Farewell to Wing Cdr Paul Farnes DFM

Friends and family of one of the last of the Few, Wing Cdr Paul Farnes DFM, gathered to pay their respects to the Battle of Britain veteran, who died aged 101, on Monday (17 Feb).

Mourners, including representative of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent GCVO attended the service at Priory Church of St Mary and St Blaise in Boxgrove.

Before the service started, those present enjoyed a flypast by Hurricane 501 V7497, flown by Paul Bonhomme and captured in the video below.

Paying tribute to Wg Cdr Farnes, well known by everyone at the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Group Captain Patrick Tootal OBE DL said it was “always a sad task as secretary of the fighter association and the memorial trust to pay tribute at the passing of one of The Few.

“In recent years Paul was much in demand to do interviews and signings, so we were often in contact. He regularly attended the annual Battle of Britain Westminster Abbey Service and the Memorial Trust’s Annual Memorial Day. He was with us last July.

“Paul’s war service is well documented and he received several fulsome obituaries. It is easy to overlook that he served for 22 years in the RAF which is a full career.”

He added: “Paul was a great champion of the Hurricane’s role in the Battle of Britain, which has been somewhat understated in many accounts of the Battle.

“He said the Spitfire grabbed all the glory while the Hurricane did all the work. He was immensely proud of the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal, the DFM, just after the Battle.”

5 thoughts on “Farewell to Wing Cdr Paul Farnes DFM

    It was an honour to meet you, to read of your service to Britain and to share tributes and posts about you over the past ten years. God bless you sir and Blue Skies. Paul Davies (Aviation Historian)

    I was fortunate enough to meet this gentleman three times, once at RAF Kenley in company with two of his former flight mechanics and twice at the Capel le Ferne Memorial site. He was subject to much attention, not easy for a man of his age, but he quietly put up with it and is well deserving of admiration for this also.
    Wg. Cdr. Paul Farnes, DFM, Farewell to the last of the Few.

    Very sad to learn that we have lost another of ‘The Few’. God Bless you Sir and many condolences to your family and friends.

    Your service will never be forgotten.

    On a lighter note, on his sad departure.Iwas at a signing
    event at Shoreham museum in 2018. He was asked a
    question, what was his memory of sgt Green, a fellow 501 pilot during B.O.B. His reply after some thought
    was ” Well he was always crashing his aircraft.”I was
    lucky enough to speak to this unassuming hero.at
    the B.O.B. service @ Westminister Abbey in 2017.
    Thanks for the memories Paul. God bless.

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