Obituaries, Deaths and Funerals
Sad to report the death of member Neville Bowerman on 7th July
Very sad to be informed today that my old friend John Carter has prematurely passed away. I served with John at RAF Honington from 1985 to about 1987. He left the RAF to pursue a career in the Metropolitan Police and retired from there a few years ago. RIP my friend, you will be very sadly missed by many. Rob Boothby
24 June 14 I am sorry to inform you of the death, suddenly last week, of member Ian Mackenzie. He leaves a wife. Inge. I have no details of funeral arrangements but when I receive them I will let you know. John Bellaby.
From Chris Lumb on the Facebook page
I am gutted to have to announce this message about ex WO D Copland. I have just received a private message (edited below) from his lovely wife Connie this morning - 15th June.
"Dave died quietly at home this morning. Understandably devastated but relieved no more suffering. Thanks for all your kind messages up until now. I know Dave wasn't one to respond but he did appreciate all the kindness shown to him. xx
I will post more when I have anything to release as per Connie's wishes.
I'm informed by WO Taff Price RAFP Boulmer funeral is 15.30 hrs Monday coming at Blyth crematorium (Northumberland) full military honours
Mr Copland at first Arboretum parade. RIP Sir. Martin Uden
I thought that members and friends would enjoy seeing a picture of Mr Copland during last year's Remembrance. Immaculate as always and as ever an example to us all. It will be of no surprise that Dave a month ago was giving me his erudite and wise counsel on the 'way forward' for the current RAF WO cadre and Senior Leadership. I am sure we will be able to give 'our man' the fitting and appropriate funeral and 'send off' his commitment demands.
Could I include an Obituary on the RAFPA website for my father WO Bill Gausden. As you can see he started his career as aircrew but switched to RAFP in 1945 and served until 1979 in the RAF Police. I know that at least some of the people that knew him will still be around and may well by in the RAFPA. He has also helped Steve Davies with a number of research projects into the early days of QPD etc. Funeral is yet to be organised and will be in Hereford (Where dad retired to in 1990 after spending 12 years working for Kodak security).
Chris W Gausden
Bill started his uniformed career in 1940 when he volunteered as an ATC cadet to help man the RAF Air Sea Rescue launches operating from his home town of Dover, Kent. He was involved in the rescue of a number of downed RAF Aircrews during his service. Bill was also a part-time air raid warden and saw firsthand a lot of the devastation caused by German bombing and long-range shelling of the Kent coast throughout the early stages of the war. In August 1943 Bill was called up and he volunteered for RAF Aircrew selection at the tender age of 18 (and 3 days). His application was successful and he underwent aircrew training, qualifying as an Air Gunner in July 1944. In the last year of the war Bill flew 42 operational sorties with 34 SAAF and 70 Sqn RAF flying from Southern Italy over Yugoslavia and Poland in Liberator bombers. Due to his relatively diminutive stature (5’6”) he spent most of the war facing backwards in the tail turret. His flying career included a number of particularly dangerous missions dropping arms to the partisans over the besieged city of Warsaw and he was a proud member of the “Warsaw 44” club (subsequently commemorated by the award of a Polish Home Army Cross by the Polish President in 1994). In May 1945, rather than face demob, Bill volunteered to join the RAF Police and served as a dog handler in Italy until he had completed all the RAFP qualifications required to retain his Sgts Stripes. From 1946 to 1979 Bill served in a number of RAFP roles and amassed various “Qs” including QPD, QPSI, HODT and QPCI, rising to the rank of Warrant Officer. His claims to fame included being a founding member of the RAFP PM4a low-flying complaints unit in the early 60s and providing support for the TSR2 project, WO Sy at 26 SU Gatow in the late 60s and CI duties as WO CPSyO (NEAF) in Cyprus during the Cyprus war in 1973/4. In all he served for 36 years earning a LSGCM and bar and numerous operational theatre medals and commendations as well as his BEM and MBE. When asked why he chose the RAF Police after his aircrew service he always said: “I chose RAF Police because it appeared to be one of the few trades which had an operational role in peacetime. Also its members tended to perform their duties in relative isolation, making on the spot decisions and being responsible for their own actions. This was similar in some respects to that of members of a bomber-crew of which I was familiar”.
