From: Keri Eynon, Newbury, Berks
I served with Bob between 1971-78 at Abingdon, Lyneham, Gutersloh and then back at Lyneham when I was posted and lost touch with him. Although we were never on the same team or shift we spent many happy hours together playing soccer, rugby and cricket and sharing a few beers in the NAAFI or in the Lion pub at Abingdon and the bowling alley at Gutersloh.
One incident I recall, when we were in Gutersloh, the very day that he arrived, we were celebrating with a few bevvies and he fell out of his room window (they were very large German style) and ended up in the British Military Hospital at Rinteln. When Alan "Boot" Pratt and I visited him he took great delight telling us how he confused the Army nurses as to what the rank SAC meant; which had them unsure as to how to address him - should it be sir or what?
On another occasion four of us travelled from Gutersloh to Amsterdam to watch the 1975 FA Cup Final on Dutch TV (we couldn't get it at Gutersloh). We found a good B&B where we could all share a room however, when we went out for the evening, as there was only one key for the room and one for the front door, we decided to split the keys between us just in case. Unfortunately somewhere along the way we got split up into two pairs and this meant one pair had the key for the front door and the other pair the key for the room. This ended up as a long, long wait at the B&B before we got into the room!
There are so many good memories of good times shared with Bob and no doubt I shall think about them over the coming weeks and months; all the fun we had as well as a few spats along the way. But all in all he was a good egg!
My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time - I deeply regret that I won't be able to attend the funeral as I shall be out of the country at the time.
Keri (Taff) Eynon.
From: Arthur Taylor, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs
Most saddened to hear of the passing of Bob. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Bob and I were colleagues many years ago, a great guy. I am sorry that I will not be able to attend his funeral.
Arthur Taylor ex UKMAMS
Tony Gale, Gatineau, QC
From November 13-27, 1971, the bi-annual resupply vessel was offloading at RAF Masirah in Oman during which time the local Movements' staff needed to be reinforced - Bob was on our team in Oman. The hours we worked were long, hot and exhausting - but it was our "bread and butter" kind of task - it's what we did.
During this task, our services were needed elsewhere in Oman, one such trip being to Bayt-al-Falaj, a now defunct airstrip on the outskirts of Muscat and where the Headquarters of the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces (SOAF) was located.
The flight into and out of Bayt-al-Falaj was scary to say the least, flying through a mountainous canyon with the wingtips of the aircraft mere feet from the walls. Aircraft captains needed to be checked out on the approach and departure prior to being authorised to fly it.
A couple of days later we were tasked to Salalah. In the picture at right is Bob, Chris Twyman, Dave Barton and Tony Moore. James (Jim) Gallagher took the picture.
Above is a copy of my computerised flight log showing the Masirah Reforce task
Sundry tasks taken from the UKMAMS Operations Record Book
From: James Gallagher, Sandford St Martin, Oxon
15-9-1948 ~ 23-8-2017
I served with Bob on the squadron for a number of years in the early seventies. I was neither a cricketer nor indeed a soccer player, but I did spend a lot of time in the pub or NAFFI after these games with Bob Thacker and him! Bob F was always in the thick of it and had this floppy hair style which made him look as though he had always just emerged out of a ruck. I do remember that he was a very kind man.
Some time in the early 70's we had an Air Officer Commanding's (AOC's) Inspection. In the picture at left Bob is standing next to the Kilo Team Leader, Brian Clucas.
The rather portly gentleman with his back to us was a Group Captain on the AOC's staff.
My condolences to the family; another MAMS character sadly gone.
James (Paddy) Gallagher
From: Mick Craner, Yeovil, Somerset
Dear Annette and Family,
My own RAF service was from 1950 to 1972. I didn't know Bob personally, but no doubt our paths will have crossed in a dusty outpost somewhere in this world of ours.
My condolences to you all - I wish I had known him.
RIP fellow Airman
From: Graham Allen, Cropwell Butler, Nottingham
It's always a sad time when one of the Movers family passes on to greater things and leaves their loved ones behind.
Although I never had the pleasure of working with Bob, I have only ever heard good things about him. One of a very special breed and one who is going to be sorely missed.
