Obituaries, Deaths and Funerals


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I have just learned that former dog handler Michael Eyles (80) passed away last week. My condolences go out to the family for their loss and may Michael rest in peace.


I have been informed that Gordon Burge has died of pancreatic cancer. He was at one stage OC RAF Police at Conningsby.


John Forbes

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of our friend John “Forbesy” Forbes (55yrs) peacefully in his sleep yesterday evening. John had been suffering from lung cancer for quite a long time though he remained upbeat and determined to pull through throughout his intense treatment program. Unfortunately, it was not to be and John has now reported for his final posting to the eternal Police Club in the sky. Rest in Peace John, a true friend, colleague and fantastic barman. I will publish further details as they become known from his family

Brian Main

Hi, it’s Johns sister, Helen, here, It is with much sadness that I write to tell you that my brother John lost his brave battle with lung cancer and died yesterday evening. It was very quick and peaceful and I was with him.
He is no longer suffering and for that I am grateful.
John was a legend and he will leave a huge hole in the lives of his family and friends.
A service man through and through and he will receive a military service to send him on his way.
Details will be posted on here in due course, please remember that due to COVID restrictions the service is for 30 people only. We will, however, enjoy a ‘proper knees up’ to celebrate his life at a later date.
Rest in peace ‘Forbes’. Xx


Sad to report the death on 20 March 2021, of retired Sqn Ldr E J J (Ted) Squires.  Ted was born on 9 July 1922, commissioned on 10 February 1945 and he retired on 21 March 1962.  He was stationed in Hamburg in 1946 during the first years of the RAF SIB investigation into the murders of those aircrew by the SS and Gestapo who took  part in the "Great Escape".

Ted always stressed he was never involved in the investigation, but he "watered and fed", any and all investigators who moved into or through the area around Hamburg.  Ted was delighted when he joined the SWAB, to find John Murphy MBE and (the late) Denzil Flew, who he knew in Hamburg. 


Ted's funeral will be in St Georges Church, Modbury (Devon), under the present Covid conditions.


May Ted Rest in Peach.


John Walton.


I understand that Colin Birch passed away last night.  No other details at this time.


Daily Telegraph

BIGGAR.—On March 13th, peacefully, Margaret Elizabeth Biggar, "Liz", wife of Group Captain Gerald Biggar, RAF, deceased, most beloved mother of Caroline and "Mutti" of Alexandra, Dominic and Isla Elizabeth. No flowers please but donations in memory of Liz for the NSPCC or the RAF Benevolent Fund can be made online at For all funeral enquiries please contact Tel: 01249 713134. Placed by Caroline Hewett.

Online ref: A248707


It is with great sadness that I am writing here to tell you that John McCumiskey has passed away, John died from cancer. John had lived with Ann at their home in Alethrico, Larnaca. He moved there after a career in the RAF Police and a subsequent career in the MDP.
John was a great friend to Kate and myself and will be sorely missed by us.
RIP Mate.
Stephen Harris


It is with Deep, deep sadness, that I have to inform my ex colleagues that my dear friend Steve Allen passed away this morning at his home address in Liverpool.

Steve had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost 3 years ago and 'dealt' with the effects and treatments ever since then, in his own inimitable way. With courage pragmatism and hope. 

His family and his faith kept him strong for so long; but today, he passed away at home; exactly as he had planned, with his close family and friends, at his bedside, in the early hours.

I know Steve served at west Raynham, Bruggen, Aldergrove, Cyprus among other places around the globe.

If you knew Steve; he had a cheeky sense of humour and was a genuine; lovely guy and loyal friend; right to the end. 

Rest In Peace; Your duty done. 

Endex; Stand down. 

You will be sadly missed.

Huge Hugs my friend and much love.

Mark Scott

I’ve just been informed of the really sad news that Stevie Allen has passed away. He had been battling cancer for some time. He was surrounded by his family at the end. I served with Stevie at Gutersloh & Aldergrove and he was a larger than life character. My thought and love are with his family. Taken too soon, Rest Easy my friend and get a round in at the BLC in the sky.
Will Barrow


Had the sad news this morning that Liz Bigger the widow of Gerry Bigger has passed away.  Liz still kept in touch and was an Associate Member of Wilts Branch.


