Archive for the ‘Roll of Honour’ Category

Wg Cdr Geoff Smith RAF Retd

20 November, 2017

We are sorry to be the bearer of some very sad news that Geoff Smith has passed away at the age of 71.

Geoff was a former Halton apprentice who served as an aircraft captain and flight commander on XXIV Sqn from 1976 to 1978. Although Geoff was not a member of the Association, he would be remembered by those serving on the Squadron during that period.

Geoff’s funeral will be at 14.00 on 30 November at St Giles Church in Bredon, Gloucestershire. All RAF friends are welcome to attend but we have no other details at present.


AVM John Tetley

18 June, 2017

AVM John Tetley

It is with sadness that we have to report the passing of Air Vice-Marshal John Tetley on May 25th 2017, aged 85. John died after a short illness. He leaves a widow, Elizabeth and two sons, Michael (who informed the Association) and Patrick. John was Officer Commanding 24 Squadron in the late 60’s and a previous President of the Association. Following his retirement in 1987, John worked with the RNLI, becoming one of their vice-presidents as a mark of his work for them over many years.

His funeral will be at King Charles the Martyr Church, Falmouth on June 23rd, 11 o’clock.


Mike McKee

10 November, 2016

The following article in the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald was spotted this week concerning Mike McKee who served on XXIV and other Lyneham Squadron’s as a Loadmaster. Although Mike was not a member of our Association, many would remember him.

Mike had a notable career in the RAF, which he joined when he was 17. After postings to Aden, Shetland and Greenham Common in those early years, he joined aircrew, as a Loadmaster. He was with 24 Sqn and 47 Sqn at Lyneham before being posted to Germany to serve for four yeas in Berlin – a period that he and his family enjoyed greatly. Subsequently he served with 70 Sqn at Lyneham before being transferred to 10 Sqn.

Sqn Ldr (retired) Trevor Charles Wingham Peacock

17 May, 2016

The Association have just been informed about the sad news that Trevor Peacock has passed away.

Should anyone want to attend his funeral it is in the RAF Chapel in Biggin Hill 2nd June at 1130hrs. Anyone attending should let the family know by email or phone Stephanie on 01959 570145. (See details below)

Trevor was a Flight Engineer on XXIV at RAF Colerne on Hastings aircraft from 1960 – 1962, later becoming an Eng Leader and Standards checker. After leaving the service he was a Deputy Head of an Aerospace College.

He was once prisoner of the Japanese and was scheduled to be used for bayonet training the day after he was saved by our advancing army in the Far East. Trevor upheld the genuine traditions and gallantry of the Royal Air Force and we are sure the family are all proud of his service in  which as a trainer and standards checker he gave a lot back to the students at the time he was instructing.

Date of Funeral – Thursday 2nd June 2016

Crematorium – 10.30 am – Private ceremony for Immediate Family only

Church Service – Start 11.30am.

St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance, Main Road, Biggin Hill, TN16 3EJ

Note the official post code does not bring you to the Chapel. You need to use TN16 3EG. The Chapel is on the Main Road between Hanbury Drive and Salt Box Hill. You will see Two Gate Guardians – A Spitfire and Hurricane Aircraft. That is the RAF Chapel. There is parking both off road behind the Chapel and on-street parking in Main Road

Refreshments after RAF Chapel service at:

St Mark’s Church, 10, Church Road, Biggin Hill, Westerham, Kent TN16 3LB

The refreshments will be served inside St Marks Church which is situated in Church Road opposite the Library and near the junction of Main Road and Lebanon Gardens. St Marks has a car park accessed from Church Road plus on street parking

Public Transport:

Directions from Bromley South Railway Station

Catch the Metrobus 320 bus service towards Biggin Hill. Alight the bus at either the RAF Biggin Hill Stop outside the Main Guardroom and walk to the chapel which is in the direction that the bus travels or continue to the next stop the “Salt box Hill” Stop and walk back towards the Chapel. The Chapel is situated between the two bus stops.

Dress Code

It is a celebration of Trevor’s life so please feel free to wear colour.

Grateful thanks for your kind tribute to Sam Cheshire

07 March, 2016
Sam Cheshire

Sam Cheshire

The Association has received the following note of thanks from Sir John Cheshire & family regarding Lady Cheshire and is shown below for you to read.

