I met Richard while working on the Airman
book. I wanted to add some graphics of genuine items from World
War Two and decided to ask some of the traders on eBay if I could
use graphics of things they were selling. Richard was the second
person I asked - he had a graphic of a flak jacket and he was
kind enough to give me permission to use it. Next was a pair
of British flying gauntlets he had and then we ended up working
on the book together. Richard contributed so much to the book
and this website. He gave me technical advice, caught mistakes,
contributed over half the graphics, and kept me going when I
was ready to give up. He introduced me to Mick Prodger and Richard
asked Mick to write the forward to the book. In the process I
became friends with Mick and he gave me technical advice as well.
Richard lived in Lowick, near Kettering,
in England. In October of 2002 I went over there to spend some
time with him. He took me to the Thorpe Abbotts Museum and because
of him I got to stand on the same field the men in the Airman
book flew from during the war. He also took me to the Duxford
Museum and that too was quite an experience. Duxford has a wonderful
exhibit of World War Two aircraft.
Richard was my mentor, my friend, and
a lot more. He was one of the bravest people I have ever known.
He got his private pilot's license when he was 16. He was in
the RAF at 17 and had a brilliant career ahead of him. Then he
had a swimming accident and broke his neck. Things were different
back then and life was not so easy for someone with a handicap.
Many things that are accessible to a person in a wheelchair today
were not accessible back then. But he never gave up and he never
let it stop him. He went on to work on computers when they were
in their infancy. He held a position in management at a business
in Corby. He was a member of the British Computer Society. He
was also very proud of his membership in the Institute of Analysts
and Programmers in England. He married and traveled all over
Europe and the Soviet Bloc. Crete was the place he loved best
and that is where he is buried.
Richard lost his wife in 1999 to cancer.
He then had to have a care giver to do the things for him his
wife did. Two years after his wife died a paralysis set in and
was slowly getting worse. He could no longer work in the business
sector so he started trading on eBay and became a power seller.
While we were working on the book he had a stroke and was hospitalized
for over a month. But even that didn't stop him. As soon as he
was able he was right back selling on eBay and working with me.
About a year ago Richard was diagnosed with diabetes. But he kept on working and through it all he kept his wonderful sense of humor and a good outlook on life. This year (2005) he developed pancreatic cancer and he still kept on working - his last listing on eBay was October 19th and he died October 28th. There were so many things I admired about Richard not the least of which was his courage. While I miss him very much I know he is no longer suffering now and is in a better place.
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again
This page last updated April 3, 2012