Bill met and married his wife Theresa (Tess) in Malta in 1950 whilst serving with the RAF Police at Takali and they remained happily married until her sudden passing in 2002. Bill died peacefully in a retirement home in Herefordshire at 05:15 on Thursday 5th June 2014 after suffering a stroke earlier in the year. Bill was always a proud member of the RAF first and then took equal pride in both his aircrew and RAF Police careers. He was not a member of the RAF Police Association but was always ready to help his former colleagues or his country whenever asked to do so.
Sadly we lost Colin, peacefully at home on Thursday 27th March 2014. We were fortunate to be with him during his final hours
Colin has battled with numerous illnesses for quite some time and through all of this he tried to be cheerful and stoic.
He will be very sorely missed by his beloved wife Brigitta Clarke, his sons Ralph and Roy and all his family and friends.
We have made the following arrangements for Colin's funeral
Thurday 17th April 2014
At St Peter's Church
Following the burial at Ugley church cemetery we would like to warmly invite you to remember Colin and join the family for refreshments at The Chequers Pub and Restaurant, Cambridge Road, Ugley, CM22 6HZ
Please let us know as soon as possible if you will be able to join us.
Roy & Sharon firstname.lastname@example.org 07792 034801
Ralph & Carolyn email@example.com 07775 810577
Family flowers only.
If you would like to make a donation in Colin's name; please send all donations to MND Association (Motor Neurone Disease Association) for research purposes c/o Daniel Robinsons (Funeral Directors) 79/81 South St, Bishops Stortford, Herts CM23 3AL
With much love from Brigitta, Roy and Ralph Clarke
First time I've looked at the website and was very saddened to read this. Had the pleasure of working with Mark at Coningsby. Good laugh Great lad. Sad loss.
May Geordie Rest In Peace
The funeral service for Ronnie Douglas will take place at Lincoln Crematorium on Tue 10th July at 11.50a.m, followed by a wake to celebrate his life at Birchwood Social Club - Birchwood Avenue, Lincoln, LN6 0JE. Ronnie requested that Black and White to be worn. Family flowers only or donations if you wish; to be made payable to Cancer Research, c/o Lincoln Co-op Funeral Services,
12 Portland Street, Lincoln, LN5 7JX.
The son of John L Bone (A member of the North Yorkshire Branch) has informed us that John passed away on the 21 June 2012 after a long fight with Cancer. He served in the RAF Police from 1949 until retiring as a Flight Sergeant I n 1972. John served in Singapore, Iraq, Cyprus and Germany as well as stations in the United Kingdom. His Funeral will be held at Pontefract crematorium on the 10th July at 12 midday and friends and family will gather at The Gaping Goose in Garforth, Leeds afterwards for refreshments.
His son is remaining in contact with me and will let me know as to the cause of Geoff?s death and to the date of his funeral, should anybody be interested in attending. He has also requested I try and let him have a short history of Geoff?s service life within the RAF Police. I only knew him for a very short while, whilst we were station at RAF Fairford, between 1969 and 1971. I did know that he was a dog man and did a tour stationed at Khormaksar and another in Gan, but that was only word of mouth from him. Are there any members that can help me compile a little story fairly quickly for the benefit of his family. Perhaps you could provide me with his date of joining the RAF and his discharge date. I do know that when he left the RAF he joined the Surrey Police.
I shall do my level best to get down to Aldershot with my wife on the day of his funeral.
Take real good care down there.
Unfortunately, as a result of sending out our quarterly newsletter, we have been notified of the passing of a NW Branch member.
Member 0591 - Mr A Dunn, of Rochdale, Lancashire.
Unfortunately I have no further information. May he Rest in Peace.
