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Geoffrey Wellum

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J D 820/07/2018 07:52:31
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873 forum posts
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Geoffrey Wellum,youngest RAF pilot during the B of B dies. RIP.

Edited By Chris Bott - Moderator on 20/07/2018 17:54:59

Colin Carpenter20/07/2018 08:29:39
493 forum posts
34 photos

A gentleman ! RIP ! Not certain but I think he may have been the last of the Few ? Colin

Brian Spearing20/07/2018 08:59:34
45 forum posts

He wrote “First Light”, an excellent account of his flying life, full of detail and highly readable.

ken anderson.20/07/2018 09:04:14
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8067 forum posts
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RIP..... and thanks from me...

ken anderson...ne..1...respect dept.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator20/07/2018 09:15:19
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Yes, I have read "First Light" a number of times. An excellent insight into what it must have been like.

He was always modest about his contribution, a real gentleman. Often when he spoke he was in awe of the others, not seeming to realise he was a hero himself!

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 20/07/2018 09:15:49

Cuban820/07/2018 10:37:51
2029 forum posts
3 photos

I have dozens of Battle of Britain biographies and other books, and along with Johnnie Johnson's 'Wing Leader', 'First Light' is my favourite.

Let's make sure that we never forget any of them.

Peter Christy20/07/2018 10:38:06
993 forum posts

For a brief period in the late 60's, I worked for Geoffrey Wellum's sons, as a salesman / van driver at the chain of electrical shops they owned in Torbay. He used to come into the shop occasionally, and the manager told me he was a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot. I was quite in awe of him after that!

I can't claim to have known him that well, but he always came across as a perfect gentleman.

Another legend gone. RIP.

--

Pete

supertigrefan20/07/2018 10:47:49
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229 forum posts
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RIP and thank you.

Your life was not wasted, too many to count have benefited from your time on this Earth.

Edited By supertigrefan on 20/07/2018 10:48:09

David Davis20/07/2018 11:19:01
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2998 forum posts
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Thank you Geoffrey Wellum and all who served in the Battle of Britain.

In March my model flying club in the middle of France put on a static display in a local village hall. I was pointed out as an Englishman by one of the locals and a man came up to me and told me that he had built a model Spitfire in honour of those who had given the Nazis their first set-back. He went on to say, "Without you, we would all be speaking German today."

They have not been forgotten even in the middle of France.

Geoff Sleath20/07/2018 11:35:23
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2711 forum posts
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'First Light' is an excellent book and it's sad that its author and BoB Spitfire pilot, Geoffrey Wellum has died. We shouldn't be too sad; he had a good life and we all eventually die so we should just celebrate what he achieved.

There was a former Lancaster radio operator in our village who lied about his age to get into the RAF as young man who died a couple of years ago. Not such a glamorous career as a Spitfire pilot but they all put their lives on the line and each relied on their comrades in what was an awful war. We have a lot to thank them for.

It's true that we aren't forgotten in France. On one of our early cycle tours we taken under the wing of an elderly gent in a cafe where I suspect he'd a few grand rouges. He led us into his garden and insisted Avice collected a large bouquet which she carried for the rest of the week on her handlebar bag. He continually referred to La Guerre as David writes.

Geoff

Rob20/07/2018 12:01:33
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232 forum posts

I only started reading first light the other day. One of the old school decent sort of chap who above everything was humble and humane, we owe this Gentleman and others of his generation an enormous amount debt of thanks that I don't think we can ever repay.

May he rest in peace.

Adrian Smith 120/07/2018 12:23:06
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1932 forum posts
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My untold gratitude to Geoffrey Wellum and all of his ilk. I too read First Light and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Incidentally, there is a new film out "Spitfire" PG previewed in today's papers. Well worth a viewing if only to see both Tom Neil, who only recently left the formation, and Mr Wellum speaking about their experiences. As one of the surviving ATA lady pilots says the Spitfire "was a lady in the air, but a bitch on the ground!". RIP.

David Davis20/07/2018 12:49:37
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Posted by Adrian Smith 1 on 20/07/2018 12:23:06:. As one of the surviving ATA lady pilots says the Spitfire "was a lady in the air, but a bitch on the ground!"...

Not as bad as the Messerschmitt though!

The Wright Stuff20/07/2018 13:18:26
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1253 forum posts
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Goodbye and thank you to a true gentleman and hero. May you always be remembered. I, too, read 'First Light' and found the honesty and humility contained in the pages truely sobering.

[Please can I very politely request that a mod correct the spelling of his name in the thread title? It seems disrespectful, somehow].

Dai Fledermaus20/07/2018 17:02:25
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974 forum posts
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I'm just reading Spitfire A Very British Love Story by John Nichol , a passionate portrait of that magnificent aircraft. It's a great tribute to brave young men like Jeffery Wellum who flew it as well as those who kept it flying. It's a good read covering the Spitfires many innovations and updates told in the first hand accounts by the men who took part in the various deployments of the Spit throughout the war.

I must say that the photo of Mr Wellum with Prince Charles which the BBC carried on the News today raised my hackles somewhat. Charles, in some honnery Air Marshall's uniform had more medals on his chest than MR Wellum. Such things do bring out the Republican in me.

Jez Saunders20/07/2018 18:20:32
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111 forum posts

Just learnt of Mr Geoffrey Wellum passing on this forum, read " First Light " a while ago and it made a big impression on me . A real hero and his story must represent what the "few" we owe our freedom today went through emotionally and physically in those times. RIP Mr. Wellum and thank you.

Peter Jenkins21/07/2018 21:09:18
995 forum posts
32 photos
I had the thrill of meeting Geoffrey Wellum at a dinner celebrating the 90th anniversary of the RAF. Every table had a surviving B of B pilot on it. I managed to speak to Geoffrey to tell him how much I had enjoyed reading "First Light". I thanked him for his heroic deeds, but he responded immediately with "We were only doing what we'd been trained to do". Tom Neill spoke at that dinner and he was as modest as well. We are indeed indebted to that small band of pilots supported by their hard working ground crew and directed in battle by the world's first integrated air defence system designed under Hugh Dowsing.
Peter Jenkins21/07/2018 21:09:20
995 forum posts
32 photos
I had the thrill of meeting Geoffrey Wellum at a dinner celebrating the 90th anniversary of the RAF. Every table had a surviving B of B pilot on it. I managed to speak to Geoffrey to tell him how much I had enjoyed reading "First Light". I thanked him for his heroic deeds, but he responded immediately with "We were only doing what we'd been trained to do". Tom Neill spoke at that dinner and he was as modest as well. We are indeed indebted to that small band of pilots supported by their hard working ground crew and directed in battle by the world's first integrated air defence system designed under Hugh Dowding.

Edited By Peter Jenkins on 21/07/2018 21:09:44

Cuban821/07/2018 22:24:40
2029 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Dai Fledermaus on 20/07/2018 17:02:25:

I must say that the photo of Mr Wellum with Prince Charles which the BBC carried on the News today raised my hackles somewhat. Charles, in some honnery Air Marshall's uniform had more medals on his chest than MR Wellum. Such things do bring out the Republican in me.

I've no military experience, but my father had done his bit in WW2.

Years ago, I vividly recall him laughing his head off at the chests  of medals that often appeared on certain individuals .What a joke laugh

Edited By Cuban8 on 21/07/2018 22:26:18

buster prop25/07/2018 17:17:49
429 forum posts
9 photos

One last thing.. I read that Geoffrey was giving a talk to some young people and one of them asked whether the computer in his Spitfire told him how much ammunition was left! I have read First Light several times, wonderful book.

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