Foster, Stephen John

Posted on: September 14th, 2020 by Chris No Comments

For those of you who knew him but were unaware of his illness, I’m sorry to be the bearer of these sad tidings.
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of Maj (Ret’d) Stephen John Foster (RLC), who finally succumbed to prostate cancer on the 20th July after a long and bravely fought battle. He was just 63 yrs, 364 days.
Steve spent a lot of time working within the Army Aviation community as a Avn Supply Specialist, both as an OR and an LE Officer. Many of you will remember him as a giant of a man whose intimidating stature belied his gentle, gregarious nature and great passion for life.
Amongst others, he is sadly missed by his loving wife, Karen, and his children, Barry John and Kim.
Please feel free to send messages of condolences on this post. For those of you who wish to message Karen directly, I have tagged her (Kurrent Bun) so you can do so privately.
Steve’s service will be held on the 10th Aug at the South Oxfordshire Crematorium, Garford, Abingdon, OX13 5PA.
Due to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, only 30 people are permitted in the chapel, so regretfully it will be a private service.
Steve’s career crossed many boundaries and his presence was felt everywhere he served, so his passing has been published across various Corps sites. Many have expressed a desire to attend the crematorium to pay their respects, even if only to stand outside and line the route. The crematorium has offered the following guidance to support this need safely.
‘People are welcome to line the drive from the entrance to the grounds up to the chapel and for those who would like to stay for the service, speakers have been placed on the outside of the chapel. The crematorium asks that anybody who does attend, keeps to the social distancing rules that apply and wear a mask.’
RIP, big man.

Goodwin, Reg

Posted on: September 2nd, 2019 by Chris No Comments

Dear Members

It is with sadness that I have to tell you that one of our long term members, Reg Goodwin, passed away peacefully at home on the 24th August 2019 of mesothelioma (asbestosis) after a year long illness.

Reg served with 656 Squadron as a member of the Royal Artillery in Taiping, KL and Kluang from 1960-63. He joined the Association is 2007 and was a very lively and supportive member. He served on the committee for a number of years and helped build the Association to the success it is today.

We understand that his funeral will be held on 12th September 2019 at 13:40 at Grimsby Crematorium. Ron Ward (, at the request of Reg’s wife Chris, will be coordinating any attendance from Association members so if you would like to attend please contact Ron. Unfortunately I am unable to attend as I am out of the country on that date but Ron will be attending.

Chris has specifically asked that at least one member from the Association attend wearing a Blazer, Squadron Badge and Beret. Obviously not everyone has a blazer with badge but we would ask that any Association members attending at least wear the Association tie.

Our thoughts are with Chris and family at this very sad time.

Bob Thorpe, Chair and Membership Secretary


Southern, Eric

Posted on: August 14th, 2019 by Chris No Comments

Capt (Retd) Eric Southern RA who served with B Flight, 656 Squadron, in the Second World War Burma campaign. Eric died in July, just short of his 99th birthday.

He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in Aug 1942, and completed 21 AOP course on 8 Jul 1943. Mike Gregg was on the same course, and they both went immediately to 656 Squadron in Stapleford Tawney as the Squadron’s first reinforcements. Only one month after completing their AOP course they both sailed for India and Burma.

After the war Eric returned to his studies at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, where he had started to study Classics in 1939. After graduation, and teaching qualifications, he embarked on a remarkable academic career that was to last right up to his death, being described by a colleague at his memorial service as “an inspirational teacher in whatever subject he chose to address”.

Our thoughts go out to his daughter, Jane Southern and her family.

Mott, Gerry

Posted on: August 14th, 2019 by Chris No Comments

Maj (Retd) Gerry Mott RA died on Fri 2 Aug 19 at the Royal Star and garter Home in Surbiton. Gerry served with the Air Observation Post and qualified on Auster before serving as a Gunner AOP Pilot. Gerry retired from military service on 26 Apr 1969. His funeral will be held at St Peter and St Paul, Steeple Morden on Tue 27 Aug 10 at 1330hrs.

