First & Last, Journal of the Halton 81st Entry

Issue Number 51

May 2017

The Journal of the 81st Entry

Edited and uploaded by Brian Spurway

Welcome to the 51st edition of The Journal.

In all probability this will be the last edition ever of the 81st Entry's Journal - "First & Last" - I have, therefore, included all the articles that I had in store and now have absolutely nothing left for any future edition.

My apologies to Ed Duke, not for his having two articles published in this edition but for my having to let him know that I would probably not need the one he recently told me he was in the process of writing up; I'm sorry Ed.

So, there it is avid - or otherwise - readers, this is most likely the end of the Journal; as to whether it is also the end of the website, I'm afraid that, as of now, I haven't a clue. The site was designed principally to be to be a carrier for the Journal, but also to disseminate pertinent "gen" - should there be any, and other than recording our sad losses there rarely was - and to hold images relating to our three years at Halton and to our times since departing that august "alma mater". Is it worth keepng the website alive without its major component? I guess the answer to that rests on those who could still contribute.

My heartfelt appreciation to all those who have helped me so generously over the years by sending in their articles for inclusion in the Journal; for the information of those with a mathematical bent, 52 members of the Entry - sadly not all still with us - contributed and between them produced exactly 399 articles; the largest number by any one person was 29 and the lowest, of course, just a singleton - and there were 13 of those. No other Halton entry has produced anything like the "First & Last", and those of you who have contributed might like to think about this sentence, in his words and just recently sent to me by Mike Stanley - he of the 29 articles:-

"This might seem a bit pretentious, but in years to come when all of us have gone to our Final Postings, some researcher, delving into one of the many issues contained in our Journal may well turn up an article written by you, or by me, or by whoever, about a particular aspect of the RAF that he may be interested in and then may use that material in a doctorate, a thesis, or a book, and thereby acknowledge the writer - a form of memorial to one of the 81st Entry long gone."

Not at all pretentious Mike, one article in the Journal has already been selected for inclusion in a forthcoming book with mention of both the writer and the website to be included in its bibliography.

Last Post:

The loss of any member of the 81st Entry diminishes us all so the loss of two of our friends in just two days during the last week of April did especially so; and then, just two weeks later, the 'Grim Reaper struck us again.

The 81st Entry extends its sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of David (Dave) A Hunt, Armourer, who passed away on Thursday 27 April 2017, Douglas (Doug, often referred to as 'The Stargazer') E Renton-Cooper, Airframes, who passed away on Friday 28 April 2017 and Brian J Smith, Airframes, who passed away in the Philippines on Saturday 13 May 2017. They will be sadly missed by us all.

On Tuesday 16 May I drove from my home in Malmesbury to Telford to attend Doug's funeral, not only as a personal friend but also to represent the 81st Entry, the RAFHAA (Doug was a long standing member) and, along with a grandson member of the Service (in his 'Best Blue'), I guess the Royal Air Force too. After the very family oriented humanist proceedings at the Telford Crematorium I joined family members, and many of Doug's civilian friends, at a wake held in 'The Queens' at Horton, just outside Telford.


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