“Penny, James and I were deeply moved to receive many hundreds of letters, cards and e-mails about Sam. We therefore seek your understanding and forgiveness if we break with tradition and convention and respond to your kindness with this electronic vote of thanks. Please be assured that our thanks are equally sincere in
this format – and certainly a great deal easier to read.

Your many moving messages of condolence and your personal anecdotes about (and memories of) Sam have, of course, left a deep and lasting impression on all three of us. Those happy memories will surely act as much needed relief as we face the darker times that lie ahead. We salute and thank you all for taking the time and trouble to share those happy reflections with us.

With grateful thanks and very best wishes from us all.”

John, Penny and James

Lady “Sam” Cheshire

13 February, 2016
Sam and John Cheshire

     Sam and John Cheshire

Yet another piece of sad news spotted by Association Member Tony Johnson was the announcement in the Daily Telegraph of the death of Lady “Sam” Cheshire, wife of Air Chief Marshal Sir John Cheshire on the 5th February in Dorothy House Hospice, Winsley, Wiltshire.

Despite many other social commitments, Sir John was Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey between 2001 – 2006, John and Sam supported the Association by attending several Guests nights and they would have been remembered by those on the Squadron during Johns tour with XXIV at Colerne on Hastings between 1965 – 67.

A card of condolence has been sent by the Secretary and a personal letter from our President .

Air Commodore John Lewis Mitchell LVO DFC AFC RAF

08 February, 2016
AM John Mitchell pictured donating a signed copy of "Ascalon" to the XXIV Squadron Association Secretary

Print of York LV 633 “Ascalon” leaving Gibraltar

Some sad news received last week from Clive Mitchell, son of Air Commodore John Mitchell, that his father had passed away. John’s association with XXIV squadron stems from him having been the navigator on Churchill’s personal RAF plane, based at Northolt, 1943-45.  He was the last remaining crew member!

The photo above shows John with a print from the original artwork of York LV 633 “Ascalon” on departure from Gibraltar and taken at his home in Lymington.

For those of you who have read our newsletter over the last 17 years, you will no doubt have followed John’s exploits, serialised from his diary, about his time as Churchill’s navigator. We had not quite reached the last page of his diary, part 17, set in August 1944 was published in Issue 22 of our Newsletter, but we will ensure the remainder are posted on line in due course.

Churchill's Navigator

Churchill’s Navigator (the book) – cover showing John with “the Owner”.


M Eng Richard (Dick) Ludford

21 January, 2016

We have been informed by XXIV Squadron that the funeral for MEng Richard (Dick) Ludford will be held on 28 Jan at 15:15 at Westerleigh Crematorium, Bristol. A room has then been booked at the Compass Inn, not far from the Crematorium, for refreshments.

He lived with his wife and carer of about 10 years, Mary, also an MS sufferer, at Phoenix Cottage, Little Somerford, Wiltshire, SN15 5JX.

They have asked us to post this on the web so that Squadron and Association members and also any C-130K operators who may wish to attend or acknowledge his sad passing.

William Alan Turner

22 June, 2015

It is with much sadness that we have been advised by Alan’s daughter Susan Pugh that Alan has passed away.  He served on XXIV Squadron in 1947 as part of his Nation Service as AQM.  He attended a number of reunions and very much enjoyed meeting up with old friends and acquaintances.

His funeral will be held on Monday 29th June at 2.30pm at the Shrewsbury Crematorium.

Susan wonder if anyone from the Squadron would be able/willing to attend? Contact the Association Secretary if anyone is able.



Squadron Leader ‘Jimmy’ James – Obituary

16 January, 2015
S/L Jimmy James  3 Oct 1922 - 7 Jan 2015

S/L Jimmy James 3 Oct 1922 – 7 Jan 2015

Pilot whose mission to fly General Gott to meet Churchill ended in disaster in the Western Desert.

Read all about the daring exploits of an ex XXIV pilot who joined the Squadron after the war and during his career was awarded the AFC* and DFM. What a great story to read.

Thanks to Association Member Tony Johnson for spotting this in the Daily Telegraph.