Szaruta , Andrzej

Posted on: July 18th, 2019 by Chris No Comments

Sirs, Ma’ams, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have been informed of the untimely passing of Andrzej (Andy) Szaruta at the age of 63. Andy served with the Royal Marines as Aircrew. Whilst travelling to a family celebration, he was killed in a tragic incident on the A303 when he was hit by a car in late June 2019.
Andy’s tours of duty included the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. He is reported to have served on an attachment with Northern Ireland Regiment AAC in 1988. During an incident on that attachment, the Lynx he was in was hit by groundfire and forced to land. At the end of his military service he settled in Somerset and worked as a facilities and operations director. Andy will be known to some of our veterans through his Aviation service and that attachment to the Northern Ireland Regiment. Our thoughts are with his family.
Andrzej’s funeral will be held at East Hampstead Crematorium, South Road, Bracknell, RG40 3DW on Thur 01 Aug 19 at 1400hrs. His wake will be at a local venue to be confirmed.
If you wish to attend, please inform RHQ so we may advise the family.

Robertson, Ian

Posted on: March 21st, 2019 by Chris No Comments

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have recently learned that one of the Army Air Corps long-serving Civil Servants, Ian Robertson (17 Jan 57 – 17 Mar 19) has passed away. Ian joined as an Army Musician with the Royal Artillery at the age of 16. He later played with the Army Air Corps Band from Nov 93 before retiring from the Army in 97 to move over to Headquarters Army Air Corps as a Civil Servant working within recruiting. Ian spent 19 years guiding potential officer pilots thought the aircrew selection process and will be missed by many he worked with and nurtured. Our thoughts are with his wife Sandra, his family and many friends.

Ian’s funeral will take place at Salisbury Crematorium, 1 Barrington Road, Salisbury, SP1 3JB on Fri 12 Apr 19 at 1300. Please inform RHQ if you wish to attend so we may advise the family of numbers.
Kind Regards


Trowern OBE, Fred

Posted on: March 19th, 2019 by Chris No Comments

We have recently learned of the sad loss of Wg Comd Fred Trowern OBE. He completed a distinguished career in the RAF as a fighter pilot. As a QFI, he flew Piston Provosts and Hunters before flying Meteors and Venoms in the Middle East in the 1960s. He commanded 8 Squadron RAF in Mesirah in 1967 before moving on to command the Jaguar OTU. He served in the Falklands as the RAF Liaison Officer in 1982 before joining the Chipmunk Squadron at Middle Wallop in 1986 becoming the Chief Pilot the following year. He will be remembered by a generation of Army pilots and students for his gentle sense of humour and patient skill as an instructor, until the Chipmunks were retired from the training role, but not before he had formed and trained the Grey Owls, a formation of four Chipmunks which were a feature of the Army display flying activities in the 1980s and 1990s.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
Fred’s memorial service will be held at All Saints’ Church, 6 Church Lane, Upper Clatford, Andover, SP11 7HB on Wednesday 27th March at 1430. If you could please let us know of your attendance here at RHQ so we may advise of numbers.

Woodley-Scoble, Paul

Posted on: January 31st, 2019 by Chris No Comments

From RHQ
It with sadness that we report the passing of Lt Col (Retd) Paul Woodley Scoble, aged 86 (16 Apr 33 – Jan 19). Paul had enlisted for service in the RE in Feb 49. He was commissioned as a Quartermaster in Mar 77. He saw service with the AAC, including as Quartermaster of 7 Regt AAC in Netheravon. He was promoted to Lt Col (QM) in Nov 85.

He was an accomplished Jazz pianist and Roger Harris tells us that he will always remember Bruce for his infectious giggle and mischievous grin.

Leece, Bruce

Posted on: January 31st, 2019 by Chris No Comments

Lt Col (Retd) Bruce Leece
I have to report the sad demise of one of our older members, one Lt Col (Retd) Bruce Leece late Royal Artillery. Bruce as a Captain served as a pilot in 1907 Flt of 656 Squadron in Taiping, Malaya from 1954 -56. He earned a Mention in Dispatches in 1956 and went on to serve in the UK, Cyprus, BAOR and Italy before retiring as a Lt Col in October 1977.

He died after a short illness. aged 90 on 15 January and his funeral is to take place at Yeovil Crematorium on Monday 4 February at 13.00hrs .

Graham, Joseph

Posted on: January 31st, 2019 by Chris No Comments

We have just learnt of the passing in November 2018 of Joseph Robert Graham, lately of Station Road, Kirk Michael, Isle of Man and formerly of Douglas Street, Peel, Isle of Man. Joseph was RAF and served in 656 Squadron in 1947 – 1949, based in Kluang in Malaya.

Our thoughts are with his family and in particular his daughter, Sandra, who informed us of the sad news.