Funeral of Cpl Brent J McCarthy on 31st May 2012
Held at St Nicholas Church, Codsall,
Grey skies and rain did not deter the large number of people who gathered together to celebrate the life of Brent, in this small village
Among the large assembly of Brent?s family and friends were also representatives from the military. Air Vice Marshal Oborn, AOC 2GP: Air Commodore Nick Bray, Air Officer RAF Police; Group Captain Mark Sexton, Provost Marshal; personnel from RAF Police, RAF Regiment, RMP?s, the Welsh Guards, and HM Prison Service. The RAFPA were represented by Bill Veazey, Ted & Gill Hellewell, John Brookes, Peter Cook, Brian Lawrence and Trevor Marklew.
The service was taken by Padre Martin Sheldon and Padre Nick Heron of the RAF, together with the Vicar of St Nicholas, Reverend Simon Whitcombe.
Brent?s father, John McCarthy, gave a very loving tribute to his son and this was echoed by several family members and friends.
After the service, the coffin was borne by six RAF Police personnel out of the Church to the graveyard where the internment took place, followed by three volleys of shots fired by a section from the Queens Colour Squadron, RAF Regiment.
At 5pm, a fly past by a single Hercules aircraft flew over the church in a salute.
Corporal McCarthy was born into a Service family on 18 February 1987 in Hannover Germany. At a very young age he returned to the Midlands of England where he attended Lilleshall Primary School and Orleton Park School in nearby Wellington. He was staunchly proud of the area and apart from the early years of his life, Priorslee, Telford was where he called home.
Following school he worked in a number of jobs before committing himself to a Service life with the Royal Air Force in August 2008. Following his training at RAF Halton and the Defence College of Policing and Guarding at Southwick Park he began his career within the Royal Air Force Police. He was a man of many talents and diverse interests including football, playing drums in a band and representing the RAF at hockey.
He was assigned to RAF Brize Norton in July 2009 where he volunteered to deploy with 174 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment Royal Military Police as part of the Theatre Provost Group. During his pre-deployment training Corporal McCarthy showed an aptitude for mentoring and was a natural choice to embed with the Welsh Guards as part of the Police Mentoring Advisory Group.
Corporal McCarthy leaves behind his father John, mother Sarah, sister Jodie, his partner Sarah and his niece Miajay and nephew Kyron.
Corporal McCarthy's family have paid the following tribute:
"Brent was a loving sensitive young man. He excelled at sport and had the whole world in front of him. He loved his family dearly and will always be a hero to his niece Miajay. Brent will be sadly missed not only by us but also by his loving partner Sarah and her devoted family. Life will never be the same for any of us. We will love you always. God bless."
Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, Commanding Officer, Police Mentoring and Advisory Group, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Corporal Brent McCarthy came to 1st Battalion Welsh Guards during our training for Operation HERRICK 16. Over a six-month period before the tour began he lived and operated with the men who he was to support in Afghanistan.
"His intelligence, ready wit and his desire to muck in and take part in all aspects of communal life meant that he fitted seamlessly into an extremely tight team. Corporal McCarthy was extremely popular and hugely respected among the men with whom he lived and fought - not always an easy trick for a military policeman from another Service, but one he achieved with ease and some style.
"Ever to the fore and sharing danger and discomfort, his light-hearted approach to life, easy going nature and cool professionalism made him a natural advisor to the Afghan National Police. On 12th May, alongside his comrade Lance Corporal Lee Davies, he was taken from us suddenly and violently.
"All of us in the Police Mentoring and Advisor Group, whether Welsh Guards, Royal Military Police or RAF are devastated by his loss but resolved to press on in the memory of his sacrifice. To his family we extend our heartfelt sympathies and the knowledge that he will always be remembered among us."
Lieutenant Colonel Alex Potts, Commanding Officer, Combined Force Lashkar Gah, said:
"Corporal Brent McCarthy was doing a difficult and dangerous job and he did it well. He was a fine ambassador for The Royal Air Force and we will remember him for his professionalism, physical toughness, but above all, for his unbeatable smile and sense of humour."
Major Greg Sangster, Commanding Officer, Theatre Provost Group, said:
"It is difficult to put into words what the loss of Corporal McCarthy means to both our unit in Afghanistan and his RAF Police colleagues back in the UK.
"But our grief will pale in comparison to that felt by his family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. Corporal McCarthy exuded enthusiasm and ability; he was a young man who was trying to make a difference, mentoring his Afghan Police colleagues in very challenging conditions.
