Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Obituary: Sir Peter Harding

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Obituary: Sir Peter Harding

Old 22nd Aug 2021, 14:22
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: one side of la Manche
Posts: 172
Obituary: Sir Peter Harding

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Peter Harding, has died aged 87. He served as the RAF’s Chief of the Air Staff before being appointed in 1992 as Chief of the Defence Staff, the most senior British military post. Fifteen months later he resigned, however, following the exposure by the tabloid press of his affair with the wife of a former Conservative MP.
BATCO is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2021, 15:29
  #2 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 58
Posts: 9,832
Daily Telegraph - might need to register to view.
treadigraph is online now  
Old 22nd Aug 2021, 16:19
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 77
Posts: 6,944
Met him a couple of times in a social setting. Seemed nice, but clearly not blessed with good social judgement … which, sadly, is how he will be forever remembered.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_...cer,_born_1933)

I couldn't fail to notice that DASB was already an established route to Air Rank, as it was for a few mates of mine!

Last edited by MPN11; 22nd Aug 2021 at 16:58.
MPN11 is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2021, 21:58
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 2,192
Doing the honourable thing these days is so old-fashioned. Sir Peter did a good job for his country.

If he were French, a bit on the side would have added to his CV of course.
langleybaston is online now  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 06:10
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 463
LB

That is all very well but many Officers had their careers for the same thing so he had to go.
vascodegama is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 09:40
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 1,500
I think that leaves Sir David Craig as the only surviving person to have served as MRAF.
Davef68 is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 09:58
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Den Haag
Age: 55
Posts: 5,236
Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Daily Telegraph - might need to register to view.
True, but it takes a second or two for the text to be hidden and the 'Register/Login' box to appear. A trick I have found is that as soon as the page opens you can use 'CTRL A', 'CTRL C' then paste it into a Word doc and read the full contents
212man is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 10:48
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South of the M4
Posts: 1,611
Having read his obituary in todays Times (and very racy it is too!) it has a picture of him (same picture as in the Wiki entry) showing his wings and underneath two medal ribbons, the GSM and an unknown red one.
For a very senior officer just two medals earned during his career seems rather odd. Any views on this?

WT. A humble airman who only gained the GSM with clasp Malaya during 12-years of service.
Warmtoast is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 11:35
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 2,147
Order of Bath, the red one.
charliegolf is online now  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 11:56
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 1,500
If you consider that between 1945 and 2000 the UK only issued 4 campaign medals outside of the GSM (Korea, Rhodesia, South Atlantic, Gulf), it's not an untypical Cold War list, especially as the Silver Jubilee medal (unlike Golden and Diamond) was a limited distribution
Davef68 is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 14:21
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: West of Suez
Posts: 324
"If he were French, a bit on the side would have added to his CV of course."

I didn't realise John Major was French

Last edited by AnglianAV8R; 25th Aug 2021 at 21:07.
AnglianAV8R is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2021, 19:37
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 2,192
The Cold War Warriors [at least the British ones] were and are very light on gongs. Better to be bare-breasted than incinerated, and for those many who had overseas tours, there were certainly compensations that outweighed any campaign medal.

The small support groups of specialists who deployed just about wherever there was an RAF detachment hoovered up all manner of NATO and foreign awards.in some very nasty and dangerous places. A friend who was in the Mobile Met. Unit has no fewer than ten, plus the Air Efficiency. A very small number also had S Atlantic and the odd honour. That's a lorralorra medals. Of course the downside for the Met Office as such was having to backfill the holes that these sudden deployments caused. S Met Os really did not want an MMU volunteer on their books ........... here today, gone tomorrow..
langleybaston is online now  
Old 24th Aug 2021, 05:43
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Age: 61
Posts: 1,601
Interesting to note that the chap who pursued the story about Sir Peter's alleged relationship with Lady Bienvenida Buck, was one Max Clifford!
Finningley Boy is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2021, 19:16
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 2,490
Sir Peter Harding's Lovechild used to be a prolific poster on PPRuNe a few years back,
SpringHeeledJack is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2021, 19:23
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cambridge
Age: 55
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by Warmtoast View Post
Having read his obituary in todays Times (and very racy it is too!) it has a picture of him (same picture as in the Wiki entry) showing his wings and underneath two medal ribbons, the GSM and an unknown red one.
For a very senior officer just two medals earned during his career seems rather odd. Any views on this?

