28 January 2015
My uncle Alan was young and charming, worked in Wellington, and had a pretty girlfriend named Betty. He played rugby, and as a small boy I was shocked to once see him carted off on a stretcher, thinking he was dead! He joined the Air Force, and very soon was off to Canada for further training. Photos show him in a furry flying jacket, and others wearing full dress uniform, with Niagara Falls in the background. He was having a lovely War, until he went to UK and into combat. The height at which the aircraft flew soon damaged his eardrums, and he was hospitalised in Egypt with meningitis. He died there in the NZ Army hospital.
Like all wartime deaths, this was a tragedy. Alan should never have been flying because he had a history of inner ear problems, but no 26-year-old would turn down the opportunity of travelling the world with such an elite band as the Royal Air Force.
He died just a