I know its not my place but I have heard from Lee Cook via FB that his father, Steve Cook RAFP has recently passed away. A good friend and shift mate who retired from RAF Waddington. RIP

Bill Hodge


I understand that Pete Banasik has died but I have no further details at the moment.


I have just received information that Paul Benton’s cremation will be on 1st April 2021 @ 1330 hrs at Telford Crematorium .

Not sure how many are allowed to attend . RIP Paul.

His son Jonathan is organising it.

I have just been informed that former snowdrop Paul Benton , Wire Walker and Sgt CI , passed away last evening.
He had been suffering with various problems over the past few months . Rest in Peace my friend

Neil Gardiner

This is a little delayed but the man deserves the tribute here. Paul Benton retired Sgt C.I posted this on his personal FB page on 28th February 2021.

"A big thank you to all of my Laarbruch colleagues for your encouragement and good wishes this is one battle two far I am at peace and accept that whatever happens is meant to be ,I am the richer for having known you all"

The feeling many of those who knew him was that his fruitful and colourful life was near the end, and indeed his celestial posting came through on 2nd March unfortunately.

He was at Laarbruch 74 - 77 and some of you must have worked with him at his many postings during his RAFP career. A real gentleman, honest and true, with a unique sense of humour very popular with those who knew him.

Rest In Peace Paul Benton.

It is with sorrow that I have to report that today I attended the funeral of Flt Sgt (rtd ) Paul Benton RAFPolice at Telford crematorium. He had in attendance family and friends and three retired RAF Police, Nigel Lacy (Standard Bearer) David Holland and myself. He had a wicker coffin draped with the Union Flag and last post played, no bugler present. A quiet but dignified service. RIP
Mick McQuade


It is with great sadness I have learnt of the death yesterday of Gp Capt Alec Thompson RAF Provost (Retd), aged 95 years - RIP

Alan Hildage

1968 P&SS Support Squadron formed and comprised sixty experienced RAF Police NCOs, under the command of Squadron Leader A L C Thompson. It was formed as a task force to provide professional RAF Police assistance wherever it was needed. The squadron was fully self-supporting with all the vehicles and necessary equipment required to undertake a wide variety of tasks anywhere around the world. It was made up of personnel qualified in undertaking SI or CI work together with personnel qualified to drive heavy goods vehicles and motorcycles and technicians who looked after the communications equipment. Some of the work earmarked to be undertaken by the new squadron, included; VIP security; travel control security; convoy escorts; public order duties at anti-nuclear demonstrations and major public ceremonial events as well as responding to operational contingency plans. In the days when service personnel and defence employees in London were paid in cash, personnel from the squadron were detailed each week to protect the vehicles transporting the pay officers from Adastral House, as they delivered salaries to around sixty defence establishments in the city. Prior to the formation of the squadron the tasks had previously been carried out by uniformed provost staff employed at the former police districts.


I have just heard from Peter Sommerville that George Clapperton has just passed away. No other details I’m afraid. RIP.


It has been reported that

Ralph Penny of the former W Anglia branch passed away recently.

Funeral arrangements are made for 24/2/21 at 1300 hrs at Polebrook, Oundle.

Anyone who may be considering attending please bear in mind Covid 19 restrictions in relation to numbers.


Kenneth Holt, of North Hykeham passed away on 21st January 2021 aged 82 years. A great friend of the community, including the Twinning Association and husband of the late Mayor Pauline Holt, since arriving in 1978, after serving 21 years in the Royal Air Force. Much loved Partner of Marianne, Dad to Graeme and the late Deborah and Grandad to Daniel and Sophie. Funeral service to be private due to current restrictions.

I was very sorry to read about the passing of Ken Holt. I served with Ken on P&SS(NR) in the late 70’s and I used to see him reasonably often at RAFPA Reunions.


Ken was genuinely one of life’s true gentlemen.


May he Rest in Peace.


Neil Rusling


I was saddened to learn that Ken Holt had passed.  


