Flt Lt Terry Clark, one of the last of the Few, leaves us

The Trust is sad to report the passing of Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, thought to be one of the only two remaining veterans of the Battle of Britain.

Flt Lt Clark, who celebrated his 101st birthday earlier this month, had been living in a care home in North Yorkshire, where he enjoyed regular visits from family and friends.

Terry Clark was born in Croydon on 11 April 1919 and joined No 615 Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force at Kenley in March 1938 as an aircrafthand before training to become an air gunner, flying Hawker Hectors on Army Co-operation duties.

Clark joined No 219 Squadron at Catterick on 12 July 1940, two days into the Battle of Britain, and later trained on radar as a Radio Observer, flying in Beaufighters.

In July 1941 Clark was awarded the DFM after a number of notable successes intercepting and destroying enemy aircraft. On one sortie with Wing Cdr T G Pike the pair destroyed a Junkers Ju88 and a Heinkel He111. In later sorties with his regular pilot, Flying Officer D O Hobbis, they accounted for one unidentified enemy aircraft and two more He 111s.

Clark, whose role as a gunner and radio observer is the reason the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust refers always to ‘aircrew’ rather than ‘pilots’, was commissioned in May 1942.

In March 1944, Clark was given leave from training as a controller to visit a former colleague, Flying Officer D Robinson. Learning that Robinson’s navigator was unfit to fly, Clark took his place on a beach-head patrol which saw the pair destroy a Ju188. He left the RAF in November 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

While there is no definitive list of the Few, the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust believes that Flt Lt Clark’s passing means that Group Captain John Hemingway, who lives in Ireland, is likely to be the last of the Few still with us.

A short tribute was paid to Flt Lt Clark as part of Friday’s (8 May) Facebook Live VE Day commemoration. Terry Clark leaves a son Roger, daughter-in-law Lesley, granddaughter Kate and two grandsons, Joseph and Robin.

 

 

15 thoughts on “Flt Lt Terry Clark, one of the last of the Few, leaves us

    RIP Sir – you and all your incredible brave men and women who served with you will never be forgotten – without you we would not be celebrating VE Day – thank you for all you have done and I salute you

    Terry was always smiling, a great sense of humour. I will always remember him as one of those “Golden men” as Tom Neil called some of The Few. He will be remembered. My condolences to his family and friends. I am posting tributes across many sites I run as a Battle of Britain historian to show what a wonderful man he was, and an ambassador for all Battle of Britain aircrew who fell in wartime. Paul Davies.

    These brave men face terrific odds but time and again rose to the occasion.

    RIP, sir. Until we meet.

    As Winston Churchill said “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”

    Sadly they are even fewer today. Godspeed and RIP Flt. Lt. Clark

    Paul,
    Many thanks on behalf of his close and extended family.
    Flt Lt William Terence Montacute Clarke DFM AE
    My Great Uncle and Godfather.
    My mothers uncle, who gave her away on her wedding day 12th April 1952.
    Mother and Father celebrated 68 yrs this year
    Uncle Terry such a gentleman, always a kind word and and sense of humour.
    I have today spoken to his Grandson Joe Clark who is currently advising the Family of Terry’s passing.
    I was at his 100th birthday last year, at the care home in York. Feted by many guests including 4 RAF personnel from RAF Linton Ouse /RAF Leeming.
    I would love to correspond with you on his history, as I am researching Ancestry, and currently making models of the Aircraft he flew

    Rest in peace Flt Lt Clark, thank you and your comrades for all that you did.
    God bless your family xx

    Lest we forget. As the last few, of The Few, take their final flight – Ad astra – their passing reminds those who never new them that they were and who they were, and so will always be, remembered.

    Rest in Peace Flt.Lt.Clark
    May God bless all your family at this sad time, our sincere condolences from all members of the Tumber family of the late George Tumber who served with you in Radar Section 219 squadron.

    Rest in Peace Flt.Lt.Clark
    May God Bless all your family at this sad time, our sincere
    condolences from all members of the Tumber family of the late George Tumber who served with you in Radar Section 219 squadron.

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