Obituaries, Deaths and Funerals


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The death of Graham Hall was reported yesterday who served in the 80's and early 90s. Graham was diagnosed with motor nuroens disease in February 2020 and died of pneumonia. RIP fellow snowdrop

Former police constable and IW Mencap founder dies aged 88

By Dominic Kureen
Peter Hunt including (right) in his role as
                  animal inspector for the Isle of Wight Council


Peter Hunt including (right) in his role as animal inspector for the Isle of Wight Council

FORMER police constable, IW Mencap founder and accomplished sportsman Peter Hunt has died aged 88.

The only son of Reg and Alison — former publicans at the Star Inn, Niton — Mr Hunt was born in St John’s Wood in London.

Leaving school at 14, he took his first steps into employment at a tailors and as part of the national press.

In 1952, after completing his national service in the RAF police, Mr Hunt joined the Metropolitan Police stationed in Bow Street, transferring to the Met's Mounted Branch after a couple of years as a foot constable.

Stationed at Great Scotland Yard and later Tooting, Mr Hunt met his wife-to-be, Brenda, at a police dance.

He proposed on the top deck of a London bus and they married in Mitcham in 1954.

In 1963, after his parents moved to the Island and his eldest child was diagnosed with additional needs, Mr Hunt joined the Hampshire Constabulary and was posted to Calbourne.

After leaving the police in 1969, he managed Pittis and Son estate agents in Ventnor, before he and his wife became landlords of the Row Barge Inn, Bembridge.

Three years later, Peter became animal health inspector for the Isle of Wight Council, and during this time he was the coordinator for managing and containing the foot and mouth outbreak in 1981.

It was his last permanent role before retirement in 1993.

Aside from his career, Mr Hunt was a respected sportsman, holding the position of captain of the Sunday first XI at Ventnor Cricket Club from 1968 to 1970.

He joined Ryde Golf Club and became seniors captain, becoming president in 2000. He organised several annual golf day matches to raise funds for IW Mencap — a charity of which he and Mrs Hunt were founders.

In addition, Mr Hunt served from 1969 to 1991 with the Auxilliary Coastguard. Starting at Brook, he later served in Ventnor and Bembridge.

He received a letter of commendation in 1986 for saving a man’s life and was awarded the Long Service medal in 1992.

Mr Hunt enjoyed retirement, and as well as his sporting and charitable endeavours was keen on sailing, motor boating, travel and painting.

He leaves his wife, three children and three grandchildren.

A funeral service will take place at 12 noon on Wednesday, July 29, at Holy Cross in Binstead, followed by committal at the crematorium. Numbers are limited at both venues due to current restrictions.


Sadly Herbert Scott (92) passed away on the 9 July 2020. It seems that Herbert may have been one of the first RAF Policemen to be trained as a dog handler. My condolences go out to his family for their loss and may Herbert rest in peace.


Contacted today by Peter Williams who tells me.... Former Snowdrop, Father ANTHONY JOHNSON CSsR died peacefully on Friday morning (26th June) in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Fr Tony was born in December 1933 and did his National Service with the RAF Police. He was professed as a Redemptorist in 1957 and ordained to the priesthood in 1964. He was part of a vibrant School Mission Team based in Bishop Eton during the 1960s and then was appointed Novice Master in 1970. Unfortunately, he was involved in a very serious road accident in 1971 and was in a coma for over a week. He recovered sufficiently to be able fulfil supportive roles in different communities and in later years worked among the homeless in our Centre in Clapham, 'The Ace of Clubs'. He has enjoyed his final years in retirement here at Bishop Eton. We are greatly indebted to the staff of the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Church View Care Home, where he has received loving care and attention during the past few months. In spite of many health issues, he remained amiable and uncomplaining and he will be greatly missed. May he now rest in peace. Steve Davies


It is with sadness that I have to announce the passing of former RAF Police NCO Jon Palfrey who I understand passed away a few weeks ago after losing his battle with Cancer. Jon was stationed at RAF Marham in 1991 and after leaving the RAF he joined the Gloucestershire Constabulary. My condolences go out to his family for their loss and may Jon suffer no more and rest in peace.  Steve Davies


I've heard on the grapevine that former Snowdrop Charles 'Chuck' AGAR has recently passed away. Charles was 90 years old and served in the RAF Police between 1947 and 1969. My condolences go out to his family for their loss and may Charles rest in peace. Steve Davies

Chuck's life story


  Chuck until recent years was a stalwart member of the North Yorkshire Branch having been one of its founder members in 2000. With his wife Kathleen he regularly attended
monthly Branch events, and entertained members at their home near Scarborough. Sadly a few years ago Kath suffered a stroke and had to be taken into care which brought to a end his participation in Branch Events.
Chuck was a prolific writer and wrote many articles about his experiences in the RAFP which were welcomed and published from time to time in the Provost Parade, Griff and other publications which I am sure we will all have read at different times.
Chuck was also a member and supporter of the RAF Police Association but resigned his membership in June 2016  quoting his reasons that the Association had always been a friendly society , but that its former aims had seemingly been forgotten by the present management. He did retain his membership of the Branch as an Associate.
Chuck served 22years in the RAF Police from 1947 to 1969 at such places many of us can only read about. 1948 RAF Marston Moor, Ricall, Wombleton , only a Yorkshireman would know where these were. 1950 Egypt, Habbaniya . 1956- 69  Lunenburgh Bruggen Akrotiri, Faldinworth, Rheindahlen , HQ Fighter command , plus several others.
On return to civilian life at times he serve as a Local Councillor  and a Police Liaison Officer.
A Good Innings Chuck.
Rest in Peace.
Ken Turner.
North Yorkshire Branch.

Dear All

I am writing to let you know that my father died quietly at around 2215 on 22nd June 2020 aged 91 in Scarborough hospital.

He had become frail in the last month or so and the staff visiting home three times a day suspected he wasn't taking his medication for prostate cancer and had become dehydrated. The doctor said that the results of the blood tests were not strategic and nor were they definitive.

Unfortunately my husband and I are able to get to the funeral which is very hard but under the present conditions understandable. The funeral/cremation will take place at Woodlands Crematorium, Woodlands Drive, Scarborough, North Yorkshire at 11:15 on Monday 3rd August 2020.

Dad was very proud of being in the RAF Police for some 23 years starting as a dog handler through to being the Command Dog Inspector of all the RAF Police dogs in Germany, a job he thoroughly enjoyed finally retiring in 1969.

He remained faithful and supportive of the RAF Association, the Canal Zoners, the RAF Police Association the North Yorkshire branch in particular as a founder member along with Jim Cochrane who passed away a few years ago. He was sending contributions to the Snowdrop magazine with his various exploits. He was also a member of the Lincoln Lancaster Association of which he was justly proud. In fact, he would talk to anyone who would listen about the RAF in general.

Dad has requested that donations in lieu of flowers should be sent to:-

RAF Benevolent Fund
c/o T L Chapman & Son Ltd
19-21 Auborough Street
North Yorkshire
YO11 1HT

We would be more than happy to hear from anyone who remembers dad if you want get in touch.

Love to you all, stay safe.

Mrs Susan J Jones

contact details from the Webmaster


It is with great regret that I must let you all know about the passing of Stephen Mitchell. As some of you may know, Mitch had had a couple of minor issues with his heart recently but had received treatment in hospital. 

I am in contact with his daughter, Trudy, and can pass her contact number on to anyone who wants it. He is currently in the Chapel of Rest in Scarborough

Graeme Quickmire

Just heard some sad news from Trudy Mitchell the daughter of Stephen 'Mitch' Mitchell had passed away peacefully in his sleep last night.  RIP big fella, stand down. your duty is done.

Al Foster

Stephen sadly passed away peacefully in his sleep on 24th June 2020 aged 57 years. Much loved Son of Anne and truly missed Dad to Trudy and a wonderful Grandad to Oliver and a friend to many. The funeral will be held at Woodlands crematorium Scarborough, YO12 6QN On Tuesday 7th July at 12:00 noon. Due to the current climate only 10 people are able attend inside the crematorium. However people are allowed outside and Family has asked if people could pay their last respects to Stephen and support the family from outside the crematorium at this difficult time, the service can be watched via webcast on the following link. Please enter these details. Login: 38763 Password: jgkdwthv After the service there will be a toast to Stephens life on the seafront if everybody could join us to raise a glass and say a prayer for Stephen at 2pm by the Harbour bar please bring your own tipple.


Former Warrant Officer Peter Stace, died at 12.10am this morning. Peter will be greatly missed by Doreen, his wife of 60 years, his daughters and the rest of his  family.  RIP


I’d like to let members know of the passing of Mark “happy” Gilmour. I served with him at Lossiemouth. 
His funeral is at Hensall Church, Selby, Friday 19th June at 10:30. DN14.
His family have not stipulated a dress code but a military presence will be very much appreciated. 
RIP mate. Until we meet again. Per Ardua Ad Astra

Vicky Peters


News has just reached me that former RAF Police WO Sidney (Sid) Ruck passed away at home on the 15th May 2020. Sid served from 1951 – 1988, with his last posting being HQ P&SS RAF Rudloe Manor. Sadly missed by his 5 children and their families. Per Ardua Ad Astra.



It is with sadness I advise the passing of ex W.O. Norman YATES MBE, not a snowdrop, but a good friend who completed his service as W O PSF at RAF Neston in the late 80's.
Sadly Norman had been diagnosed with the dreaded Big C in January with an expectancy of a maximum of 3 months. and spent much of his remaining time between Kings Mill Hospital, the Eastwood Hospice and at home with his partner Lauren until his passing yesterday.
During his tour at Newton his quiet unassuming manner earned him the respect of all of us that were serving there at that time, even more so in that he was happy to help, no matter what the problem, and enjoyed relating his football refereeing experiences in his own inimitable way.
A staunch RAFA Balderton Branch member, he also supported the Newark branch and was a popular friend of "Snowdrop" Corner.
At this time our sympathies go to partner Lauren and family.
Funeral arrangements when known will be publicised, given the current climate thoughts are to those who could attend, of a suitably spaced GOH en route.
RIP Norman, you were indeed. "A friend when in need"
Chris Gangel
RAFA Balderton


I was on the RAF Akrotiri group and Paul the son of Pete Watts told me that his dad sadly passed in Jan 2019. Pete was a lovely fella and a Sgt on the Station Police at Akrotiri (1968-71) I remember he would always come round our dog patrol areas for a chat-RIP Pete.  Jim Henry


David Wardell reports the sad news that member  Brian Whitaker, died yesterday, Saturday 30 May 2020.  Brian served from March 1955 to December 1978, when he retired as a flight sergeant.

Brian was a long standing member of the Association.  He was the VC of the EMB and for several years, the Association Treasurer.

From the beginning in 2004,Brian was the Treasurer of the RAF Police Memorial Project.  All monies donated were sent to Brian who meticulously accounted for nearly £50k.  He and his wife Madge applied successfully for a £7k grant from the lottery fund. 

For several years, Brian drove to the National Memorial Arboretum and carefully cleaned, polished and even painted the red band on the Memorial.

All in all, Brian Whitaker played a major role in the undoubted success of the Association and the RAF Police Memorial.

May Brian Rest in Peace.

