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Group Captain Ken Parfitt

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Group Captain Ken Parfitt

Old 1st Nov 2020, 16:19
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Group Captain Ken Parfitt

I have only recently heard of Ken Parfitt's sad passing. If he has already been the subject of a thread here I apologise, but I was unable to find one. He is reported to have died on 24th August 2020 in this obituary:-

https://www.gazetteseries.co.uk/news...-dies-aged-96/

He was my boss on 30 Squadron at RAF Fairford following the introduction of the C-130K into RAF service. A happy squadron needs a good boss. Very luckily we had one.

Rest in Peace Sir.
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Old 2nd Nov 2020, 17:22
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I remember him as Stn Cdr at Episkopi in 1974. He regularly held informal briefings as to the situation regarding the invasion and how it affected us and our families. Any guys visiting from Akrotiri were really impressed as they heard nothing from theirs.

Genuine guy. RIP Sir.
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Old 2nd Nov 2020, 17:35
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Ken was one of my Flt Cdrs at Abingdon on 53 Sqn Bevs and I have a few b&w pics of his leaving party (to MoD, suitably attired in bowler and brolly!) He was one of the 'bosses' who truly looked after his blokes and was guaranteed the same response in return. His effort on my behalf went well beyond 'the norm' only to meet with the opposite effect, unfortunately. The intent, however, was treasured. One came across such true 'gentlemen' in the Forces - but rarely, and held in memory because of it. 60 years ago but still fresh ... RIP Boss!
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Old 2nd Nov 2020, 20:27
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CJ, I too benefitted from his 'looking after'. Having submitted my PVR, because I wanted to continue flying but the RAF had other plans for me, I was summoned to MOD's Adastral House for an interview. At the appropriate time I was ushered into an office there, only to be confronted by (now) Gp Capt Parfitt! He had seen my letter go across his desk (his remit now though being the careers of Wg Cdrs and above), stopped it, and demanded to see me. Was I going out under some cloud or other? "No Sir, I just want to go on flying". Could I wait for some 18 months or so for a Golden Bowler scheme that was in the offing? Quick bit of thinking required there as I now had a civvy licence that only required the addition of an Instrument Rating, and I was still in current flying practice. " Thank you Sir, but I feel I have rather burned my bridges and should just leave now, if I am allowed to". Don't worry about that, I'll see it happens. And so it did, the timing being such that I had barely left when a mutual friend said there was a 1-11 co-pilot job going if I turned up next day at Luton with my log book. I did so of course. If I had delayed more it would have been a different story entirely with few if any jobs available. Thanks to the care of a good (ex) boss, and some luck, my civvy career kept me in flying through to my retirement.

48 years ago for me but, as you say, still fresh in my mind too.
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Old 2nd Nov 2020, 21:06
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Geordie,

I was one of those on occasion, and you are 100% correct! A real , genuine guy. RIP Sir.

Bill
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 09:55
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I too was on 30 when Ken was boss. A really pleasant approachable guy.

RIP Sir.
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 18:28
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I also have fond memories of him from Episkopi in late 74 and early 75 when I was finishing my tour unaccompanied in common with many others. I was a sergeant at the time and we had a dining-in with him as guest of honour. He made a speech in which, among other subjects, he treated us to stories of things he'd read in officers' ACRs when he was a desk officer. Some the usual, probably apocryphal, like: "The only reason anyone would follow this officer is out of curiosity" But one which I enjoyed and have often repeated was: "There's only one person who drinks more beer in the mess than this officer and that's his wife!" But the point is, a dinner in the WO & Sgts mess with the Stn Cdr. there could have been quite stilted, but we had a great night and he made us feel part of his team. A fine officer.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 16:32
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My name is Sally Brown and I am Ken's eldest daughter. Peter (my husband) logged onto this site as Mum received a lovely letter of condolence from (I rather suspect) Chugalug2.

Thank you most warmly for your wonderful words. They are both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

We were delighted and proud that Graham Pitchfork wrote Dad's obituary for The Daily Telegraph (2 Oct 20) and the RAF News (16 Oct 20). It was superb.

We had a party in 2019 for his 95th, and he still managed a bop!

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Old 15th Nov 2020, 16:50
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His death is also noted in this months Flypast Magazine.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 17:44
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Sally, thank you so much for posting here, despite having exposed me in the process! I hope this thread, which has spanned your father's commands of Flight, Squadron, and Station, has confirmed the very great respect and warmth that he engendered in those he commanded. Suffice to say that he was a lovely man, a very unmilitary description I must admit but yet fitting I would suggest.

All I can add is my own personal condolences in your sad loss. We are all the poorer for his passing, as is the Royal Air Force that he served so well.

RIP.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 17:56
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Sally - As I think is written variously above, your Dad was a 'bit special' for those who served with him. As I mentioned, I was with him at Abingdon and one of the 53 Sqdn 'social exercises' was a link-up and adoption by Guiness Breweries - I'm sure that there was a 'natural' affinity there, somewhere!
I'm attaching a commemorative photo of the first visit to Guiness at Park Royal Brewery when we presented a scale model Bev and were 'given the tour' and treated to lunch. You may already have a copy, but if not, you may recognise the handsome chap standing behind the starboard fin of the model. Fond memories and sincere condolences



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Old 16th Nov 2020, 10:03
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Hi Sally,

Great to see you post here, that sounds awful but you know what I mean! I trust you and Pete and the rest of the family are well. It's years since we last met, at 'Miserable Mike's' ( RIP ). One of my favourite memories of Ken ( sorry Sir! ) is being told that to make himself comfortable when he was required to work as a nav on the Herc' he always wore his bedroom slippers.

Condolences to all the family, BW
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