Our father Tim died yesterday morning, aged 98. He was surrounded by loved ones, including our mother, Pat (see below).
I, sadly, was in Copenhagen, doing three speeches in one day. For decades I have travelled with the sense that one or both of my parents would die while I was travelling.
Here is a picture of the ensign flying at half-mast at the Capel-le-Ferne Battle of Britain memorial site over a replica of Geoffrey Page’s Hurricane.
More on this before too long, but a big tree has fallen in our forest. [And the BBC Radio 4 item picking up on this quote is some 13 minutes into this link.]
Here is one of the bigger stories from his extraordinary life.
And here is the love of his life:
Speaking from Denmark his son John last night told the Daily Express: “My father grew up in a different world. An only child, sent away to school when he was six, he jumped at joining the RAF shortly before the war. He would later stress that, while he was one of The Few, they in turn were supported by The Many. The ground crew, radar plotters, the merchantmen and tanker crews running the gauntlet of the U-boat wolf-packs. And, critically, the ordinary Britons who endured the Blitz.
“In recent years, he was an extraordinary ambassador for his generation – indeed there has been an amazing outpouring of gratitude over the internet since his death was announced and the RAF ensign went to half-mast at the Battle of Britain memorial.”