John Walton


Just received the very sad news that Paul Rule passed away peacefully at 04.10hrs this morning due to Cancer and other complications. I served with Paul in the Royal Air Force. A really top man. I am sure that many RAF Police/QPD/Kennel maids who knew and served with Paul along with myself would like to send our deepest condolences to Katrina and family. More sad news. RIP my friend.

Ian Hunter


I am a RAFA Welfare officer and befriender my first case after qualifying was this lovely gentleman Keith Candon who served as a RAF Policeman from 1950 -55. He guarded the thor nuclear missiles. He sadly passed away over the weekend. RIP my friend, you will be missed.  Andrew Bellamy



With great sadness, the South Downs Branch has to report the passing of our Chair, Trevor Evans, who died suddenly and unexpectedly over the weekend. (As we are all aware), these are difficult times, and we only learnt of this unfortunate event via another Branch member who is a retired East Sussex Fire Brigade Officer, as was Trevor. Trevor has always been a keen Branch member, and has been very active in his role as Chair since taking up the position. We do of course hope to hear more details of services to commemorate Trevor’s life, however obviously these will curtailed by the impacts of CoVid-19. If we do hear more details, we will of course inform you.


Kind regards and stay safe,

Kevin Claxton

Secretary, South Downs Branch, RAFPA.


David Wise has just informed me that his friend of old, former FS Warren 'John' Walker, who he first met in Kenya 1962-64, passed away in Peterborough Hospital at about 8 pm this evening, 30 April. He had been suffering with many ailments over the past few years and his body just gave up the fight.


It’s with great sadness, that another of our veterans Sgt Malcolm (Mal) Hague who served at numerous bases including RAF Lyneham RAF Fylingdales and RAF Gatow (Berlin) has passed early this morning from this terrible Virus.  He is survived by his wife Elaine and four daughters and their families. Per Ardua Ad Astra. 

The funeral for Mal Hague(RAF Police Sgt Retired) will take place at 1130hrs on Wednesday 15 May 2020 at the Rose Hill Crematorium, Cantley Lane Doncaster DN4 6NE. Sadly taken too soon, a Covid 19 victim.We have been advised that the Chapel is limited to 10 people inclusive of Celebrant/Vicar, Family and close relatives. I know that the Family would gratefully appreciate the presence in the Crematorium grounds of any serving or veteran Snowdrops to pay their respects and join their sorrows at this sad time.

Per Ardua Ad Astra.


Chris Gangel


I have just been advised by his daughter that Doug Stott sadly passed away in The Paddocks Nursing Home in Swaffham last Thursday 24th April, aged 88years. Doug had been suffering from Alzheimer’s, but is now at rest. RIP!

Allan Hildage


It is with the upmost sadness that I am posting this. Today, we have lost someone who was literally a giant of man, some 6'10" tall in his stocking feet. The man I was proud to have called my Uncle, the man who is responsible for me joining the RAF Police. Jim Phillips passed away peacefully this morning in Victoria Hospital, Blackpool. Aged 85, he was just too weak to fight both Covid-19 & Sepsis. He was shot, run over and nearly deafened by jet wash, but it took this horrible virus to finally take him away from us. Gutted isn't the word. Rest In Peace Snowdrop - Per Ardua Ad Astra.

Scott Etheridge


Combined RAF Police and RMP operations out on the dangerous streets of Northern Ireland continued successfully and without incident until suddenly, tragedy struck on the 25th July 1973. Corporal Jim Phillips RAFP and Lance Corporal James Nylan RMP were carrying out a routine foot patrol through the notorious Bogside Estate in Londonderry when they were confronted by a gang of youths who at first merely shouted abuse at them but then started throwing bricks in their direction. Faced with the hostility, which was quite normal given the area they were patrolling, the NCOs remained calm but nevertheless tried to get away to the safety of some nearby shops and the Rossville Flats. As they were making their way there, another angry crowd appeared and so they changed direction and made their way to Waterloo Place where they hoped to find some safety in the shops. Shortly after, shots rang out and both were shot in the back before falling to the pavement seriously wounded. Phillips was actually shot 3 times, once in the leg, once in the back and once in the shoulder, while his RMP partner was shot 6 times. It had been a carefully planned trap to get the men into an area where the IRA sniper could target them. As they lay there unable to move, a crowd assembled, but thankfully an Army patrol was quickly on the scene and provided protection and first aid. The wounded men were rushed to hospital soon after by ambulance and thankfully, both survived. 

On the day following the incident, Corporal Sam Sillet was able to pay a brief visit to his injured colleague in Altnagelvin Hospital. Although Phillips; a married man with 2 children and 12 years service, returned to work some months later, he still carried a bullet firmly embedded in his shoulder. His RMP colleague however, was more seriously injured and had spent several more months undergoing medical treatment at RAF Chessington before being medically discharged from the Army in May 1975.


Unfortunately I am here to announce the passing of Darrell Dennis Paterson-Deacon, known to many as "Joey".

I'm his son and I am letting you all know in the hope that some of his old colleagues may be here.

Jack Deacon


It is my sad duty to report the death of Allen King Chairman NYB RAFPA
Information was received from his daughter that Allen died this morning 16th April in Scarborough Hospital .

Ken Turner

RIP Allen

Allen, supported by his wife Mary has been Chairman of the North Yorkshire Branch for 14 years of its 20 year existence, during his tenure the Branch has donated more than £12,000 directly to charities, made substantial contributions to the 'Shoe Box Appeal', purchased the Branch Standard, a substantial contribution to the initial RAFPA/RAFP Memorial Fund  and subsidised many Branch Social Events and of course for several years hosted the Annual RAFPA Reunions at Scarborough. Thank you.

 I’d like to thank everyone for their kind words in regards to the death of my father Allen King, his funeral is going to be held on 29 Apr 20 at 10.30. Due to the restrictions with COVID 19 his funeral will be live streamed, if anyone wishes to watch it they can message me and I will forward the information.

Graham King


Got a message from Marlene Hunt today, wife of ex snowdrop Sgt Geoff Hunt who sadly passed away on the 6th April from covid 19 . Unfortunately Geoff caught it whilst in hospital, he had been ill for many years due to diabetes, blindness and had a liver transplant too. RIP old friend.

Arthur Caddick


2 deaths have been reported as a result of searches on the Where are they now page - Andy MacLellan died 11 years ago and Frank Shingler who died about 1980.

RIP both


It is with deep sadness and regret that I have to report that ex FS Andrew Quinn MBE passed away in the early hours of this morning after a long illness.

I first met Andy in 1976 when we served together at HQ P&SS (RAFG) on Provost Ops. I was godfather to his son, John and we remained friends over the years. He is survived by his wife, Christine, son John and daughter Rebecca. R.I.P. Andy.

Christopher Hails


I have been informed of the death of Tony Telfer but I am waiting for further details


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but just been asked to let the group know that Martin Gibson, ex dog man and instructor, has suddenly passed away this evening. Unfortunately I have no other details about what happened but I'll post what I can when I find out.

Bill Thomas

Heartbreak as doting family man dies before meeting newborn grandchild

Coronavirus meant visitors weren't allowed when she was born

Martin Gibson adored his family
Martin Gibson adored his family

A son has told of his family’s pain at his dad’s shock death that meant he never got to meet his new-born grandchild.

Martin Gibson had been sat watching television with his wife Janet at their Canwick home near Lincoln when his partner heard what she believed to be snoring.

But she then noticed her partner of 33 years was foaming at the mouth and desperately tried to wake him up.

Janet screamed for her son, Phillip, 31, to come downstairs and help, but he couldn’t find a pulse so started chest compressions while Janet rang for an ambulance. Meanwhile, the couple’s other children Catherine, 28, who lives in Birchwood, and Chris, 33, who lives in Scotland, got a call to say that there dad had collapsed.

Catherine rushed straight over, but for Chris, who was six hours away, he waited helplessly as the others battled to save their dad.

He said: “It was absolute carnage because I live and work in Scotland so it was very much like what can I do? What is going on? Is it that he has fallen and fainted or is it something more serious?

“My little brother said on the phone quite quickly that dad had collapsed, that he had no pulse and he was doing chest compressions.

“It gives you that sinking feeling in your stomach that this is really serious. I need to be there to help six hour drive to get there.

“There was very little I could do from where I am.”

Martin Gibson adored
                his family
Martin Gibson adored his family 

After some confusion in tracking down the address, paramedics arrived, but despite their best efforts, Martin, who was 60-years-old, slipped away.

Fifty minutes after the first call, a stranded Chris received the devastating news from his little brother, to say their dad had died.

He said: “Initially, it was that shock and registering the moment of what I had been told. I was stood in the kitchen at the time and my wife could see my phone had rung.

“She could see it in my face straightaway. When the phone rang I knew what it was.

“I collapsed onto the kitchen floor in a flood tears. I told the wife what she already knew about the phone call I had been given.

“I think that is where I spent the next ten or 15 minutes.

“It was that massive feeling of almost being kicked in the guts and not knowing what to do or what to say to anybody.”

Martin Gibson was in
                the RAF for 32 years
Martin Gibson was in the RAF for 32 years 

Martin, who was a former RAF policeman for 32 years, had multiple postings around the country and overseas including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo.

He left the force in November 2010 as a sergeant.

And while scores of tributes have come in from Martin's friends in the forces, Chris says he will always remember his dad as a man who would do anything for his family.

He said: “I will always remember him as a big grouchy person but that was because he was my dad. He was a very lively and bubbly person with an outgoing personality.

“He loved real ale and taking photographs of anything and everything that moved, birds in the garden or steam trains that came through the Lincoln railway.

“He would do absolutely anything for us kids. He was the one person if I had any questions or needed anything I would go to. “

Martin Gibson
Martin Gibson 

To add to the tragic nature of the death, Martin, who also has grandchildren, never got to meet the newest addition to the family.

Chris said: “My younger brother has a five-year-old and Bella who was born at the end of the March, who he never got to meet because of coronavirus and the restrictions.

“Obviously, Bella and her mum Emily weren’t allowed to travel so he passed away without meeting one of his grandchildren, who only lived in Gainsborough.”

He added: “It does hurt [that he never got to meet Bella].

“His work who I spoke to and told they said how much of a proud granddad he was and every time he would go to into the office he would be showing them photos of my one and my little sister’s one.

“He thoroughly enjoyed being a granddad and being able to show off his grandkids.”


I have been advised that ex Sgt Alec Glover passed away on 20 March 2020.
Alec had been a member of the Association (Midland Branch) for 21 years.
Our thoughts and sympathy are with his wife Helen and family.


It is with deep sadness that I have to report the death of Sqn Ldr Dr Howard Thompson PHD, MA, CEng, FBCS, RAF (Retd).

I have been advised that Howard died last Friday (27 March). He had collapsed whilst walking the dog but was able to return home and made light of the incident. He then died suddenly, quietly and peacefully.

Our condolences go out to his wife, Elizabeth, and their family for their loss and may Howard rest in peace.


Information received that 2 former members of the RAF Police (and RAFPA) passed away in February 2020:

Roy Blackburn 25 Feb 2020 RIP
Anthony Ward-Bradley 29 Feb 2020 RIP

My condolences go out to the families for their loss and may they both rest in peace.