I first met him in January 1974 at RAF Debden when we were both on a CI Course and consequently were accommodated in the same barrack room as the other JNCOs on the course.  Ken was a friendly person and possessed the skills of a comedian who always managed to look on the bright side of life with good humour, whatever challenges it threw at him.


During the course we all had to prepare and deliver a short talk on a subject of our own choice to the rest of the students ,  Ted Halliwell the instructor and the Station Education Officer,  (SEdO), to prepare us to deliver security education when back on our own units.

Ken did little,  if any, preparation for his talk and decided  to wing it.  He used a course photograph  which was displayed on the screen via some ancient device which gave it a sepia tone. It might have been called an Episcope?   He pretended these people were WW1 pilots and talked  at length, about their fictitious exploits.  One of those in the photo he used was Sgt Bernie Rice and he introduced him as Wg Cdr Bernie who gave the Germans rice!  He continued to describe the fake Squadronss activities and the aircraft they used as the Sopworth Camel for desert warfare, the Sopwith Dolphin for sea warfare etc. He had all of us in stitches except the SEdO who thought his talk was serious and at the conclusion  made some minor criticism on the way he had delivered it.


Ken and I served together at RAF P&SS (NR) at RAF Newton, albeit on different sections,  in the  late 1970s prior to his discharge .


After my discharge from the service in 1991 I moved to Lincoln and met Ken who was then the Operations Manager for a local security firm.   He had lost none of his good humour and friendliness.  During the period 1996 - 2005 I worked at the ASDA store in North Hykeham and Ken was a frequent shopper as he lived locally.  We always had a chat and often talked about our service days.


Ken was one in a million and I am proud to have worked with him and been his friend.   My  deepest condolences to his family .   



Attached is a photo from the CI Course in Jan 1974.  Ken Holt is in the middle of the back row.

Al Knowler


SAC Jon Wilkes
Jon sadly passed away at home on Fri 5 February. A Reservist on 605 Squadron since 2016, Jon was no stranger to military life having joined the RAF Police in 1987 and became a qualified dog handler. He had many stories to tell about his time including his 2 seconds of fame as an extra in the James Bond film “The Living Daylights.” After he left the RAF he worked for the RSPCA and Prison Service but his reconnection to the military saw him join us as a Driver.
Jon was always reliable, providing support to a number of Exercises and undertaking short notice tasking requests for RAF Cosford including its Air Show. A larger than life character, he had a very positive outlook on life and an infectious smile. A key member of the MT cadre, his commitment to his friends and Squadron was unwavering, right to the end.
Jon will be missed by us all very much and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Lisa, his children, family and friends at this incredibly sad time.
Per Ardua Ad Astra



It is with great sadness I inform you of the passing of North Yorkshire Branch Member Derek Forbes at home on 2nd February 2021.
Derek served 51-56 a Veteran of the Korean War and a very loyal member and supporter of the NYB.
Our Sincere Condolences to his wife Margaret.
Ken Turner

The Funeral Service for Derek will take place on 4th March 11-00hrs at York Crematorium
Bishopton Rd  , YO 23 2QY.

It is hoped the Branch Standard will be paraded.


It is with great sadness that I inform you of the sudden passing of my Mum, Shirley, today Sat 30th who died at home peacefully with my Dad retired WO Peter Markwick. Very quick, no pain with the bloke she loved all her adult life. Graham Markwick


Keith Bridger represented Bexhill North at East Sussex County Council from 1997 to 2005, during which he was Labour party leader.

He also served as a councillor for Rother District Council from 2003 to 2007, representing Sidley, alongside his wife Helen, who was elected in with him.

He was also deputy mayor for Bexhill from 2006 to 2007.

His daughter, Ruth Eldridge, paid tribute to him.

She said: “Dad always had time for everyone and anyone who met him instantly liked him, as he was just an all round good guy, a real gentleman who will be sorely missed by all his family and all who knew him.

He was a very active member of All Saints Church, singing in the choir and participating in all fundraising events, including the flower festival and his legendary pantomimes.

“He was also a huge part of the community in Sidley and always wrote and directed All Saints Church’s pantomimes yearly, starring every year as the panto dame.

