RAF veteran at emotional Remembrance Day parade

HONOURING THE FALLEN: Lieutenant-Colonel Sheila Senokwanyane (Area Military Health Unit EC) lays a wreath at a Remembrance Day ceremony in the Memorial Quadrangle at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth yesterday.Picture: MIKE HOLMES
HONOURING THE FALLEN: Lieutenant-Colonel Sheila Senokwanyane (Area Military Health Unit EC) lays a wreath at a Remembrance Day ceremony in the Memorial Quadrangle at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth yesterday.Picture: MIKE HOLMES

NELSON Mandela Bay’s annual Remembrance Day commemoration was held in the Memorial Quadrangle at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

And it was attended by the oldest surviving member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Bay, Frank Hardy, 94.

Also known as Poppy Day, the commemoration marks the day, November 11 1918, when World War 1 ended.

Hardy, in possession of ceremonial items such as RAF standards, a wreath, cap and gloves, was accompanied and supported by his son David, 57, who hopes to take on the mantle for his father in the years to come.

Speaking after the ceremony, Hardy said his father had thoroughly enjoyed the event, which he had been attending for the past 25 years.

“Due to his age, he is planning to pass all the commemorative items on to the South African Air Force Museum here in Port Elizabeth,” he said.

“I would like, however, to continue the tradition of attending and participating in the event on behalf of my father in future years and will be exploring if this is possible,” he said.

Hardy said his Manchester, England-born father had served in the RAF in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, during a time in World War 2 when the British air force was conducting its Spitfire training abroad, due to the heavy bombing of airfields in England.

Hardy managed a retail news agency in Rhodesia after the war. He moved to Port Elizabeth with his family in 1965.

-Shaun Gillham

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