It is with great sadness that our good friend Flt Lt Harry Welsh passed away at 06h15 this morning. It’s a great loss to the Yorkshire Air Museum at York his family and anyone that knew him.  Karl Bullock

It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our members; Harry Welsh, passed away at 06h15 this morning after losing his battle with Cancer. It was less than a month ago that Harry made contact to tell me he had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. He was very upbeat in his message and I assumed he still had a while to go but sadly that wasn't the case. Harry was OC Police at Wittering and then became a vetting officer before retiring. For a number of years he had been an active volunteer at the Yorkshire Air Museum at York and with my help had ensured that the history of the RAF Police were represented at the facility. My condolences go out to his family for their loss and may Harry rest in peace. Steve Davies

please find details of Flt Lt Harry Welch’s funeral on 27 Mar 2020 at 14h20 at York Crematorium. Chris, Harry's widow says it will be a humanist funeral. Family flowers only but donations greatly appreciated to St Leonard's Hospice or Macmillan Nurses. Dress code not all black Harry requested a splash of colour..!! RAFP & RAFPA are welcome in civilian dress or uniform.


I have found that Dave Witherspoon has sadly passed away. Dave initially served in the RAF Police then the RMP where he was an SIB stalwart.
Our thoughts go out to his family, and I'll post details of funeral arrangements when known.

This was posted on the RMP Gone but Not Forgotten site, so I copied it here for those who knew Dave as a Snowdrop.
Like Spoons who I first met at Laarbruch, where he also ran the Police Club. Then I met him again on the other side of the fence when serving as RMP at Bulford and Spoons was at HQ SIB.

Dave Witherspoon's Obituary.

Former 24729731 Staff Sergeant David Witherspoon, RMP (SIB), (known as Dave, DISCO, Spoon) passed away on the 24th February 2020 at Derwent Lodge Care Home, Feltham aged 60 years old, following a short battle with Oesophageal cancer.

Having previously served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Police, Dave saw the light and enlisted into the Royal Military Police in December 1984. After completing his training at the RMP training Centre Chichester with Squad 8501 he was posted to 115 Provost Company RMP, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) in the then Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). After a period of service at Minden Det, 115 Pro Coy RMP, he was posted to run the Bunde Police Post.

His next posting was to 174 Pro Coy RMP, then based in Tidworth, during which time he completed his Special Investigation Branch (SIB) attachment in 1989 with Tidworth Detachment, 32 Section SIB RMP United Kingdom Land Forces (UKLF). Following successful completion of the Intermediate Special Investigation Course (ISIC), he was selected for SIB in 1990, whereupon he returned to West Germany, being posted to 87 Sect SIB RMP (Germany) in Joint Headquarters (JHQ), Rheindahlen and promotion to Sergeant.

Returning to the UK with 32 Section SIB RMP UKLF in Bulford, Wilts, and on promotion to Staff Sergeant he was posted to HQ SIB RMP (UK) at Campion Lines, Bulford.

Dave unfortunately sustained a spinal injury in service, early on his career which prevented him from being deployed on operations and after deteriorating significantly, ultimately led to his medical discharge in April 2001.

Despite this injury, he nevertheless played his part. He was involved in a number of duties both in the UK and Germany, including Op CUTTER, as a prison warder at HMP Rollestone and was an integral member of Major Incident Room (MIR) as the Ops Manager for Op SANDCASTLE, the post Op Granby (First Gulf War) enquiry into war crimes committed by Iraq during the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Thoroughly proud of his service with RMP and SIB, he was a staunch and true “Branch Man”. In later life, he was an active member of the RMPA, being a member of both the London Branch and the SIB Branch of the Association. Always positive, dealing with what life threw at him with good humour and resilience, he was a great teller of stories, and a true friend to many.

He will be missed by his many former colleagues and friends and will always be a fondly remembered as a valued member of the RMP family.

He is survived by his two children, Amie and Thomas and his grandson Teddy.

Once the COVID19 restrictions have been lifted, the family hope to hold a dedication ceremony. This will allow those of us who will not be able to attend Dave's funeral to properly commemorate his life.


I have been told that Thomas Preddys died on 29th January 2020. He served in the RAF Police from March 1967 to May 1979.


It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Len Carter. Len died at home in Corsham, Wiltshire on Sunday 9th February. Our condolences go to Rose and the family.
Funeral details will be passed when known.
May Len rest in peace.
Brian Flinn


From Facebook

Have just been informed that former RAFP SI Sergeant Andy Chalmers died two weeks ago. His funeral is this Friday at 0920 at Barham Crematorium, East Kent. Andy was with me at 5PD in 1965 and again when he became an Investigation Customs Officer at Dover, working closely with our specialist civpol unit.

Attended Andy Chalmers funeral. Handed a copy of your RIP messages, and a Training School photo of Andy, to his daughter,Jan.She wished that I thank you all for your expressed condolences. The eulogy was mainly based on his service in the RAF Police.Second picture is of Andy in Hong Kong.

Martin Uden

It has been brought to my attention that Frank Merrick passed away on Sunday 26th January following a short illness. I last met Frank when he was stationed on P&SS Southern Region at Rudloe Manor in the 1980s. My condolences go to his widow Janet and family for their loss and may Frank rest in peace.

Steve Davies

The funeral service for Frank Merrick will take place at the West Wiltshire Crematorium, Devizes Road, Semington, Trowbridge, BA14 6HL on Wednesday 12th February at 1300 hours. 

Brian Flinn

I today, along with numerous other ex members of the RAF Police, attended the funeral service of that late WO Frank Merrick. It was a well organised, dignified event, at which members of his family paid him numerous glowing tributes. RIP Frank; you were a fine man, who will be sadly missed by all. Ivan Carey

It has been reported that former snowdrop Ron Brotherhood passed away in early January 2020. My Condolences go out to the family for their loss and may Ron rest in peace.  
Steve Davies


I understand one of our former colleagues, Phillip Cavill, was found dead on New Year’s Day.  He served between 2006 to 2016 at RAF Halton and RAF Honnington with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Phillip tragically took his own life.

The Funeral service takes place at 1145hrs on Friday 24 January at the East Chapel, Southampton Crematorium.

A nice service this morning for Phillip (Phil) Cavill. I joined the local Southampton Breakfast Club who mounted a guard of honour. RBL and RAFA Standard bearers also attended. RAF Police in uniform acted as pall bearers. I spoke with Phil's mother after the service at a local venue for refreshments. A very lovely lady and she was very pleased at the turnout and the support. I gave her my fallen snowdrop pin. She lives very close to me so there is also the possibility that I may see her around. Sad day....

Brendan O'Neill

I have been trying to get in contact with Hughie Semple for a number of years. Today I have been informed that he passed away in September 2015, following a short illness.  ‎David Thomas


I have just been informed that Mal Beech ex- RAFP Laabruch and Aldergrove passed away on 19 Oct 2019. His wife was in contact with a friend of mine who passed the info on. Mal is believed to have left the RAF in 1979, he was 68.
Neil O'Brien

Just to share the sad news that my dad, retired RAFP Flt Sgt Brian Middleton, died after a long illness on Monday 23rd December 2019 aged 82.

Dad completed his National Service at RAF Changi Singapore (1955 – 57) he then joined Huddersfield Borough Police (Constable 221) for a short time before re-joining the RAF. Dad served for 22 years at Laarbruch, Cottesmore, Coningsby, Aden, Cyprus, Berlin. He retired from the RAFP School at Newton in Nov 1979 only a few years before I arrived there to follow in his footsteps! After the RAF dad worked as a Health and Safety Manager in industry and for Kirklees Council.
He’s third from the right on the front row in the photo, which was taken at Newton I believe.
If anyone would like to attend, dad’s funeral will be held at Dewsbury Crematorium on Tuesday 14 January at 2 o’clock. Followed by a meeting of friends and a celebration of his life at Hanging Heaton Golf Club.  Sean Middleton.


Sad to report the death of member Colin Knowles, just before Christmas.

Colin did his National Service in the RAF Police from 1958-1960.
We met in Northern Ireland on 4 December 1959 and we remained close friends including our 80th birthdays this year.

Colin had been ill with cancer for some months. No funeral details yet, but we will attend.

May Colin Rest in Peace.

John Walton


I understand that Andy Paradise has died.  RIP

The funeral of Andy Paradise will take place at Rosehill Crematorium, Doncaster on Thursday 23rd January at 1220. Following the service, refreshments will be served at The Grove Social Club, Conisbrough, Doncaster. The family would be delighted to see as many Snowdrops on parade as we can muster. They are also very grateful to those who have made a contribution on the GoFundMe link.


I have just heard of the very sad passing of Ian Tommo Tomlinson who passed away at home with his wife Anne after a long battle with cancer. He was in before I joined (ex 814 I believe), but he was a good mate and will be sorely missed. RIP Snowdrop. Jon Caffrey

Please see below a message from Ann Tomlinson

A huge Thank you to everybody for their kind words over the last few days. They have been a huge comfort.

I’m literally overwhelmed by the love and respect for Ian shown in the Facebook postings and messages to me. 

I have been able to make some tentative plans to allow, those of us who are free and able, to join together to say our goodbyes and celebrate Ian’s life- here they are

Ceremony at 13:20 on, Wednesday 8 January 2020, at Nab Wood Crematoriums, Bingley Road, Shipley, BD18 4BG. 

Ian and I had spoken and it was his wish that people wear what they are comfortable in... traditional Scottish dress, rock t shirt and jeans, or regular funeral attire - whatever floats your boat.

Celebration to follow at : venue TBC but would you be so kind as to let me know if you’ll be joining so I have an idea of numbers

For those wishing to come who have a long journey and may prefer to stay over, here’s a list of some local chain hotels (there’s lots of smaller independent options which I’m sure will be able to assist you with

Mecure Bankfield – BD16 1TU - close to the crem

Premier Inn - 502 Bradford Road, Sand beds, BD20 5NG - 3 miles from crem 

Travelodge - Bradford Road, Keighley BD21 4BB - 5 miles from the crem - nearest to The Tomlinson residence

We are arranging a floral display from the family and would request that anyone else wishing to express their feelings, do so by making a donation to Manorlands, our local Sue Ryder hospice, who were so supportive to Ian and I over the last year or so. Collection facilities will be available on the day, or I am happy to collate and pass on directly.


It is with deep regret that I advise that John Morris (ex F/Sgt P&SS NR) passed away last Wednesday following a long illness. Our thoughts go out to Daphne and family at this time. RIP John

The funeral for John William Morris, F/Sgt RAF Police Rtd will be held at Gedling Crematorium Cattfoot Lane Lambley Nottingham NG4 4QH on Monday 13th January 2020 at 1430hrs. The family have requested a simple service to which any serving or retired members of the RAF Police family or any others who knew John are invited. Family flowers only. Drinks and a light buffet will be available after the service at the RAFA Club London Rd Newark to which you are all invited

Chris Gangel

Thank you so much from all our family, for giving my dad, Flt Sgt John Morris such a wonderful service yesterday. We were so proud to see him respected by the Ex Service personnel who attended and he would of been very proud too...and a special thanks to Chris Gangel for all your support, it's been very much appreciated x

Julie Kenyon


The death of Frank Roy Smith on the 2nd of December has been reported.

