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FAAA Obituaries 2023 "Lest We Forget " 
Craig Gibson LAEM (L) D235779R 1975 - 2023

Craig crossed the bar on 31 Dec 2023 suddenly after a very short illness, aged 48, leaving his wife, Anna and two young children. 


Craig was in the FAA from Oct 1995 to Oct 2005. Craig served mainly at HMS Osprey and Heron on Lynx Mk3 and Mk8 as part of 702 and 815 Sdns. He had two Lynx flights, HMS Brave and HMS Coventry. 


His funeral will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 17th January 2024, in Low Fell, Gateshead. Craig was also an active member of the Tyne Branch of the RNA. Both Tyne Branch RNA and Weymouth Branch FAA Association Standards will accompany the coffin.

Several members from Weymouth Branch FAA Association are travelling up to the North East to attend Craig’s funeral. 

Stan Richardson Ex CAM (E) FX80767 13/20/1919 to 01/12/2023 
Stan Richardson and First Sea Lord_edite

"Crossed the Bar" on 1st December 2023 aged 104 yrs

A past member of the FAAA with the Ford Branch and one of the last FAA veterans of World War II.  He joined the RN on as a boy seaman, aged 16, in April 1936, serving on the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign, based at Portsmouth. He transferred to the FAA in September 1939 serving at RAF Locking in Weston-Super-Mare for training with the RAF.

Subsequently, he joined 765 Squadron, a sea plane training squadron. Following this he joined 882 Squadron, an interceptor squadron. In March 1942 he joined the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. In March 1943 he left the Illustrious. Later in the war he served at various land bases, including Bermuda and Ceylon, where he was in May 1945 when the war ended. He left the Navy in October 1949.

In civilian life on his discharge from the service, he joined electrical retailer Rumbelows in a role opening shops in the south of England, becoming an area manager. He later retired and settled in East Preston, West Sussex.

A private cremation will be held on 21 December followed by a Commemorative service at the Church of St Leonards, Sherfield on Loden, Nr Basingstoke, at 11:00 on 25 January 2024.  The National Standard will be paraded.

Terrence Gidman  A/LAM (AE)  1940 – 2023

Terry served from 1956 to 1967 on the following:

HMS Gamecock 1956/57

HMS Gannet 1957 & 1959

 HMS Peregrine 1957 

HMS Albion 1957

 HMS Bulwark 1957

 745 NAS 1957

HMS Sanderling 1959 

HMS Seahawk 1959

HMS Ark Royal, 1959/60 & 1964/65

HMS Heron 1960 /62 & 1964/65

766 NAS 1960/62

HMS Goldcrest 1962/64

890 NAS 1964/65

HMS Daedalus 1965/67


“Crossed the Bar” 17th November  2023.

His funeral will be held 11:00 on 29 December at Our Lady and St Michael church, Garston, WD25 0NE

Barrie Davies LAM (A/E) 1938 – 2023

Barrie served from 1956 to1968 on the following:


HMS Gamecock 1956

HMS Seahawk 1956/59  750 Sqdn

HMS Falcon 1959/60  750/728 Sqdn

HMS Sanderling 1960/62

HMS Goldcrest  1962/63

HMS Condor 1963

HMS Fulmar 1963/64

HMS Eagle 1964/66

HMS Fulmar 1966/68


“Crossed the Bar” 1st October  2023.
Arnold J Thompson, WO REL (A), LFX915704, 23/08/1935 – 03/04/2023


Arnold served from 1952 to 1980, following his initial training at HMS Collingwood, he went to HMS Aerial to complete his Naval Air training.  He also served at HMS Seahawk Gamecock, Fulmar, Daedalus and Osprey, where he served on 829 Squadron, including a small ships flights on HMS Ajax and Londonderry.  Arnold also spent a commission on HMS Victorious and HMS Albion with 849C Squadron, 


His last 8 years of service were spent at HMS Daedalus where he had various roles and was also promoted to Warrant Officer.  He also had the honour of being President of the Warrant & Chief Petty Officers Mess, which led to his involvement with both the Telegraphist Air Gunners Association (TAGA) and the annual St Dunstans camp which both were hosted by the mess.  His enthusiasm, ably supported by his late wife Dorothy, for both organisations continued right up until his death.    


