Date added: 10 Aug 2018
I was the ‘Engagement’ Officer at RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall, between 2010 and 2015; and had the privilege of metting Geoffrey on a number of occasions. On this day in 2013, I had been asked by Air Command if I could video a piece from Geoffrey to the aircrew of today, flying Typhoon and Tornado at the time in Afghanistan. Geoffrey of course agreed, and was collected from Mullion by Fg Off Peter Redgrave, a pilot, and the son of a great friend of mine, Marc; also RAF aircrew. Pete was accompanied by several other young holding officers who were waiting to start pilot training, and had all (out of character) clammered to participate for this ‘duty’.
As Barry Wallond, known as Spitfire Barry, was a good friend, and he had a Spitfire in his garden - as you do, we met at Spitfire Corner, just off the St Mawgan threshold. You can see from the photos just how excited Barry was: like all his Christmas’s had come at once.
We met, and I briefed the task, which was simply a message from yesterday to today. He sat, and without a stutter, produced an 8 minute take, which needed no editing; mission accoplished.
We retired to the Mess, where Geoffrey was asked if he would like a tea or coffee? His response, priceless; No, ill have a bloody Gin & Tonic though. If i had closed my eyes, and just listened, i heard a fighter pilot from the Battle of Britain; aged 92!
As a rather sad epilogue, i can report that Barry died, sadly only 60, within hours of Geoffrey: a remarkable coincidence, made even more so, because the Station cinema that night played the first showing of a newly made documentary; The Spitfire. Spooky doesn’t come close!
We buried Barry last week, and Geoffrey is to be laid to rest tomorrow, the 10th August 2018.
i can only imagine that God is going to be bored of Spitfire stories. Blue skies to both.
DCO (Duty Carried Out to the non-RAF)
Jeff Spencer, an RAF Officer and aviator over 40 years; and proud to have known Geoffrey and Barry.