He lived in East Yorkshire the last few years so the cremation is being held on Wednesday 18 December at 3.30 pm at Octon Crematorium Driffield YO25 3BL

In addition, former snowdrops Geoffrey V Jones and Peter Bailey died in November 2019.


I understand that ex FS John Law has died. I have no other details at present.

John Law:

1948 Enlisted RAF Regiment
1952 Discharged
Joined Forestry Commission. Graduated as Forester from Commission Training School
1960 Re-enlisted RAF Police 1st course at Debden
1960 RAF Marham
1961 RAF Eastleigh
1962 P&SS(Det) Eastleigh
1964 RAF High Wycombe
1966 AFCENT Fontainbleau & Brunssum
1969 RAF Binbrook
1970 RAF Masirah
1971 RAF Cranwell
1973 RAF Episkopi
1974 P&SS Episkopi
1975 P&SS(SR)
1982 Retired from RAF
Formed 'John Law Investigations'
Appointed to Board of The Institute of Professional Investigators under the Principalship of Air Cdre I Young.
Member of the American Society of Industrial Security under principalship of Air Cdre M David
Member of Association of British Investigators
Certified Member of the Council of International Investigators
1985 Appointed Director of 'Security International Limited'
1993 Sold business and retired to idle life...!


It is with great sorrow that I must inform you that my Dad, Robin Doddimeade has passed away.
He was admitted to hospital late last week for what appeared to be no serious matter. However, his stay was extended to perform further medical tests and in the early hours of Monday morning (25th Nov.) he experienced an unexpected cardiac arrest and did not survive his stay.

I am in the process of making formal arrangments, including the funeral, but this will take some time. I shall post further updates as and when I am able, but feel free to contact me if you feel you need to, at:

My Dad's funeral is at 2pm on Monday the 16th December at the Cambridge City Crematorium (


It is with sad news that I have to report the death a few hours ago of a dear friend Phil Hart ex QPD whom I had the pleasure to serve with at RAF Wittering in the late 70s. I managed to make contact with him again a couple of years ago and was fortunate to meet him again last year. A true character and a real loss. The dreaded cancer took him in his early 60's. Farewell my friend until we meet again. RIP.

Des Saint


It is with deep regret that I have today received news of the death of Len Rowden, a former Snowdrop and a long standing member of the London Home Counties Branch.
Our heartfelt condolences are extended to Eileen and family

The funeral for Len will be at Putney Vale Crematorium, (East Chapel) Stag Lane, Wimbledon, SW15 3DZ
On Thursday 12 December at 11:30
And afterwards at Kingston Lodge Hotel 94 Kingston Hill Kingston, KT2 7NT
No flowers by request but donations to RAF Benevolent Fund

If you are going to say farewell to Len and joining with the family afterwards, for catering purposes, please let Eileen know - telephone number held by the Webmaster 


From Bill Jenkinson.... It is with the deepest of sad news that I announce the passing of Dennis “Ginge” Mew, he passed peacefully at home today 07/11/2019 at 13.30 hours. He impacted on many lives over his career with the RAF Police and his life that I know a lot of you will want to send your condolences and thoughts to the family. 

Dennis (Ginge) Mew's funeral is on Friday 29th November 2019 at the Holy Trinity Church, Boundary Road, Newark at 1030hrs. Dress is Blazer, Beret and medals. A private,Family only, internment will take place at Collingham Cemetery . The wake will be at RAFA Newark where the family will join us after the internment.


I'm told by Steve Davies that Jeremy Fenton passed away. As you may know Jeremy had been very ill for sometime and, as I have been told, he passed away yesterday morning. His funeral is on Tuesday in Northern Ireland. I’m not sure where. Jeremy was a member of and Secretary/Treasurer of the RAFP Association for sometime. Our condolences go out to the family for their loss and may Jeremy rest in Peace. 

Fenton Knockloughrim 2nd November 2019 Jeremy (Harry) R.I.P. Peacefully surrounded by his loving family. Beloved husband of Mary (née Averall) and devoted father of Jack and much loved son of Jean and the late Jim and brother of Dave, Andy, Julie and Tess. 

Funeral from his residence 323 Hillhead Rd, BT45 8QT on Tuesday 5th November at 10.20am for 11am Requiem Mass in St Oliver Plunkett’s church Clady. Interment afterwards in St Mary’s cemetery Lavey.

Family time from 11pm to 11am

Sacred heart of Jesus have mercy on his soul. 

Deeply regretted by sorrowing wife, son, mother, brothers, sisters, brothers in law, sisters in law, nephews, nieces and family circle.

Harry's wake has now commenced. 


I am Ex RAFP Sgt Martin Pratt (Q8282834) and would like to inform the RAFP Family of the passing of one of our own. Ex WO RAFP Tony Cowan Telfer (age 63), passed away last night in Hospice in Cornwall following a year long battle with cancer. Tony served for 37 years, much of the time at RAF St Mawgan. He is survived by his wife Margaret and 3 children, Michael, Andrew and Jennifer. May he rest in peace.

I can confirm that the funeral for Tony Telfer will be held at Bodmin Crematorium (PL30 4AP) on Wednesday 30th Oct at 0930. Afterwards at the Royal British Legion, Newquay (TR7 1LD). All welcome, the family request no flowers but donations if they would like to the blind or Cornwall hospice.


It is with sadness that I inform you that North Yorkshire Branch Member Pat Murgatroyd passed away on Saturday 28th September. 2019.

Pat's Funeral will be on Friday 25 October at 13-00hrs at the Holy Trinity Church , Stockton on-Forest, York.

As many of you will know, Pat's late husband George was the founder and first Secretary of the NYB 19 years ago this year.



John Curtis suddenly passed away yesterday aged 85.
RIP John

Bernard Lamb

The coffin was draped in a large Brassard topped with his white hat.
The Standard bearers performed excellently, and the Last Post was very effective.
It was standing room only in the chapel and there were 4 standards.

On behalf of Mary, Mark, myself and all the Curtis Family I would like to thank all of the wonderful RAFPA members and past colleagues of Dads’ who attended his funeral on Thursday.

To be surrounded by so many distinguished ‘comrades’ whose outpouring of respect and love for a great man was an honour and a privilege.

My one regret on the day was the fact that I didn’t get chance to thank you all personally, and to have had the time to talk and reminisce with individual friends that had shared good times with Dad. I hope those of you will accept my sincere apologies.

I would also like to thank the many, many colleagues and friends who have sent messages of condolence and support since Dads’ passing. It has brought great solace to us all.

Thank you all once again for taking the time…’you did him proud’



In memory of George Briggs

Died ten years ago today

Max Espie


It is with great sadness that I report the passing today 2nd September 2019 of John Field.
A stalwart member and supporter of the North Yorkshire Branch.
There are no NOK .

Ken Turner

The funeral of John Field will be at the York Crematorium Bishopthorpe Rd YO23 2QD
at 11-00hrs on Thursday 26th September.

Afterwards at the Elm Bank Hotel , The Mount York YO24 1GT.


From Facebook

Informed by Harold Murphy on another group that former RAFP Terry Hughes has passed away. Terry Hughes was a Geordie and served at Laarbruch 1977/8 and also served at either Linton or Dishforth. His funeral is on Tuesday 20 August at Gateshead Crem at 11.15hrs.


Very sad News today (30 July) an old pal has passed away. Former RAF Police QPD and West Midlands Dog Man William (Billy) Jessiman. RIP me old mucker.

Tony Moore


I have just been informed that former snowdrop Stan Baker passed away on 5 Jul 2019. Stan was also a member of the RAFPA Norfolk Branch. His funeral will take place on 26 Jul 2019 at 11h30 at Thetford Church. I extend my condolences to the family for their loss and may Stan Rest in Peace.


Just heard that 2 former snowdrops passed away: Tony Pell (81), who served between 1958 - 61, passed away on 9 Jan 2019, and Sydney Scattergood (84) who served between 1953 - 58, passed away on 24 Jun 2019. My condolences go out to their surviving families and may they both rest in peace.


From Paul Donovan

Sad news. I was informed by his daughter Jean on Wednesday evening that Allan Rogers, a RAF Police Association NW Branch member, sadly passed away on 24th June.

Unfortunately, due to the late notice, the Branch were not able to arrange attendance at his funeral in Bangor, North Wales which took place today.

RIP Allan.


I have just been informed that a Roy Bateson Ex RAFP was cremated on Thursday at Grantham Crematorium. 

Dave Swaithe


This is the saddest day of my life as today my Lovely Lady Carole passed away peacefully with her family beside her after I brought her home from the hospital on Saturday. She fought to overcome her illness but it was too much for her this time. She will be remembered for her bravery and overcoming so many health issues. My heart is broken but I will cherish her memory and I know she will be waiting for me at the gates of Heaven. Fly with the angels my darling. 

Jim Henry


John Munday

Dad's funeral will be at Grantham Crematorium on Monday 10 June at 13:30. No obligation to wear black. It is family flowers only with donations being accepted via the Robert Holland Funeral Directors to be split between St Barnabas Hospice and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

On both trips to the funeral directors we have coincidentally followed an RAFP vehicle moving between RAF College Cranwell and Flight Training School at RAF Barkston Heath.

We would once again like to send our sincere thanks to Dad's RAFP family for their kind wishes which have brought Mum, my sister and I comfort at this difficult time.

10 NoveKind regards Melissa (and Pat and Chrissie)


Former Snowdrop Dennis (Danny) Moss MBE (16 August 1927 – 28 May 2008) was a British jazz tenor saxophonist. He was known for playing with most of the high-profile figures of British jazz, including Vic Lewis, Ted Heath, Johnny Dankworth, Alex Welsh, and Humphrey Lyttelton.

The son of a toolmaker, Moss was born in Redhill, Surrey in 1927. At the age of thirteen, he saw a jazz band appear briefly in a Bowery Boys film on a family cinema visit, and was so inspired by the clarinet playing that he swapped his most valued possession, his ice skates, for a second-hand instrument of his own. He was self-taught on both this and the tenor saxophone, which he took up at school.

A spell of National Service as an RAF Policeman, at the age of eighteen saw Moss performing for three years in a Royal Air Force regional band at RAF Staverton. After leaving the forces he joined the Vic Lewis Orchestra, and in the next few years moved around various bands, especially ones with the potential for a soloist. In 1952, he joined Ted Heath's band, a well-paid role which he described as "the prestige job of all time". Soon, however, Moss found the group's focus on novelty numbers and faithful musical reproductions, including that of solos, to be limiting to his skills as an improviser, and he left after three years.

In 1957 Moss joined John Dankworth's orchestra. Here, with the band's encouragement, he began to develop his characteristic saxophone sound, eschewing the contemporary focus on light tone and fast phrasing in favour of a thicker and more spacious sound informed by American pioneers such as Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. When the Dankworth band visited America, Moss' style was singled out for compliment by Count Basie, who declared his playing "real Texas tenor... the way it should sound!" He left Dankworth's band in 1962, as the band itself was winding down. From here, he joined Humphrey Lyttelton's group, where he continued to hone his style for another two years.

