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Ray Knowles - RIP

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Ray Knowles - RIP

Old 23rd Jan 2015, 07:31
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RFK debrief to a certain member of my METS course during groundschool:

RFK: "did you go through BFT?"
Stude: "yes Ray, at Cranwell"
RFK: "did you Łuck1ng pass it? 'cause you seem pretty Łuck1ng thick to me"

RIP Ray - you brightened up the METS crew room and made the experience enjoyable.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 08:36
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Sad, Sad news. So many stories could be told and many that shouldn't be told. Thanks for all the memories Ray, they still bring a smile to my face and it's a shame we can't share the carpet space on the wrong side of the table anymore, cheers.
If I could upload a decent sized photo we could play the spot the Ray, no need to say where or when! Happy to send full size piccie by email to genuine ppruners. send me pm request.

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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 09:08
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One of the Binbrook characters and very good to me as a re-entrant scribbly, but with a budgie on my jumper

to coin a phrase "Ray's (was) a laugh" Thanks

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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 09:13
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RIP RFK. A sad loss.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 09:33
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RIP Ray, METS wouldn't have been the same without you.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 10:36
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Before anyone reads anymore of this post, I would like to say I agree with all that has been written here about Ray, he was a very good bloke and more than capable operator.

However for MechGov and Random Bloke – interesting the comments he made to you both, since Ray failed his first attempt at an IRT during basic training at Linton in August 1976!

He passed the second attempt a week later with no problems, the first attempt being put down to nerves by a very young Pilot Officer presented with a grumpy standards IRE pilot called ‘staircase’.

It is a pity that one makes so many acquaintances in the service, then to loose contact with them in later years only to hear on websites such as this that another taken the final departure flight, and at such a young age.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 11:45
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On my CFS course at Leeming! Sad to hear the news.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 13:01
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RIP, mate. Shared a few jars with you over the years. I can hear that soft Irish voice if I shut my eyes. A true character!
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 14:39
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This is really sad news. Ray and I were together from Henlow until the end of Brawdy when, sadly, we lost contact. To say he was a character simply doesn't do the man justice. The stories about Ray are legion but I'll never forget when, trying to help a bonfire get going on a soggy November evening in Pembrokeshire, he thought a liberal squirt of petrol might do the trick. Needless to say, that was the end of his eyebrows for a while...

RIP Ray.

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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 18:20
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Ray tried to cultivate a reputation of the type of person we all expected him to be. For those that found out, he was a star, funny and generous to a fault.

A true WIWOL and multi legend. He will be missed.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 18:29
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Trying to warm his room at Linton with an electric bar heater under his bed whilst he slept! Standing against a wall and putting his finger in his mouth and tipping his SD hat by gentle nudging his head back. Many memories from Ye Olde Starr Inn of a regular Sat lunchtime. Rest easily old mate.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 19:01
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Saddened to hear the news

Ray was my primary QFI when I went through the MEXO course some years ago.
I remember his rather "straightforward" manner in the air which often frustrated me although I learnt to give as good as I got which led to some amusing exchanges between the two of us. I was always ready to fight my corner in the debrief but was completely disarmed by the "well that went well then" opening line and general good humour, you couldn't help warming to him.

MechGov's story at the bottom of page 1 doesn't surprise me. My experience was that he was genuine, trustworthy, always wanted the best for his students and would go the extra mile and beyond for them. He did for me.

I bought him a gift when I left and he was genuinely touched. It was the least I could have done in return for all he did for me.

I really liked the bloke.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 14:28
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Ray and I went through VC10 OCU together. A good pilot, a great character and a man I was priviliged to call a friend. RIP Ray- you will not be forgotten. Anyone interested in attending the funeral then either pm me or post a request- it's on 12 Feb.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 16:33
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I'll be there, you have a PM.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 18:48
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Regrettably, I will only be able to attend in spirit as I am required by my employer for a flight which I can't get out of.

I shall, however, be raising a glass or three in the evening to a great pilot, a great character, the mischief maker in chief and a wonderful person who has been taken from us too soon.

Blue skies Ray.
Old 25th Jan 2015, 19:17
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Ray Knowles - One of a Kind....thank god...!!

A joy to have known you Ray despite all the grief you gave me during your tour on the Ltg. I was there to call you a juvenile delinquent (JD) following your PD to Coningsby and the subsequent phone call I had to field from their OC Ops Wg...!! You always found humour even at the darkest of times...thanks too for the laughs. You will surely be missed by all ranks and we'll remember you at the next WIWOL reunion. RIP.
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 22:12
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There was something about his temperament that just made me laugh. As my primary instructor through METS I was aware he had somewhat of a reputation - I knew I had to impress if we were going to get on. And I just about managed it, despite on one occasion when his instruction technique involved the airborne query "Why *the fock* are you so shyte?" By the end of the course, I considered him a mate and especially benefitted from his patient and considered debriefings. And of course his pearls of wisdom in the bar.

Subsequently, I heard dits from ex colleagues about his hellraising days and it suddenly became clear that under the instructor's facade, there was a lot of mischief being repressed. Respect.

Ray, you were a legend. Raising a glass mate
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Old 12th Feb 2015, 16:58
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Well, a goodly number of Ray's family, friends, WIWOLs and other RAF mates gathered at noon today at the Cheltenham Crematorium, to see the lovable rogue off on his last sortie.

A very moving service, then back to Ray's delightful local watering hole from happier times, the Lamb Inn at Great Rissington.

A sad event, but I think that Ray would have been very touched if he'd known how many came to see him on his way.

I found this from 2012 on the Lamb's facebook the other day:

I met a very nice Irish man in your very nice establishment this afternoon. One of your locals, Ray Knowles ex-Lightning pilot.
Good to know that a complete stranger found him as endearing as all his RAF chums did!
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Old 12th Feb 2015, 20:30
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Rays Final Flight

I agree- a moving Service and a good send off at the pub. Many stories shared and good times remembered! Gone but never forgotten Ray.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 10:44
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A good send off for Ray, and an opportunity to meet some members of his extended family - lovely people, who coped admirably with what was otherwise a sad day.
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