"Both his unit and those Afghans he mentored are better for having known this talented policeman."
Squadron Leader Carl Jeffery, Officer Commanding 7 (Royal Air Force Police) Squadron, Royal Air Force Brize Norton, said:
"Cpl Brent McCarthy was fiercely loyal and courageous, exemplifying the character of the Royal Air Force Police. Cpl McCarthy was a young man with huge potential: intelligent, determined and extremely capable, he was a highly popular figure within his Flight and was firmly on the path to great success in his career.
"Cpl McCarthy fully embraced all aspects of Service life, whether representing the RAF playing Hockey or getting his mates together for a beer, he was always a prominent figure who will be sorely missed by his friends, his colleagues and all those who had the honour of serving with him.
"Dynamic and with an enormous sense of fun, Cpl McCarthy's infectious enthusiasm could be relied upon to cheer those who were down, to inspire those who were lost and to comfort those in despair. It is great testament to Cpl McCarthy's character that despite a few brief years in the Service, he can claim so many friends amongst his Trade, his Station and the RAF as a whole.
"Cpl McCarthy's family and friends should take great comfort in the knowledge that Brent was an exemplary policeman of whom they should be proud."
Squadron Leader Carl Jeffery
Captain Rob Bird, Second-in-Command, B Squadron, The King's Royal Hussars, Combined Force Lashkar Gah, said:
"On behalf of B Squadron, The King's Royal Hussars, I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family of Corporal McCarthy. An extraordinary character, he had become exceptionally close to a large number of the Squadron over the last few weeks.
"He maintained an unfaltering sense of duty throughout his time with the Police Advisory Team. Utterly professional, he was an exemplary airman who was absolutely committed to the task his unit had been set with the Afghan Uniformed Police, who as we, are deeply saddened by his death. Our thoughts are with Corporal McCarthy's family at this most difficult time."
Warrant Officer Class 2 Daniel Stephens, Company Sergeant Major, Theatre Provost Group, said:
"Having worked previously with the RAF Police, Corporal McCarthy surpassed my already high regard for the commitment, dedication and capability of those RAF Policemen who volunteer to undertake this most difficult of roles alongside their Army brethren.
"In the short time that I came to know Corporal McCarthy he showed courage, grit and leadership far beyond his years. His personality endeared him to all those around him and he embodied the very spirit of our motto, leading by example. I am truly honoured to have served with him and regrettably humbled by his sacrifice.
"I am saddened beyond words at the loss for his family and loved ones who have my most heartfelt thoughts."
Staff Sergeant Terrance Ferguson, Platoon Staff Sergeant, Theatre Provost Group, said:
"Coming from the same town of Telford there was an immediate connection between Corporal McCarthy and me. His sharp sense of humour and enthusiasm for a bit of banter was always welcomed and was a breath of fresh air.
"During his time under my command he acted with the utmost professionalism, respect and embodied all of the qualities of an outstanding Service Policeman. At this very difficult time I would like to extend my condolences to his family and loved ones and my thoughts are with them. Rest in peace my friend."
Sergeant Rob Heath, Second-in-Command, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Corporal 'Mac' McCarthy was a true professional in every respect. He joined our Police Advisory Team a few months before our deployment. It was as if he had always been with us as he immediately got on with everyone.
"He was an excellent ambassador for his unit as his skills and knowledge on police work seemed endless. He was very intelligent and loved his job. All who knew Mac will be feeling a great sadness right now none more so than his family.
"Our thoughts go out to you all. The Welsh Guards his extended family will remember him forever. Rest in Peace Mac, gone but never forgotten."
Corporal Kriss Gray, RAF Police, Afghan Police Mentor, Theatre Provost Group, said:
"Having known Corporal Brent McCarthy for some time now, both as a friend and a close work colleague, this comes as a massive shock, to those who served with him and the Service police as a whole.
"Corporal McCarthy always put others before himself and had the strongest love for his family and would always go out of his way to see a smile on others faces before his own. I had the honour to have served with him and I am also very privileged to have been his friend.