He then married jazz singer Jeanie Lambe, and the two moved from London to Sussex at her suggestion. Here, he formed his own quartet, playing a mix of club gigs, festival appearances and radio broadcasts for the BBC. He continued to tour with this quartet throughout the 1970s and 1980s, also playing and recording with high-profile singers like Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan and Rosemary Clooney, and appearing as a guest soloist with American musicians such as Buck Clayton in the mid-'60s and Louis Armstrong on his last British tour. Moss also co-founded British jazz "supergroup" Pizza Express All-Stars in 1980, playing with them until the end of the 1980s.

Moss and Lambe moved to Perth, Western Australia in 1989, although Moss continued to play regularly in Europe; indeed, his distance from Europe only seemed to increase the level of demand for his performances there.

In November 2005, he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. He participated in a video for the Australian medical website Virtual Medical Centre where he was interviewed about his illness and chemotherapy treatment. He died on 28 May 2008, aged 80, survived by Lambe and the couple's two sons. Rest in Peace Danny.


A man who sneaked into the RAF to train as a World War Two bomber gunner at 15, served as an air force police officer, raised Hadlow College's first cattle herd, and ran County Hall has tragically died of a devastating brain injury after a fall at his allotment.

Chriss Bridger, 89, was found unconscious by a passer-by at his vegetable patch in Sandling Road, Maidstone, on February 12.

After regaining conciousness and talking to paramedics he fell into a seizure and was airlifted to Kings College Hospital in London.

Chriss Bridger tragically died after a fall at his
Chriss Bridger tragically died after a fall at his allotment

Scans revealed catastrophic bleeding in his brain and doctors decided he could not be saved. With his family around him, he died later that day.

Following an inquest into his death, the family of the Boxley Road resident have opened up about his extra-ordinary life.

Chriss was born and grew up on Great Chilmington Farm, near Great Chart.

As a teenager, regardless of his age and using false documents, he joined the RAF to train as a rear gunner in a Lancaster Bomber.

Chriss Bridger, far left, with his Lancaster bomber air
Chriss Bridger, far left, with his Lancaster bomber air crew

However, just before before his first mission his true age was discovered and, although he never found out how he suspected his mother had reported him, he was discharged.

The bomber he was assigned to was shot down shortly afterwards during a raid over Bochum, Germany.

At 21 he decided to rejoin the air force but, with so little demand for air crew, became an RAF police officer, eventually finding himself on VIP duty escorting dignitaries including Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery and Prince Philip.

Chriss dressed in his RAF police uniform
Chriss dressed in his RAF police uniform
Chriss was County Steward
Chriss was County Steward

After 10 years of service he returned to the farming life and just under two years later, was tasked with raising Hadlow College's first beef herd.

He continued working on the land until 1974 when, hoping to save up for retirement, he got a job with the law courts at County Hall.

Later ,when the position because available, he was hired as the County Steward - tasked with overseeing security, cleaners, catering, and looking after the county silver.

Chriss and Cherry enjoying their retirement
Chriss and Cherry enjoying their retirement

After retiring in 1991 he spent his time with his four children, holidaying with his wife Cherry, and working on his allotment.

When Cherry died of cancer in 2009 he continued growing vegetables, despite not liking them, and gave them to St Paul's Church on the same road as his home.

Remembering her father, daughter Katie said: "He was a generous man. He was the sort of person who do anything if he was asked to. He was a very loving man."


My father, David Parkin, who has died aged 85, spent his working life in the police force and was an early beneficiary of a scheme to offer young recruits a university education.

After training as a police officer in his native Yorkshire he worked initially as a constable in the West Riding, but most of his career was subsequently spent in the Somerset and Bath constabulary. There, in his relatively early days, he was selected for a fast-track programme for promising officers and, after being promoted to sergeant, was sent in 1966 for police-funded study at the London School of Economics, where his personal tutor was the sociologist Ralph Miliband.

Returning in 1969 with a degree in economics, he found many colleagues and superiors felt he had wasted his time, but personally he never doubted that his time at university had made him a better and more fulfilled officer.

He was promoted to inspector and then, when the Avon & Somerset force came into being, was made a chief inspector in 1974 and posted to Weston-super-Mare. Four years later he moved to Nailsea, near Bristol, where his command included Portishead, Clevedon and half of the Clifton suspension bridge.

That was perhaps his happiest period in the job until finally he was made superintendent at the St George’s police station in Bristol in the late 1980s. He retired in 1990.

David was born and raised in Sheffield, the middle child of Ben and Freda (nee May). His father was a Methodist minister and he grew up firmly in that cultural tradition, claiming to have signed the pledge aged three to affirm his lifelong teetotalism.

In addition to the usual challenges of a wartime childhood, he faced more as the son of a conscientious objector. He attended Firth Park grammar school in Sheffield, but left before completing his sixth-form studies with thoughts of working in agriculture. However, his national service steered him into the RAF Police, and it was a move that led to his eventual career in policing.

Throughout his time in the job David often challenged some of the unacceptable attitudes he found among fellow officers, and he always tried to promote more thoughtful, intelligent policing at a time when progressive ideas within the force were generally frowned upon.

He had a socialist outlook and part of his morning routine at Nailsea was to shout “Power to the people!” while punching the air before entering his office. Until his final promotion he spent many years as a representative of the Police Federation.

In his life outside the force, David was keen on athletics and cross-country running, and was an early convert to orienteering when it was introduced as a new sport to the UK. He was still winning age-group orienteering events into his 80s.

He is survived by his wife, Mavis (nee Wilson), whom he married in 1960, by their children, Richard, Sarah and me, and grandchildren Edward, William, Isabella, Alessandra and Teddy.


It is with great sadness I have to inform you that John Morrell former RAF Police Doghandler passed away in his sleep last night. John was in Berlin from 1971 to 74 with me, he was only 70 a great Geordie character we joined up together and remained friends, although he only served for 5 years. RIP Old Pal

Neil O'Brien


Just to let you know Bernie Davies has passed away. He was an RAF
Policeman in the early sixties, I served with him in Bahrain in 1962. His funeral is on Monday 15th April at Efford
Crematorium, Plymouth at 14.00hrs.

Ron Willis


Once again, it is with deep regret, that I inform the members of the death of one of the S&NI Branch family. Jean Partington, the wife of member Colin Partington, passed away peacefully on Saturday past, the 30th of March, at 1745 hours. She had been a patient in the Forth Valley Hospital near Falkirk for some weeks, suffering from stomach and gastric problems. God bless you Jean, it was a pleasure knowing you, Mick Mclaughlin.

The funeral of Jean Partington will take place on Wednesday 10 Apr 2019 at 1200 hours. Service to be held in Dunblane Cathedral, followed by a burial in the family plot, in Dunblane Cemetery. Thereafter, all are welcome to join the family in the ‘Westland Hotel’ Dune Road Dunblane.


It's with a heavy saddened heart that I have to inform you that my dear friend Dusty Mack passed away on Friday with his Family around him. Dusty has been bravely fighting a losing battle with bad health for many months. 

Stewart McArdle

 UPDATE...with place and date of funeral which is
11 April 1215 hrs, at Blyth Crem, Cowpen Road. NE24 5SZ.

On a very sad goodnight. Today in the Royal Air Force Police/QPD/Kennel maids and friends we heard the very sad news, that on Friday a fellow Royal Air Force Police/QPD had sadly passed Dusty Mack. He was, well one of the best instructors to be at the Royal Air Force School at Royal Air Force Newton. Always there to give sound advice, never any trouble to help. And also when he was on postings on units around our stations around the world. He really was a top QPD. I am sure you will all send condolences to Georgie and family. RIP Dusty. QPD.  Ian Hunter


Reported that former snowdrop; Anthony James Thomas passed away on the 17 Mar 2019. He served between 1986 & 1995 as a dog handler. My condolences go out to the family for their loss and may Anthony rest in peace.

Yesterday from Tony Dalrymple reported that Michael Telford passed away yesterday (28 Mar 2019). Michael Telfer former Sgt RAF Police. Served Germany Cyprus Hong Kong. Left service 1989 and worked for Cumbria County Council until retirement in 2010. He passed away 28 March in Stourport on Severn after a 3 month illness.


From Facebook
It is with sadness to inform the group that Andy Robertson passed away this morning. Condolences to Andy's family and friends.  David Wilkinson

The funeral of Andy Robertson will be held at the Crematorium, Dundee, DD3 8SD, on 27 March at 1430 hrs The family would like to invite you back to the West Park Event Centre,Perth Road Dundee DD2 1NN.


From Facebook

My name is Graham, Roy (Steadman's) eldest son. Roy asked me to contact you on the event of his passing so that you would pass on this news to his fellow RAF friends.

My father passed away peacefully early this morning (15 Mar 2019) with complications resulting from his dementia which he had for the past 5 years. He exhibited extraordinary strength and put up a determined fight to the very end.

Just read about the passing of Roy Steadman, Roy was one of the substantive Cpl’s on our shift at Laarbruch, he was a bit older than us. Came across the attached photo from the Laarbruch site. Roy is the guy with the clipboard, others in the photo are Taff? Kev Joyce and ???Remember the exercise well 1978 or 79.

Jack Sharp
RAFP 1976 -1979 then remastered discharged 1998


It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death of my dear friend John Pettigrew, known to all as, Jack. He passed away last night at 2115, 10/Mar/19, in Stonehouse Hospital, South Lanarkshire, after a short hard fight with pancreatic cancer. Jack was a Life-Member of the RAFPA, and a founder member of the S&NI Branch. He served in the Royal Air Force from 1953 ‘til 1978, attaining the rank of Flt Sgt, and the title of Dog Inspector. 

Mick McLaughlin

Jack's funeral is on Monday 25th March at 10:15 am at the South Lanarkshire Crematorium, 22 Sydes Road, Blantyre Glasgow G72 0TL and afterwards at the Stathaven Hotel, Hamilton Road, Strathaven ML10 6SZ


From Facebook

 My father Gordon D Rogers passed away this morning. I will of course post more details as I get them. Mark Rogers

A selection of imagines from the RAF service of Gordon D Rogers who served with the RAF Police between 1957 & 1960. He passed away on 10 Mar 2019. May he rest in peace.


From Facebook
Today 28/2/2019 we said goodbye to ex WO rtd John (Joe) Skinner. Service career spanned 37 years with tours as RAF Police in Aden, Kenya, Singapore, Cyprus. Before trade group change and spent many years as DI at Swinderby with tours in Belgium, Germany, as SWO at Brize Norton, Bruggen, Marham. A great father and grandad. Enjoy your eternal life. RIP Dad Jayne Skinner‎t


From Facebook

I write this post with a heavy heart as my dear wife of 54 years of marriage, fell over yesterday and suffered a massive brain hemorrhage which she died from 8 hours later in Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon. Some of my RAF POLICE colleagues will have known Kath during our 30 years of service and I wanted you to know. We have 2 Children, 6 Grandchildren and 2 Great Grandchildren (and one on the way). We are all totally devastated by her sudden death..

Bob Mason

When my wife died last Wednesday 27 Feb 19, I had so many messages of support that I just could not believe how the RAF Police ‘Family’ came together as it did. I received over 150 messages. Thank you everyone. Just to finalise matters, Kath’s funeral is as follows:

Peterborough Crematorium,
Morbray Road,
PE6 7JE.