My deepest condolences to all the family
From: Tony Street, Buffalo, NY
Condolences from across the pond. Although I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Bob, it's alway sad to lose "One of Ours."
RCAF Mover Ret.
From: Allan Walker, Burnley, Lancs
Dear Annette and Family,
I am sorry to hear about Bob's passing away.
For a period of time, I was the one responsible for sending him off to all four corners of the earth, sometimes at short notice. In addition to that I was also responsible for creating those letters to the wives stating, "The Team has been delayed on route and you will be advised of their return date when known."
My sincere condolences to you and your family.
From: Richard Lloyd, Dalgety Bay, Fife
I was sorry to hear about Bob's passing. Although I don't recall us serving together, it is always sad to hear of the loss of a fellow Mover. My sincere condolences to you Annette, and all Bob's family. You'll be in my prayers.
From: Victor Smith, Brassall, QLD
From a "Mover from Down Under" my condolences to all family and friends of Bob.
If you want to add a message of condolence for Annette and the family or share memories of Bob, please send it in an e-mail to:
Peter Orton, Camberley, Surrey
I never worked with Bob, but checked in his team many times when I was on the Passenger Desk at Lyneham, usually for a Thursday Missex.
My condolences to his family and friends, he was a popular and respected colleague.
From: Michael Lyke, Belfast, Co. Antrim
Dear Annette and family,
My heartfelt and sincere condolences for your loss. Regretfully, I didn’t work directly with Bob but he had a great reputation throughout the world & family of movers and I wish I had known him to share the experience.
May he be at peace and may you and your family also be at peace knowing you have a huge extended family that share your loss and know that we may not physically be with you right now but in our hearts we are by your sides.
Michael (Spike) Lyke
From: Stephen Broadhurst, Melbourne, VIC
I remember Bob Ford as a guy that was hard to get to know. He certainly didn’t suffer fools gladly and fully expected you to do your share of the work in a competent and “swift as you like” manner.
He was a good mover, both Mobile and Base movements.
To Annette and all of Bob’s family may I send my condolences on your loss; time to welcome another Mover to the gathering Host!.
Ex E & K teams MAMS.
Melbourne, Vic. OZ.
From: Syd Avery, 03140 Guardamar del Segura
Hello, Annette et al,
I worked with Bob several times whilst at Abingdon. A nice guy and good worker. Hopefully, I will be there on Monday to remember Bob.
The funeral will be held on Monday the 18th September, 2017 at 2:40pm at Barham Crematorium, Barham, (near Canterbury), Kent, CT4 6QU. Tel: 01227 831351
Flowers are acceptable. If you wish to make a donation in Bob's name to Parkinson's Disease Research, it can be made through J. Dilnot Smith & Son, Funeral Directors, 184 Gladstone Rd, Walmer, Deal, Kent CT14 7EL. Tel: 01304 380914
There will be a celebration of Bob's life after the cremation at Deal Town Football Club, St Leonard's Rd, Deal, Kent CT14 9AU Tel: 01304-375623
From: Harold Jones, Neston, Cheshire
So sad to hear of the death of Bob.
I served with him on UKMAMS at RAF Abingdon in the 1970's. I remember him for his direct "get it done" attitude and his mop of floppy hair. Sadly, I won't be able to make his funeral, but will raise a glass or two in his memory.
My condolences to Annette and family.
From: David Moss, Sorbie, Dumfries and Galloway
I spent some time on UKMAMS in the early seventies and met Bob then. Although we were on different teams, we would have worked together during that time as there were many occasions when ad-hoc teams were involved on tasks.
I was looking at the Rogues Gallery on the OBA pages and even though there are not names under the photo's I recognised Bob even after forty five years so we must have got up to something together.
Annette, I am sorry that I will not be able to attend the funeral, but would like to express my sincere condolences to you and your family, and my thoughts are with you all at this time, and I shall raise a large dram in memory of a good man.
Ex Lima and Quebec teams
My Dad took his place with his fellow Movers in the crew rom in the sky this year.
I want to share with you my memorial tribute to him and to say thank you to those who attended his final farewell and sent messages of condolence.
I hope it does him justice.
A Tribute to my Dad