"My thoughts go out to his girlfriend and family at this time; he will be greatly missed by all who knew him."
Lance Corporal Tim Bennett, Adjutant General's Corps (Royal Military Police), Afghan Police Mentor, Theatre Provost Group, said:
"Although I have only had the pleasure of knowing Corporal Brent 'Mac' McCarthy since the start of our training last year and having lived and worked so closely together here, I feel l got to know him very well.
"Brent and I were told early on that we would be Police Mentors within a Police Advisory Team with the Welsh Guards.
"We conducted all of our training with the team working really well and building very close friendships with the boys. There was always banter about the amount of time 'Paradigm' Mac spent using welfare facilities and he used to check the incoming mail at least three times a day! Funny thing is, he rarely came back empty handed.
"Brent will be sorely missed and my thoughts are with his family and girlfriend at this sad time."
Lance Corporal Kyle Williams, Combat Medical Technician, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"Although Mac wasn't attached to us for long, he was well and truly one of the boys. He loved the banter and also loved working with the infantry. He often said how lucky he felt to be doing this job and how envious the RAF Regiment would be at him for being so far forward!
"Mac, you were one of the boys and we will always remember you."
Guardsman Jo Price, Police Advisory Team, Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said:
"I did not have the pleasure of meeting Corporal McCarthy until he was attached to us just over a month ago. In the short time that I got to spend with Mac we developed a very close bond, both out on patrol and in the Patrol Base chilling out.
"Mac was a tremendous man, with a heart of gold and loved by everyone. He will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. I, and the rest of the Team will ensure that we finish the job that we and Mac came out here to undertake. He will forever be in our thoughts."
Mark Henry's funeral will be held at St Giles Church, Balderton, Newark, NG24 3NN on Monday 28th May at 1300 followed by a private committal at the Sherwood Forest Crematorium.
Family flowers only but donations to "Help the Heroes" through the funeral directors - E. Gill and Sons Ltd, 55 Albert Street, Newark-On-Trent, NG24 4BQ
I have just received news that Mark Henry (ex Sgt (CI) RAF Waddington) has died over the weekend (12 May )
After he 'retired' from regular service Mark joined 3 Sqn RAF Police Auxiliary as a Sgt and deployed to Op HERRICK with an 'Auggie' Section as their I/C responsible for ATSy for 6 months. My Det to HERRICK covered most of the last 4 months of his time in Theatre. He was a good bloke and looked after his Section really well.
At this very, very sad time for the RAFP both serving and retired, it would be a shame if Mark's passing to higher service went un-noticed. Sincere condolences to Mark's family and close friends. RIP mate.
Mark John Robert Henry.
Ex Sgt. R.A.F.Police
26 June 1963- 12 May 2012
The funeral of ex Sgt Mark Henry took place at 13.00 today 28th May 2012 at St Giles Church, Balderton, Notts.
A Guard of Honour made up of members of the Royal Air Force Police Association from the East Midland Branch and members of the local RAFA lined the route into the church and also paid their respects as the cort?ge left for the Crematorium.
Over 200 people crowded into the church to pay their respects to Sgt Henry who had served in Air Sea Rescue until it disbanded. He then transferred into the RAFP and later joined the RAFP (Aux). His final employment was with the Ambulance Service. Personnel from all his various employments were in the large congregation
It is with great sadness we of London Home Counties Branch confirm the death of one of our members. Despite a serious and debilitating illness John Ewens No.0225, was an active member of the Branch and the Association joining in as many of the activities and meetings the able bodied members. He will be sorely missed.
The funeral for John will be held on 16th May 2012 at 1300hrs at St Johns Church, Church Road, St Johns, Woking, GU21 7QN.
A map can be found on www.stjohnswoking.org.uk.
This will be followed by private family burial at Chobham.
Cards of condolence may be sent to John's widow, Mrs Sylvia Ewens, (address held by Webmaster - please request).
Donations may be made to either The British Lung Foundation or Woking Hospice. The undertaker is Alan Greenwoood, 66 Send Road, Send
The wake will take place at Woking Football club, Kingsfield Stadium, Westfield Ave, Woking. GU22 9AA