Arnold was heavily involved in the FAAA, including membership of the Solent Branch and latterly Ford Branch and served on the National Committee for many years holding the following positions in the Association at National level; National Secretary 2002/08, National Vice Chairman 2009, National Chairman 2010/14.  In recognition of his invaluable service to the Association, he was appointed a Vice President in 2021.


Below are the details of Arnold Thompson’s funeral webcast: 
Use the PIN number below to access your webcast

Webcast Login PIN 230-2916  Webcast Viewing Instructions are available here

Gordon (Oscar) Harris CPO - D102575W 27 July 1952 - 30 April 2023
Crossed the Bar on 30th April 2023

Oscar enjoyed a 25yr Naval Career, which started when he joined HMS Ganges in 1967 at the age of 15.


He thoroughly enjoyed his time in the RN and he was very proud to serve his country. He managed to see most of the world during his career and his first posting abroad was a 2 year draft to HMS Simbang in Singapore where he spent his 18th Birthday.  Oscar served from 1967 – 1992 on the following postings:

1967-1968- HMS Ganges

1968 - HMS Condor

1970 - HMS Osprey

1970-1971 - HMS Seahawk

1971-1972 - 848 Sdn HMS Seahawk/Albion

1973-1975 - HMS Osprey

1975 - HMS Londonderry

1975-1977 - HMS Ambuscade

1977-1981 - 829 Sdn HMS Osprey

1981 - HMS Hydra

1982-1986 - HMS Osprey/Daedalus 

1986-1988 - HMS Ariadne 

1988-1992 - HMS Osprey/Daedalus

He was very honoured to run for the Fleet Air Arm Field Fun Crew at the Royal Tournament at Earls Court  in 1983 and was the Buffer for the Crew in 1992. He also ran and trained for the Brickwoods Field Gun Crew.

CPO(AH) Michael (Mick) Sherry - 1958-2023
"Crossed the Bar" - 30th January 2023

Michael Sherry’s life was changed forever on January 21, 1975 the day he walked through the gate at HMS Ganges to become a member of the Aircraft Handlers Branch. He joined RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall to complete AH3 training.


Once he had qualified from his AH3s course Mick was drafted to RNAS Yeovilton, where he stayed until a draft to 848 Squadron and HMS Bulwark in 1976. He then joined HMS Hermes with the squadron before his AH2s course back at Culdrose.


1979 saw Mick’s first visit to RNAS Portland where he would find love get married and eventually retire. He served aboard RFA Engadine for two years, including a Falklands medal, before returning back to RNAS Portland. 


Following his AH1s course and being promoted to Petty Officer in 1985 Mick was drafted back to 845 squadron, and HMS Invincible drafts before returning back to RNAS Yeovilton as a Crew Chief within the fire station.


Mick left the Royal Navy in February 1998 and worked for SERCO for four years before joining the Prison Service. Mick was a Prison Officers for 15 years, working at Guys Marsh, Dorchester and the Verne on Portland. 


Mick and his beloved wife Chris ran a B&B in Weymouth for a while. In 2017 Mick also joined Portland Heliops working right next door to the site of his old fire station many years earlier. Mick was a member of the Aircraft Handlers’ Association and served on the committee for a number of years in the 1990s and early noughties. 


Mick loved to sing and many will have fond memories of ‘Elvis Sherry’ taking over the stage and bashing out a few numbers to the delight of everyone there. Mick Sherry was a Aircraft Handler through and through and an amazing character you could not help but love. Always ready to help anyone out and always ready to buy you a beer. He was one of a kind and he will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege to not only know him, but call him a friend and gentleman.

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