OWBA Obituaries

Basil Youings (33-44B)   Basil I would like to pay tribute to my dear grandad, Basil Youings. Grandad was a West Buckland old boy and sadly passed away peacefully on the 18th December, aged 89. To say grandad was a asset to the school maybe a little bit of a lie. He would tell us girls some funny stories of his time there, most of which implied he was pretty mischievous. Apparently, on his last day at West Buckland, himself and a few friends decided to sneak into the chemistry labs next to the small quad and experiment by making a small explosive. I have no idea what they were intending on doing with it (my grandad was a very gentle man so pretty certain they never wanted to use it in any untoward way). Anyway, they placed the gunpowder in a test tube and started to turn it gently over a bunsen burner to seal the end. I am sure you can imagine what happened next! Grandad and his friends didn’t see the gunpowder gradually descending down the test tube and it subsequently blew up! Remarkably they all only received minor injuries but hasten to say they got in a lot of trouble, in fact I think they got expelled! Luckily neither myself or my sisters inherited his mischievous genes (well not by those standards anyway) therefore we probably made much less of an impression. He will be greatly missed, sleep tight grandad. Heather Walters (nee Youings) (93-98B)     Sam Tooley (98-07F) Sam 1 I had the privilege of being in Sam’s tutor group as well as sharing many lessons with him. Sam was simply a joy to know. His kindness, warmth and incredible sense of humour meant he was great fun to be around. Tales of funny incidents and amazing parties usually involved Sam in some way! In class his incisive and inquisitive intellect kept both teachers and fellow students on their toes whilst still being ‘one of the guys’. When he raised his hand to speak it could be a deep philosophical question or a hilarious observation – quite often both. The shock at losing someone who was so full of life still hasn’t sunk in. I was greatly looking forward to seeing Sam at this summer’s reunion but will have to lift a glass in his honour instead. My heart goes out to his friends and family and the many lives that he touched in his all-too-brief time with us. Sam, you were a hell of a guy. Mark Baglow (01-07F)   David William Phillips (34-41C) (November 24th 1924 to May 8th 2016)   Front cover    Airline Pilot and aerobatic Champion with over 31,000 flying hours Captain David Phillips, who has died aged 91, was born with flying in his veins, and loved being airborne. He held a flying licence until his 80th birthday, accumulating 31,037 flying hours in a long list of commercial and light aircraft. He was born David William Phillips on 24th November 1924, in St Austell, Cornwall, his father being the legendary aviator, Capt. Percival Phillips DFC, owner of a Flying Circus and the Cornwall Aviation Company. Educated at West Buckland School in North Devon, David Phillips left school in 1940 to join the Bristol Aeroplane Company as a student apprentice in the Bristol factory. He then learned to fly Tiger Moths with the University Air Squadron at Cambridge, subsequently was attested into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and ultimately the Royal Air Force. He was duly posted to Canada to complete his training where he passed his ‘wings test’. Returning to the UK he became an RAF Flying Instructor on the Oxford Airspeed and in August 1945 joined 271 Squadron, ferrying VIP,s and ex prisoners of war all over Europe in Dakotas. In 1946 he was posted to Cairo as a Captain to undertake calibration duties throughout the Middle East with 216 and 71 Squadrons. Various aircraft were flown including the Vickers Wellington, Airspeed Oxfords, Lockheed Lodestars, Arguses, Percival Proctors, and even a Beechcraft Staggerwing.  In Cairo he met Forces Broadcasting Announcer, Avis Candy, whom he married in 1948 and with whom he had two sons. Following dissolution of that marriage, he married Eve Shakerley in 1963 with whom he had one daughter. Upon leaving the RAF, David Phillips joined Kearsley Airways based at Stansted, quickly becoming Chief Pilot responsible for 3 Dakotas with a heavy involvement in the Berlin Airlift which designed to beat the Russian embargo on goods. This often involved 4 return flights per day. Spare time involved giving joyrides over London in the DH Rapide.  On completion of the Berlin Airlift he joined Airwork Ltd based at Blackbushe Airport from where he flew scheduled services to Europe and West Africa in Vikings and Viscounts.  During long Safari flights, and prior to the days of In Flight Entertainment, he would play his harmonica over the aircraft PA system.  Airwork subsequently moved to Gatwick evolving into British United Airways, British Caledonian, and finally to British Airways.  During this period Capt Phillips was fortunate to experience many commercial airline types including the Bristol Brittania, VC10, Boeing 707, and finally the wide bodied DC10.  Following retirement from British Caledonian in 1984, he flew with a number of smaller airlines such as Euroair, Connectair, and Air Europe, mostly to European destinations in the Embraer Bandeirante, Short 330 and 360.  