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John Thomas's F4820*

Still an airman at forty-four

Old John Thomas – he knew the score

His Service life had been quite hard

Borne out by his record card

His faded beret and wrinkled brow

Simple signs of where and how

Life had left it’s visual traces

With memories of far-flung places

Korea, Java, Aden, Gan

Ask away, JT’s your man

On Christmas Island he stood proud

With others to watch the mushroom cloud

Tradewise John he was no fool

A product of Yatesbury Radio School

He taught me well, a trick or two

Just where to look and what to do

He’d been around, he knew the faces

Johnson, Bader – wartime aces

He’d strapped them in; BF’d their kites

Following raucous NAAFI nights

Yes, promotion passed him by

But he knew the reason why

Kind of sad, yet kind of funny

He didn’t do it for the money.

*F4820 = RAF Engineering Tradesman’s Record Card

John Thomas's F4820*

Tez Watson

FORRES, United Kingdom

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

During my RAF training I was placed on a course (along with another recruit) full of guys who had been in the Service for some time. John was the oldest and longest serving of them all, in fact older than many of the instructors. His wisdom and experience were evident immediately, this is my tribute to him and his ilk.

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