On Thursday 21 Mar 19 from 1200 to 1300 and the wake afterwards at 1330 at:

Fitzwilliam Arms,
Stamford Road,

which is only 0.6 of a mile from the Crematorium.

Once again a very big thank you to you all for your support and kind words when I really needed them. I will never forget it.


Reported by Jim Cullington: It is with sadness that I have to inform you that former WO Tom Hallam passed away yesterday (22 Feb 2019). I have been in contact with his wife Veronica and will inform the members regarding funeral arrangements as early as possible. Rest in peace Tom.

I have just been contacted by Mark Hallam, Toms son, regarding Toms funeral. The service will take place on Wednesday 13 March at 1200hrs at:-
Peterborough Crematorium
Mowbray Road

The reception afterwards will be held at
The Danish Invader
Empingham Rd
PE9 2sX
If anyone is intending to proceed to the reception after the service please let me know ASAP,the family need the number to arrange the catering.


Sad to report that member David Hopper died very suddenly today (Sunday), at home.

David served in the RAF Police from February 55 to February 57. On discharge he joined the Devon and Cornwall Police and served for a full career. He has been a keen member of the Association and the SWAB for many years.

May David Rest in Peace.

David Hopper's funeral will take place at 12.00 on Thursday 28 February 2019, at St Andrews Church, Church Street, Cullompton, Devon EX15 1JU

It may be possible to park in the grounds of the nearby community hall, but that is not yet certain. If not it is recommended we park in the pay and display park towards the M5 area of Cullompton. I will try and let you know before the funeral.

The family would be delighted to see as many of us in our berets as possible. Sidney Inch will be attending with our standard. The local NARPO standard will also hopefully be paraded. Those of us attending (if willing), will form a guard of honour outside the church entrance.

After the service, the coffin and family will drive north to Willand for a private funeral.

We are invited to the wake in Cullompton, probably at the bowls club.

Please let me know if you intend to be there.




It is with sadness that I must inform you that Derek (Sam) Sillett passed away at 1200 hours today. This information has come from Sam's son Peter. Sam was formally the Secretary of the Norfolk Branch until it closed.

May Sam rest in peace.

Brian Flinn

The funeral will take place at Lincoln Crematorium on the 27th February 2019 at 2.30pm.

For and on behalf of Sam's family could I thank those Standard Bearers and other members who took part in a 'Honour Guard' at Sam's Funeral. Thank You.

Allen King.

Peter Sillet: "Yesterday we as a family said our final goodbyes to Derek 'Sam' Sillet. It was a beautiful day and so many family, friends and colleagues travelled half the length of the country to be with us. Special thanks to the RAF police association for giving Dad a guard of honour and bringing their standards as well. After the service there were lots of great stories about Dad and a lot of fond memories, spanning at least 6 decades. The generosity of those who attended the service was amazing - we have raised £258 to donate to Marie Curie so that these fantastic people can give support and dignity to other families like us."


It is with great sadness that I report the death yesterday - 2nd February 2019 -
of Marion GUNN wife of JIM Vice Chairman of the NYB.


RIP Marion

Ken Turner

Marion's Funeral will take place at the Rotherham Crematorium Ridgway Rd Rotherham S65 3NN On Wednesday 20th February at 09-30hrs.


From Derek A Jenkins: 

I have today received a telephone call from Paul Watts, the son of Pete Watts, to tell me that Pete died on Saturday 12th January 2019, after losing his brave fight with cancer. His family were with him in hospital when he died, including his other son, who had just arrived at the hospital from Australia.
Several years ago Pete and Pat, his wife, moved from Lewes, West Sussex, to a retirement flat in Southampton, to live near their daughter. Sadly Pat died about six months after their move there.
I first worked with Pete at RAF Marham in 1958 and later worked with him when we were in British Caledonian Airways Security Services in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Pete and Pat were family friends of Ann and I. Our condolences go out to the family for their loss and may Pete rest in peace and suffer no more.


From Facebook

It is with great sadness that 605 Sqn announce the death of one of our Reservists, Cpl Leanne Carroll.
Leanne transferred to 605 from the Army Reserves in Dec 2016, as RAF Police. She quickly completed her training and became a well liked and respected member of the team.
Leanne will be sorely missed and we send out our heart felt condolences to her friends and family at this very difficult time.


From Facebook

Yesterday in Cyprus the funeral of an Austin Charles Reid took place.
Austin was once in the Royal Air Force Police. But that is about all we at know at this time.
Austin’s Funeral was not attended by anyone and he was buried in a paupers grave yesterday in Tseni near Nicosia
Austin’s death was only brought to light Monday, when a call went out to the overseas branch of the RAF Police Association. Information about his death and funeral were sketchy at first and we were eventually informed of what happened yesterday late on in the day.
There are now plans to mark his grave and have it blessed by an RAF Padre



John Limb 29 Dec 2018 RIP 

Des Byrne 12 Dec 2018 RIP 

Bob Dunning 28 Nov 2018 RIP 

Brian Clark 22 Nov 2018 RIP 

Donald C Burrell 29 Oct 2018 RIP 

Alan Shaw 13 Sep 2018 RIP 

Nancy Miller 05 Sep 2018 RIP 

Alan Perrin  Sep 2018 RIP 

Frank Authers 02 Sep 2018 RIP 

Dennis Shipton 31 Aug 2018 RIP 

John McNeil 30 Aug 2018 RIP 

Chris Parker  Aug 2018 RIP 

Dennis Harley 23 Aug 2018 RIP 

Alan Johnstone  Aug 2018 RIP 

Paul Howsham 05 Aug 2018 RIP 

Cyril Hales 05 Aug 2018 RIP 

Jonathan Willoughby 01 Aug 2018 RIP 

Ivor Montell 29 Jul 2018 RIP 

Alec George Barker 24 Jul 2018 RIP 

Pat Walsh 15 Jul 2018 RIP 

Jon Hickson 13 Jul 2018 RIP 

Robert Easson 07 Jul 2018 RIP 

Colin Hartless 06 Jul 2018 RIP 

Peter Haslam  Jun 2018 RIP 

Keith Dukeson 19 Jun 2018 RIP 

Ernest Sharmam 18 Jun 2018 RIP 

David Giddings 17 Jun 2018 RIP 

Michael Brickwood 13 Jun 2018 RIP 

Mark Travis 10 Jun 2018 RIP 

Leon Victor Palmer 7 Jun 2018 RIP 

Andrew Elkin 26 May 2018 RIP 

John O'Shaunessy 20 May 2018 RIP 

Denzil Flew 23 Apr 2018 RIP 

Christina L Bentley 23 Apr 2018 RIP 

Alec Benford 20 Mar 2018 RIP 

Alfred Addison 15 Mar 2018 RIP 

Stewart Skouse 05 Mar 2018 RIP 

Bill Sykes 03 Mar 2018 

Brian Suiter 04 Mar 2018 RIP 

Malcolm Lister 28 Feb 2018 RIP 

Les Climo Feb 2018 RIP 

Ian Taylor 17 Feb 2018 RIP 

William Gosling 10 Feb 2018 RIP 

Andrew Morris 31 Jan 2018 RIP 

Ray Orgill 29 Jan 2018 RIP 

Gordon Turner 29 Jan 2018 RIP 

John Hull 28 Jan 2018 RIP 

Gordon Turner  Jan 2018 RIP 

Bernard Brown 28 Jan 2018 RIP 

Derek Topham 18 Jan 2018 RIP 

Derek Turvey 17 Jan 2018 RIP 

Dale Bos 13 Jan 2018 RIP


RIP DAD. In loving memory of John Limb.
Yesterday I received this letter from G Seller the funeral directors that performed such a great service for my dad's funeral. 
Thank you all for attending the funeral to remember my dad. 
And thanks for the kind donations to the Royal Air Force Association charity. As you can see the amount raised at the funeral was £266.29. This was sent to RAFA yesterday. 
John Limb. A proud Snowdrop. 
Gone but never forgotten.

John Limb (RIP)

John a past Chairman of the East Midlands Branch and one of the founder members of the Royal Air Force Police Association passed away last night in a care home in Sutton in the Elms, Leicestershire.
John celebrated his 84th birthday on the 1st December

Funeral of John Limb  (EMB) on 25th January 2019

Standard Bearers.

Barrie Clarke (EMB)

Ken Turner

(North Yorks)

Brian Flinn


RAFA Representative

A few of the 20 members of the

Royal Air Force Police Association

forming  the

Guard of Honour

Bearers carry the coffin of John Limb into the



Bob Byrne has told me that his father Des Byrne passed away in Lincoln Hospital yesterday evening. I have received this from Bob Byrne, re his dad's funeral--Des Byrne.

 Thank you all for your messages of condolence, it has helped the family get through this sad time. The funeral will take place on the 4th January 2019 at 1200 hours at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 27 Jermyn Street, Sleaford, NG34 7RU followed by a celebration of Des's life at the Solo Bar & Restaurant, 6 Market Street, Sleaford, NG34 7SF.


Yesterday at Agecroft Cemetery, Manchester, the RAFP and RAFPA paid their respects to Fg.Off. Walter Bentley who had passed away at the age of 97. He had no living relatives so the call went out from a forces charity to ask for people to attend his funeral.

Walter was a qualified ‘heavy’ pilot and usually drove Stirlings all over Europe in 1944 & 1945, at the age of 23 he had amassed over 1,000 flying hours.

The turnout was huge, many serving and ex forces attending. His guard of honour into the chapel was formed by the ATC and reserve officers. I did not count the standards, but there was at least 12, amongst them was the standard of the NW Branch of the RAFPA carried by Geoff Durston.

A photograph is attached showing from left to right...Brian Burgess, Fg.Off. Chris Halliwell, Geoff Durston, Cpl Adrian Bradshaw, John Evans & Dave Allman. The 2 serving ‘Snowdrops’ were based at RAF Cosford.

Brian Burgess


From Facebook

It is with great sadness that I heard today the death of Bob Dunning who died yesterday of cancer. Bob was aged 60. I have so many found memories of Bob when we were on B shift at Laarbruch in the late 70's. Farewell Bob. RIP.  Des Saint


From Facebook

Just in from Graham Calvert..... After years of searching I recently managed to get in touch with Bob (Robin) Dunning (RAFP Laarbruch 1976/78) via his younger sister Victoria only in the last couple of weeks but in time to be told he was terminally ill with Liver Cancer which had spread to his Adrenal glands and was in a hospice in Warrington. I tried to get over to see him but due to dreadful conditions on the M62 and it being closed beyond Leeds had to turn round and head home. My plan was to travel over later in the month but unfortunately he passed away this lunchtime age 60 yrs. His sister Victoria and Bobs family have asked if I could put something on the RAF Police Social media sites regarding his passing. Unfortunately this is not a thing I would have a clue how to approach, but thought I know just the chap. I do hope that you don’t mind but would be very grateful if you could do this for us. I have no further details at present as to funeral etc but when I learn more I'll pass the details on.


From the Clark family - It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our husband and Dad Brian Clark. He passed away suddenly on Thursday 22nd November 2018. Funeral details will follow. Please contact Brian's son Kevin via PM Clarky J Kev if you wish further details. Nicola Gemmell, Fiona Clark, May Clark.