He ceased commercial flying aged 65. Throughout his life David Phillips had to be airborne, be it ‘on’ or ‘off’ duty, with much of his leisure time committed to flying light aircraft for fun. In 1952 he became interested in air racing and in 1957 joined the Tiger Club based at Redhill. In the same year he won the British Aerobatic Championship at White Waltham in a Tiger Moth. The Tiger Club held Air Displays throughout the summer months with David Phillips making regular appearances, be it aerobatics, balloon bursting, formation flying, racing, or flour bombing. The Tiger Club had a variety of aircraft including , Hornet Moth , Condor, Jodel, Arrow Active and Rollason Turbulents. He duly became part owner of the historic single seater bi-plane Arrow Active 2, in which he raced and performed aerobatics.  In later years he owned a fixed wing Luscombe 8F Silvaire which he kept at Goodwood until age 80. David Phillips also loved village life and was one time Vice Chairman of the Conservative branches, North of the Downs.. He was also past Chairman of the Midhurst Charity, Tandem, which provides support for the disabled and elderly, particularly the provision of transport. He is survived by his wife Eve, 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren   David Phillips, born November 24th 1924. Died May 8th 2016   Eric Bell (39 – 45 G)   EB1   Born in 1927 in Yorkshire, Eric’s childhood was punctuated by the frequent moves required by his father’s work as a bank superintendent. By 1938 his family was living just north of London and Eric was able to go to the Oval to enjoy Len Hutton’s record-breaking innings of 364 against Australia. The following year after the outbreak of war, Eric was evacuated to West Buckland. There he was to gain colours for ATC, running and cricket, his favourite sport in which he represented the school in the first eleven. School was followed by the Army and Eric served in Palestine with the artillery putting his schoolroom maths to good use in making calculations which enabled the guns to be targeted accurately, surveying and 3D terrain maps for tactical planning. He enjoyed many aspects of army life and later served in the Territorial Army. The surveying learned in the Army gave Eric a ready-made occupation in civilian life. He worked for the Ordnance Survey, railways and Coal Board before moving to a position with Leeds City Council, where he stayed for over 40 years surveying and town-planning. A piano recital at West Buckland had ignited a lifelong love of music and Eric met his wife-to-be, Dorothy at a concert in Leeds. They were married in 1957 and celebrated their 59th anniversary in March. Their daughter and two sons were born in Leeds and the couple remained there after Eric retired. Eric enjoyed a full and active life. He loved walking and photography, music and sport especially cricket and rugby. After retiring he took up genealogy, tracing the family history back into the 1600s and discovering previously unknown relatives. He was an unfailingly kind and unassuming man and is greatly missed by Dorothy, Sandra, John and Hazel, Martin, Chris and Donna.         Brian David Gilchrist 1938 to 2014 140728 Brian Gilchrist Picture, portrait, red jumper, leafy background (1) (800x600) West Buckland School 51- 56G   Brian Gilchrist was one of the most amenable people; he was friendly to all and all enjoyed his company. Sadly, after a long illness, Brian peacefully passed away.   Brian was born in Barnstaple where he lived for eight years until his family moved to Plymouth. During that time he was one of many children to be evacuated to avoid the WW II bombing raids. In 1952 he attended West Buckland School until his exams were completed in 1956.   National Service took Brian Libya and Gibraltar. In England he was stationed at Chichester Barracks, home to the Royal Sussex Regiment.   His professional career started at the Sun Insurance Office in London where he met his future wife Susan. They continued to work together in Horsham for the newly formed Sun Alliance Insurance Company and Brian competed for the company at athletics meetings and was a member of the Company’s rugby team in the local league. In 1964 he and Susan married, and following a brief spell living in Horsham, made Billingshurst their home with son Martin and daughter Diana.   In 1975 Brian joined Royal Mail where he gave 25 years service before retiring in 2000. He enjoyed his retirement years very much. The additional free time enabled him to travel and meet more frequently with old school pals and colleagues and he was a regular at school re-unions. It was his pleasure to regularly carry out varied charity work and it was his passion to give avid support for Plymouth Albion, both home and away.   Brian is survived by his son, daughter and brother Derek.   David William Mahoney (65-70B) mahoney-square (484x582)     Passed away last year on 28th November after a long battle with cancer. He will be remembered by many for his sporting achievements, musical knowledge, and, most of all, his love for life. Since his days at West Buckland, he lived an incredibly happy and fulfilled life.    

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