“Dad assisted with all the groups associated with the 1st Sidley Scout Group from Beavers to Scouts. He would help with badges and story-telling. He used to manage Sidley Rangers Football Club many years ago and became a qualified referee locally. “Dad was 82 when he passed on January 10 following a short battle with Covid-19.”

Keith served as a probation officer for 45 years locally after leaving the RAF where he served for 13 years as an RAF police dog handler. 

He served in Aden, Cyprus and Hong Kong.

Keith’s funeral will be held on February 11 at All Saints Church and will be live streamed on its Facebook page.

Ruth said: “In his memory we have set up a Gofundme page to raise money to replace the wooden cross above the door at All Saints as he was deeply saddened when the original rotted.”


It is with great sadness that l inform you of the death of the very lovely Barbara Spencer, wife and life-time partner of Nigel Spencer,

Barbara’s health had declined to such an extent that since 2016 it has been necessary for her to reside in Hooklands Care Home, Bracklesham Bay but Nigel has visited Barbara daily and the other members of their large family visited very frequently. On 17th January 2021 it became obvious that Barbara had become infected with Covid and on the afternoon of Friday 22nd January she passed away at Hooklands Care Home. Aged just twenty-one years Barbara enlisted with the Women’s Royal Air Force serving as a Stewardess at Wilmslow, Hereford and then RAF Hospital Ely. Nigel was serving with the RAF Police at Waterbeach in Ely and this is how they came to meet. In 1967 Nigel demobbed and joined West Sussex Police Constabulary. Nigel did not actually retire from Police duties until 31/1/2015
Derek Marjoram


Reported on another group the death of Paul Mcnamara today after a long fight with covid . RIP fellow snowdrop

Des Saint

with the news of the loss of Insp Paul McNamara, of the Ministry of Defence Police, who lost his battle with Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Paul was 52 and joined the Ministry Defence Police from the RAF Police in August 2001.
Paul served at a number of stations including Burghfield, Fraud Squad, Stafford, Easington and finally Menwith Hill, where he moved on promotion to Inspector.
Paul is survived by his loving partner Wendy and 11-year-old son Alex.
Eamon Keating, Chairman of the Defence Police Federation said: “Paul will be sadly missed by all who knew him and the entire police family, and our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy and Alex as well as friends and colleagues at this sad time.”
What a wonderful picture to pay tribute. The thoughts of Martis Media are with his family, friends and close colleagues at this time.
Royston Martis

More sad news copied from Gainsborough breakfast veterans club, there will be a guard of honour for him if any is local and wishes to attend.

I am honoured to be conducting the Funeral Service for a fellow vet who served in the Royal Air Force as RAF Police. Serving some 25 years including service in Malaya, Bahrain and Cyprus at the time of of the Coup in 1974.

Flight Sergeant Bill Gardner

To be held at Lea Fields Crematorium on Friday January 29th at 13:30

Guard of Honour would be wonderful.

Jon Hodgson


It is with great regret that I have learned of the passing of St Michael’s Branch member Raymond ‘Pop’ Nealon of Braunschweig, Germany on 28th April 2020 aged 91 years. He served in the RAFP from 1946 to 1969 attaining the rank of Sergeant  He is survived by his wife Ruth and three children.


May Raymond Rest in Peace.


Neil Rusling


It is with deep sadness that I have to inform you of the death of one of the greatest Warrant Officers in the RAF Police, former WO Norman Dodds who passed away at 1930 hours on Monday 11 January 2021. You could not meet a more genuine and pleasant individual and I was proud to have served with him at P&SS(Det) Gutersloh. Dee Dodds phoned me this evening to relay the news. Norman was suffering from COPD. RIP Norman

David Swaithe


Sad news I'm afraid chaps. For those who met my good friend Mark, (The stonemason who created Buster's Memorial for us) he took his own life a few days ago and is now flying free with the birds. RIP Mark and thank you for all you did.
Scott Etheridge


Andrew Dunkley, former RAFP is making his final journey as I type, please spare a thought for him and his wife Marie and 2 girls as they say their goodbyes, sorry I couldn't be there guys. Taken too soon RIP Andy, take a seat at the bar!!

Sarah Criddle