Funeral of Bob Easson

The following N.E. Branch Members gave Bob a good send off.
Left to right. Mick Soulsby, Ed Snailum, Alex Flavell, Alan Weeks, Sydney Graham from RAFA, Roger Bishop Standard Bearer, Rowley Coultas, and Keith Laws Forces Veterans Association from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.

From Facebook

Donald Charles Burrell passed away on the 29 October 2018. Donald, who was 82, was suffering from dementia at the time of his death but was very proud to have served in the RAF Police as a Cpl in the late 50’s early 60’s. He underwent basic training at RAF Hartlebury and, among other stations served at Watton and Duxford. My condolences go out to his family for their loss and may Donald rest in peace.


From Facebook

I have just heard that former snowdrop Alan Shaw who was also a trustee with the RAFPA passed away last night after suffering a heart attack. My condolences go out to his wife Cynthia and family and may Alan rest in peace.

Steve Davies

The Funeral for Alan Shaw will be held at 1230hrs on Thursday 27th September at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip, HA4 7SJ.
There is ample car parking at the Crematorium; however, Bus service 331 from Ruislip Metropolitan Line Station also stops outside.
The family welcome all who wish to attend.


From Facebook

Sad to report that my Mother, formerly Sgt Nancy Stacey WAAF Police (1942-47) passed away this week. At 96 she kept all her memories and, like the majority of her generation, her 5 years Service stayed with her throughout her years. She, together with my Dad, Geoff Miller, were founder members of RAFA Branch in Wimborne, where she proudly became their President. I was very proud to follow her into the Trade and Branch where I served for 37 years.

Dusty Miller


From Facebook

Have just had a phone call to inform me that sadly former RAFP Dog Handler Alan Perrin has died. Alan and I shared a room together in Aden in 1966. At present I have no further details. RIP

Sid Cole

Last week I reported the passing of Alan Perrin a former RAFP DH. I have just been informed that his funeral will take place at 12.00 on 28th September at Carterton Methodist Church, Burford Road, OX18 3AA ( just down the road from RAF Brize Norton). If anyone who knew Alan, or live in that vicinity, wish to attend they are most welcome.


It is with great sadness that I have to announce the death of former FS Frank Authers BEM at 8pm yesterday.  Frank was 98 years old and joined the RAF in August 1938. He served as a butcher and an aircraft fitter during the war and remustered to the RAF Police after the war. 

Frank Authers 1920-2018 (RAF 1938-1968)

The hardest thing about summarising Frank's full life and times in the RAF, is what to leave out.

He joined the RAF in 1938 at West Drayton, completed 3 months Basic training at Cardington, his dislike of too much exercise was shown early, by hiding in long grass at Cardington with a friend before returning from a run exhausted.

Posted to Warmwell on general duties his butchery background caught up with him.

He volunteered for flying duties and enjoyed flights as a drogue operator but was found to be colour blind which ruled out flying and probably saved his life. He was sent to a Cooks course at Halton and posted to Benson as the first party of airmen when it opened in March 1939.

Sunday 3rd September 1939 he heard the Prime Minister broadcast that war was declared, Frank took his Norton motorbike for ''a nice long ride over the Berkshire Downs''.

A week later the unit moved to France, Frank and his 103 Squadron mates, ill equipped were living in barns east of Rheims enduring a very bitter winter. Following the German onslaught of May 10th 1940, they lost aircraft and suffered air raids, on 21st the Squadron moved west, building up to 31 aircraft. There remained only 16 and only 8 returned to England. The ground crews eventually hearing that the evacuation from Dunkirk had been completed on 4th June. At Nantes they were split into two groups, one going to the ill fated Lancastria at St Nazaire, sunk with the loss of several thousand lives. Frank's group came home to Plymouth 19th June from Brest on a Great Western ferry ship, his main concern that his Mother had no idea if he had survived. Following three days leave he was posted to St Eval.

Frank had almost total recall of life's events, but told me that much of his St Eval time was lost to him, he recalled important bits like his 1935 Ivory Calthorpe, as Cpl i/c night shift he had to collect dispersed people he remembered a WAAF asking him to kiss her awake and getting outside as soon as he could. There were many air raids, leaving for Newquay before one raid a driver told him to change vehicles, both vehicles were hit, Frank did not hear the explosion but his tin hat was blown off, his driver was the only other survivor but badly injured, Frank carried him to safety.

Posted overseas, Frank sailed on a former liner Franconia from Liverpool. The convoy took three months, via Sierra Leone, around the Cape to Durban where he enjoyed two weeks, sailed to Aden where they lay for two weeks, before travelling to Suez.

Frank joined 980 Squadron, a Barrage Balloon Unit, initially guarding the Suez Canal, the main threat was air dropped mines. After some high jinks in Cairo the desert campaign followed. In hospital in Alexandria for a minor ear operation Frank helped medical staff, the Medical officer tried to hang on to him with the excuse he was a bit jaundiced but Frank knew 908 were moving, persuaded him to sign and he was off.

Their small convoy followed the Eighth Army into Libya, (the Western Desert) past El Alamein to Tobruk where Frank's Detachment spent some time, he had to fetch provisions from the Army. From the many shipwrecks they found crates of Whisky and Gin. Frank got very drunk on Gin, was ill, apart from the occasional social drink he hardly touched a drop for the rest of his life. With some spare bottles of Whisky Frank acquired a German Army BMW motorbike and sidecar, using it to fetch rations until Headquarters took it from him, his book abounds with such stories. The Foreword notes - '''A small and begrudged mention to Adolf Hitler, without his intervention in my life you would be reading half a book.''

He was promoted to Sgt Christmas 1942. Frank and his driver Nobby Clarke painted their Chevrolet truck '' Old Kent Road'' with a towed water bowser moved up the desert to rejoin the Squadron in Benghazi and then on to Tripoli sleeping on their vehicle and fetching rations and supplies to keep their Unit moving to Tunis. Having no idea of the destination, their vehicle was the last loaded on a Landing Ship Tank (LST), they lay at anchor for two days, able to swim from the lowered ramp.

The invasion of Sicily was not best organised, Frank and party were unloaded in Palermo harbour, chased from pillar to post by various U S Officers until settling in a lemon grove, well fed from some purloined American rations, until the remainder of the Unit caught up. The Italians surrendered they were loaded on another LST and landed at Salerno, moving to Naples to protect the harbour.

Naples was notorious for vice and criminal activity. With an Italian girl friend he found how the chaperone system worked and like many avoided an Italian bride. He spent some time with Military Police, ideal for his future RAF Trade.

The CO wanted a Jeep, which were in abundance around US units, Frank rather fancied one himself, but had to wait several years. He was sent to Anzio on a landing craft with Squadron supplies, ordered to go ashore find a Jeep and load it for the return voyage, this he did and found another for himself but the Greek Captain claimed as his own- the spoils of war.

Frank was then posted to 249 a Spitfire squadron at Brindisi living under canvas during a cold winter, the Squadron strafing Germans in Jugoslavia. A local village reared Turkeys, Frank organised a barter with 21 Turkeys, fattened them and at Christmas gave the Squadron a Traditional Dinner. With many areas cleared of German occupation the RAF gave several Tiger Moth trainers to the Jugoslavians, Frank enjoyed flying on some of these ferry flights. The squadron had moved to Jugoslavia by VE Day, after which Tito were ordered them out of the country, Frank never had any time for Tito. By September 1945 Frank had a flight home, the only seat on his Lancaster was the rear turret.

He got back in touch and married Sybil his pre war girl friend. While at Hullavington Frank remustered to the RAF Police, based at Filton and enjoying an interesting time seeking out the many Absentees and Deserters within the area. He would also escort Lancaster fuselages on Queen Mary trailers to a Suffolk base, having a bargy with a Colonel Blimp when the convoy disrupted the Racecourse traffic. Spent time on Imber ranges supervising and collecting missile parts, the while enjoying some good rabbiting.

In 1951 he was posted to Germany working on Traffic section, particularly enjoying the use of specially built Ford V8 cars, to escort diplomatic and Service Chiefs in their Rolls Royce cars. The lead Ford broke down one day, allowing the Duke of Edinburgh to put his foot down in a new Mercedes and Frank doing his best to catch him.

Briefly at West Prawl radar station, he was promoted to Flt Sgt and posted to Colerne near Bath for a year before posting to Luqa, Malta. managing a few flights with the Shackleton squadron .

In 1959 he was posted to Abingdon and bought a nearby bungalow., I always had the opinion that it was Frank's favourite station. On the troopship en route Aden he heard he was awarded BEM. Not long afterwards security became a problem on Bahrein. Frank was sent to set up a new security section where he had a married quarter and where the family could enjoy leaves in Mombasa.

He had a short spell at Melksham until it closed and was then posted to the sharp end, on a V Bomber Station Scampton. He considered this the only unhappy time of his whole service life, only enjoying the rare armed escort of a Blue Steel Missile back to the Manufacturers in Manchester.

In July 1966 Frank was posted unaccompanied to RAF Seletar on Singapore island, being on shift he had enough spare time to start playing Golf and regular swimming. Via a friend he had a trip in a Beverley to Hong KONG and Bangkok.

Offered a chance he completed his tour on the island Station Gan. The Pakistani labour force were rotated via Argosy flights to Karachi, Frank responsible for Customs would some time take this flight, often delayed in Karachi, by dint of a gift bottle of Whisky to the Chief Customs officer the RAF were given priority.

The RAF Navigation Staff world tour flew via Gan. Everything possible was done to disguise Gan as their next stop Cocos Islands 1800 miles away, equipment hidden Air Traffic emblazoned WELCOME TO COCOS ISLANDS, marshalling airmen blacked up and wearing grass skirts often easy to confuse a Navigator, but this was a laugh..

Frank finished his service at RAF Spitalgate, the WRAF training depot, serving on Special Investigation 3 RAF District. some very interesting work but he took his Golden Bowler in 1968.

In the words of the late Brian Ransley's Foreword ''Three decades of fun and frights came to an end''

A fine man who I feel privileged to have known. 

John's tribute at the funeral:

My name is John Walton and I was in the RAF Police from 1959 and so I served at the same time as Frank for some nine years, as he retired in 1968.  During those 9 years I never met Frank, although I did hear hear of him during his last years as an RAF Police Senior NCO, and what stories I heard!!!.

I started to organise the South West Area Branch of the RAF Police Association in 1998, so it was 30 years after Frank left the service that I first met him.  The inaugural meeting of the Branch took place upstairs in the RAF Association Club in Plymouth, on Mutley Plain in March 1999, so Frank would be approaching 80.   It was for his 80th birthday that his children Jill, John and Mike bough him a computer and he wrote his RAF Autobiography which he entitled “A Bird’s Eye  View from the Ground”. 

Frank and a few other old servicemen immediately settled into the Branch routine.  Our meetings in Plymouth were full of gentle sarcasm, double meanings and tales of who knew who when and where.  There was possibly a little exaggeration, but we understood what was meant.  Sadly, a couple of  years after we started the Branch, the oldest member,  90 years old, Dick Mitchell died and so Frank in his early 80s became the oldest (or senior) member.

