A former Royal Air Force nurse who served during the Battle of Britain and died at the age of 100 has been remembered at the National Memorial to the Few.
Victor Richardson’s story came to light after his family left a funeral wreath on the steps of the Memorial, prompting a telephone call to his niece Jean Stokes, who lives in Dover with her husband Frederick.
Jean explained that although Victor had spent his latter years in Nottingham, he had been born in Dover and regularly visited the Memorial when returning to visit her and her husband.
He had signed up with the RAF as a nurse in 1938 and served with No 142 Squadron during the Battle of Britain and beyond, before joining No 136 ‘Woodpecker’ Squadron and being posted to India in 1942, where he served in Bombay, Karachi, Calcutta, Chittagong, Bangladesh, Burma and Sri Lanka.
Just before leaving for India Victor had married Pat, an ambulance driver who sadly died in 1998. He married for a second time, to long-time friend of the couple Joan, at the impressive age of 92. Joan, now 95, survives him.
Jean said her uncle had served near Maidstone during the Battle of Britain and had been proud of the fact that he had met wartime Ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, CBE, DSO*, DFC*.
He settled in Nottingham, where he worked as a manager with boots and, said Jean, never missed a reunion of the Woodpeckers after leaving the RAF in 1947.
“After the funeral we were wondering what to do with the wreath and my brother, John Ballard, suggested that as Victor was so fond of the memorial at Capel-le-Ferne we should bring it back to Kent with us,” Jean explained.