WT. A humble airman who only gained the GSM with clasp Malaya during 12-years of service.
I thought The Times obituary was a bit of a hatchet job, unnecessarily digging up the scandal that brought his career to an end. He had clearly achieved a great deal ahead of that.

didn’t know him, we moved in very different circles
Mr N Nimrod is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2021, 21:56
  #16 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 13,726
I met him a couple of times. He visited our UAS and made a point of addressing all the students. He told them that that in their future careers, whichever branch they joined, his advice was to take every opportunity to fly, in any aircraft they could.

I took him at his word. While he went to lunch, I persuaded his pilot of the day, an ex colleague of mine, to let me have a go in his Gazelle helicopter and we spent half an hour of GH on the airfield. Embarrassingly, this left him short of fuel and we had no Jet A-1 on site so they had to make an unscheduled stop at a local civvie airfield to get some!
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2021, 22:31
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 2,192
Very senior Officers' chopper pilots can be touchy. As in RAFG c. 1981.
This S/Ldr rang me on a very busy night shift for a route forecast eastwards from JHQ [Wegberg? ] ,not an emergency except that he had forgotten to book it.. We never worked to rule, but the "rule" was 2 hours notice, agreed by all and sundry.
He was unamused to be told that he was in a shortish queue, but would get what he wanted well before doors closed..
After some threats and abuse {"do you know who I am?"] crashed around my head I said "Ring back in half an hour Sunshine". Which he did.

The pilot eventually complained to AO C in C who complained to SASO who complained to CMetO who had me on the carpet...Apparently the problem was "sunshine".
At zero dark forty he was lucky I didn't call him [email protected] C Met O had a sense of humour so it wasn't a career-defining moment..

Except that for the rest of my time at JHQ I was known as Sunshine.
langleybaston is online now  
Old 25th Aug 2021, 08:18
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 4,416
"unnecessarily digging up the scandal that brought his career to an end"

but reading it without that information would have left a really big gap - as in "why did he quit when at the top?"

An Obit. is meant to inform, warts and all, without being a total hatchet job
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2021, 08:26
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Cape Town South Africa
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
Doing the honourable thing these days is so old-fashioned. Sir Peter did a good job for his country.

If he were French, a bit on the side would have added to his CV of course.
I totally agree with you.

I had the honour to serve under him as a Wessex pilot in 18 Squadron for 2 years from ‘68 - Odiham, Acklington & Gutersloh. I left the RAF & 18Sqn, Feb’72.
Peter Harding, was the finest Leader of Men, that I have ever encountered, in my very varied careers. The loss to Britain of this brilliant military mind and the very best of the best Leader of men, is huge. The small minded, outdated and nondescript idiots that let him go, have not found a replacement of his calibre since. My sentiments I know, are shared by most of my fellow officers of the time. RIP, my Captain my Captain.
Our thoughts are with you Shiela & family.
Rick & Sally O’Molony
RickOmo is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2021, 08:33
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 2,147
The alternate view of the VSO's pilot... Me and my junior pilot pilot were tasked to collect a one-star from somewhere, take him to Wegberg strip, wait while did his stuff, and return. We hung around, and soon enough the one-star appeared, as did a spot of crap weather. "I can't hang around here all day, let's go, it's fine!", along with some really inappropriate pressure on my JP- he really wasn't letting it go- all but being mocking in tone.

JP plays it really polite, before delivering a magnificent boot to the nads. "Sir, I am the captain of this aircraft, and with the greatest respect, we will depart when I consider the weather appropriate, and not before." Brilliant, I thought. VSO fell silent.

CG

We didn't ring Langley, he was on a 2 hour turnaround!
charliegolf is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.