The Branch organised the Association annual reunion in 2002, at the Victoria Hotel in Torquay.  Frank was in his element meeting old colleagues he had not seen for many years.  I made the announcement at the Gala Dinner that Frank had recently declared that whatever it was they had put in our tea during the war, was just beginning to work!!!

Frank twice arranged for the Branch to visit the Commando training camp opposite his house.  After an impressive parade, Frank invited us over the road for a BBQ and a swim in his pool.  We were without exception fascinated with all the various vehicles that Frank had made.  From AA motor cycles and sidecars to full and small sized RAF Police Land Rovers.  Everything was made to perfection and with great attention to detail.

Frank made a life sized figure dressed as an RAF Police Flight Sergeant in full uniform.  He used to put it near the main road indicating where to turn into his estate.  At the end of one of the visits, I went out and put the figure over my shoulder and carried it back into Frank’s garage.  Frank took one look at me and called “well theres’ a first!  For those not aware there is a so-called understanding that Senior NCOs like Frank always carried the officers throughout their service.  Here was I retired officer carrying the Flight Sergeant.  Of course Frank’s comment went down very well with the crowd still around the BBQ. 

A third event showing Frank’s quick wit, happened when Frank made me and another visiter, bacon sarnies in his kitchen.  I asked for tomato sauce and when Frank handed me the bottle, I shook it violently, but forgot to hold on to the top.  It flew off and the contents went all over the kitchen and all over my sweater!!!  Frank immediately said “I don’t suppose you had bottles in the Officers Mess!!”

On a more serious note, when the RAF Police Memorial was dedicated in the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, Frank was in the front row marching with other World War 2 veterans.

Even more impressive was Frank taking a full part in the annual parade at the Cenotaph.  Frank was well into his 80s, when along with the other 10,000 ex-servicemen, he waited on Horse Guards Parade and Whitehall for over 2 hours.  Then he marched past the Cenotaph, along Whitehall, Parliament Street, George Street, Horse Guards Road, past the senior Royal Person then back onto Horse Guards Parade.  There once more he had to wait until the National Anthem was played, before being “dismissed”.  Sadly, the second time Frank was due to march, he felt very unwell on Horse Guards Parade before we set off, and he spent the morning with the St John’s Ambulance people.

Frank spent 30 years in the RAF and some 50 years in retirement so in his words, he beat the system.  In retirement he was probably more active than during the peacetime RAF Police.  He was an entrepenure involving himself and son John in many enterprises, most of which were highly successful.  One of these was at Sandy Bay and is still called the World of Country Life.  Twice he arranged for our Branch members to visit the site where afterwards we enjoyed lunch.

I doubt if any of us know  anyone else who lived such a long, full and varied life as Frank. 

One of his many admirers is Group Captain  Kevin Bailey, Provost Marshal Emeritus.  This is praise indeed as our RAF Provost marshals are not known for their generous praise!!

I know I speak for all here when I say Frank in one way or another enlivened our lives and we will miss him.  Frank I hope you are in that great Guardroom in the sky with a polished RAF Police Land Rover outside.  Thank you for sharing your long life with us and we all wish you the very best, wherever you are.


From Facebook

Just received a message from John Strange: From John McNeil's daughter;

To all my dads close friends and family it is with great sadness and heartbreaking news that he passed away on Thursday 30th Aug.
The family are deeply devastated and we appreciate the kind words and wishes from everyone. RIP Dad I love you to the moon and back xxxxxxxx


It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Dennis Shipton at 8.15 this morning.

RIP Dennis.
Bernard Lamb


Today at the Lincoln Crematorium the funeral took place of Ernest Dennison Shipton (Dennis) 5th April 1932 - 31st August 2018.
Dennis served from 1951 to 1977 leaving the service as a Flight Sergeant SI/CI.
Standard bearer Barrie Clarke, accompanied by eight members of the East Midland Branch, escorted Dennis on his final journey
RIP Dennis

From Facebook


Sad news:

I have recently heard that Chris Parker (retired W/O CI) died a few days ago. He had a heart attack in St Ives, where he lived with his wife Jane, he died 4 days later and his funeral took place yesterday.

I worked with Jane in Vetting Wing in the mid 80s and some may remember Chris as a Flt Sgt in Survey Sqn, HQ RAF P&SS, at that time.

RIP Chris

Brian Flinn


I’m sad to report that my old friend Dennis Harley passed away on the 23rd of August. Dennis had been in failing health for a number of years but he had deteriorated in the last several months. Dennis’s funeral service will be at 2pm on the 4th September at South Shields Crematorium. Dennis and I served together in Germany in the 70s and we remained firm friends. A good man in so many ways, he will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.

Pete Somerville


From Facebook

My oldest friend died recently. Ex-RAFP Doghandler, Alan Johnston. He only served for three years, Jan '70 - Jun '73. We were at school together. Knocked about after school years and joined up together. After training he was posted to Waddington while I was on 'D' Unit. In Dec '70 I was posted to Kai Tak. Two months later he followed me. He served 14 years in the ambulance service, before getting into the pub trade. He subsequently moved out to Koh Samui, Thailand in '95. He came back to UK in March of this year for treatment for skin cancer. Unfortunately, in that battle, he came second. He wasn't a member of the Associates, despite numerous promptings by me. His coffin was returned 'home' to Koh Samui where he is buried. He is survived by his Thai wife and stepson. Rest in Peace, my friend.

Frank Todd


From Facebook

It is with great sadness that Jon Willoughby-Otter passed away 01 Aug 18.
His funeral will be held in Rotherham crematorium, Ridgeway, East Herringthorpe on 20 Aug 18 at 1030.
The family is asking all who attend wear red and white.
Any serving members can wear uniform


From Facebook

Paul Howsham sadly passed away on Sunday 5th August.  As it stands there is a church service at St Paul’s Church in Ashby on the 29/08/18 at 1315, followed by a burial at Woodlands Crematorium and Cemetery.


From Facebook

I saw Jill Boss in Grantham this morning having not seen her or Dale for a number of years. I am not sure whether any of you were aware but it was sad to hear that Dale (WO Rtd) died form a heart attack 13 January 2011 in Glenfield Hospital Leicester. I have seen nothing on any of the RAFP Groups regarding his death. He was a true gentleman. RIP Dale Boss.

Dave Swaithe


From Facebook


It is with personal sadness that I must inform you of the death of Cyril Hales, a member of the Wiltshire Branch of the RAFPA. Cyril had major surgery several years ago, after being diagnosed with stomach cancer, but this year the cancer returned and was inoperable. He was 64 years of age.

Cyril joined the RAF in 1976 and he was serving as a Sgt SI, P&SS (Southern Region) at RAF Rudloe Manor, when, in 1989, he left to join Avon and Somerset Police. Cyril loved motorcycling and, after retirement from the Police, he became a volunteer 'Blood Biker', delivering emergency blood products, medicines and organs for donation, across the country.

There will be no funeral service, at Cyril's request, but his widow, Jane, hopes to arrange a get together later in the year, in his memory.


From Facebook

Saddened to report that Jonathan Willoughby died this morning (1/8/18) aged 45.


From Facebook

I have just had a very sad call from Cathrine, Ivor Montell passed away this morning after spending two weeks in Plymouth Hospital. He was 82. Ivor left Rudloe Manor as a Flight Sergeant 25 years ago.
The picture was the last time we met for lunch. I joked with him about having completed computer security training he now had difficulty with an iPhone.

Will post details of his funeral when Cathrine has made arrangements.

Mark Williams

I’ve just been informed that Ivor Montell‘s funeral is at Efford Crematorium in Plymouth next Tuesday 14 August at 12:15. Cemetery postcode is PL3 6NG.


We have become aware that former RAF Police NCO Alec George Baker, who served between 1952 and 1957, passed away on the 24 July 2018. Our condolences go out to the family for their loss and may Alec rest in peace.

Death of Leon (Leo) Victor Palmer... We have been advised that former RAF Police NCO Leo Palmer died on Friday 7 June 2018. Leo’s funeral was held at the West Suffolk Crematorium Bury St. Edmunds on Friday 6 July 2018.
Leo served in the RAF Police from 1953 to 1978 at numerous units. Our condolences go out to his family and may Leo rest in peace.


from Nick Smith on Facebook

Sorry to announce that my good mate Kev Gait passed away at the weekend. Ex ATSy at 32 (TR) Sqn RAF Northolt. No further details at the moment. RIP mate


From Ken Needham on Facebook

I woke up this morning to a message from Brenda Walsh, saying that our old friend, from our Ceylon Days, Pat Walsh passed away yesterday evening.


Photo - Pat Walsh in Ceylon.


from Chris Neville on Facebook 

I have just been informed by his father that Jon Hickson passed away this Friday 13th after a long 5 year battle with cancer.

Just to let those people on here that knew Jon Hickson's  his funeral is an open service and his father has stated:

‘indeed, we shall be delighted for any of Jon's former RAF friends to attend and support us’.

The funeral is on the 3rd August at St. Denys Church, Ibstock, Leicestershire at 09:45hrs.


BOB EASSON of the North East Branch passed away in the early hours of this morning, Sat 7th July.

I have no further details except that Bob served as a Dog Handler.

Bob was one of the last Dog Handlers on the island of Ceylon in 1960, and a member of the Old Ceylon Comrades, a group of R.A.F Police officers who spent time on the island of Ceylon. Ken Needham

I have just been informed that the funeral service for Bob will take place at 12.30pm Thursday 19th July at Blyth Crematorium, NE24 5SZ. This will be a burial, however it is the same location as the crematorium.

Time change - now 12:15pm


From Facebook

From Nicholas Ligertwood....Please could you include Mark Travis ex RAFP. Died 10 June 2018, Uedum, Germany 


From Facebook

Death of David Giddings
I have received information that former RAFP David Giddings passed away on 17 June 2018.

David was an active member of the RAFP Association and was a former Secretary of the the Essex & Suffolk Branch. He was a stalwart supporter of the annual Cenotaph parade until ill-health forced him to slow down.

David's funeral is being held at Weeley Crematorium near Clacton on 9 July at 10h15.


Reported by Martin Uden on Facebook

Not so long ago l mentioned that Peter Haslam, a former RAF Police dog handler and Met Police Officer, was seriously ill. I have just been informed that Pete died last week. His funeral is this Saturday 0900 St Peters church Westcliff. 1100 Service of Thanks Giving, St Margarets Church, St Margarets Bay, Dover. Leaves wife Margaret. Was secretary of Dover Probus for many years. I will be attending. RIP old friend.


My Grandfather, RAF Police Sgt Ernest (aka Ernie) Sharman passed away on Monday.

After joining in 1953 he served in Northen Ireland in the mid 50s.

He served at RAF Cottesmore in early 1960s before posting to Rheidhalen until 1968. 
He also served at RAF Wittering in the early 70s

Other Non UK postings were RAF Episkopi and Troodos in the late 50s.

It's a long shot but we just wanted to inform any friends or relatives of former colleagues at RAF Cottesmore of his passing. 
The funeral (date tbc) will be held at Cottesmore church.

I crewed and partnered with ERNIE at Cottesmore in the 60s . QRA, SSA, Airfield,
we did them.
ERNIE was one of the best, our paths never again crossed .
My condolences to the family.
RIP Ernie,
Ken Turner