Dinner on Saturday 27 September 2008.
A selection of photos taken during the evening is attached in the supplement.
The cost is £63 per
person per night for dinner, bed and breakfast. The hotel did not impose an
increase for this year’s function so their offer was accepted although the
point was made that the increase is above the rate of inflation. It is worth noting that we have the use of
the Warwick Room free of charge ~ normally £60 per day. Moreover single
supplements are not applied. 50 rooms have been provisionally booked for the
Saturday and there is no penalty if we do not take up the full allocation. The
A deposit of £15 per person, irrespective of the number of nights, is payable. Cheques should be made payable to D M Rogerson and will not be presented until payment is due to the hotel next April
A booking form is attached which you are requested to complete and return.
sufficient support we shall run a 5 days 4 nights
coach trip to
The terms quoted are as follows :
5 days (4 nights)
Staying at the Ibis
COST:- £295 per person sharing twin/double room.
v Single room supplement £115
v 4 nights bed and unlimited buffet breakfast accommodation
v All executive coaching, 49 seats with on board toilet & beverage bar.
v Short sea crossing
v Tour of
v Use of the coach for excursions while in
v Free car parking is available at the rear of our office at Sevenoaks
For those not wishing to join the coach in
The price is based
on 40 full paying passengers, should we have more than 40 then seats 41
and 42 will be provided free of charge. Provided we can reach this number £590
will be available to make a contribution to the single supplements and to
provide some money for extras in
A deposit of £30 per person is required at the end of December. Travel insurance is required for this holiday and if you do not have their own policy our tour operator can provide cover for a premium of £24 per person, premiums must be paid with deposit. There is no need to send your deposit at this juncture. A booking form is attached.
BOOKING FORMS FOR 2008
Booking forms for the 2008 fontainebleau trip and 2008 Annual Reunion can be printed from this link (CLICK)
Peter Kinsley's four hardback novels can
be bought for £12 each, (free p & p in
1. “The Shy Pornographer”
: a comedy set in
2. “The Gold Bidet” :
3. "To Catch a Paedophile" : provides an insight into the minds of the characters involved - the victim, the attacker, the police, and the crime reporter. It gives a behind the scenes look at the whole detection
4. “The Cambio Killing” : The perfect crime, an airline heist, from the criminals side.
Peter’s memoirs of the French Midi, "The Valley of the Butterflies" in paperback £7
Sorry, but "Gunner Strikes Back" set in
Roger Northam enlisted as a National Serviceman in the RAF in 1956 and has written about his experiences at Cardington, Hednesford, Compton Basset and Aden recalling his memories in his entertaining book “When the Golden Eagle Calls” ~ a must read - available in hardback with illustrations at £15 incl. p & p
Roger, a natural
writer with a warm sense of humour, has also written
an amusing book of true stories of village cricket and its characters in the
and tales of your experiences whilst at
Enjoy the festive season and have a good New Year.