Tom Neil Remembered.
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:28

Very Sad to see Tom Neil has passed over. I had the honour to spend time with this hero over many years.I can still hear him talking to me, sat across from me in a leather armchair in the bar of the Holiday Inn across from the airfield at Farnborough, telling me of his friends:George Barclay ("Great friend-Lousy pilot-he got shot down three times!" he told me) He kept some sand from his grave in his study to remember him by. Also of the shooting down of King in Tom`s own aircraft, who baled out and was killed by the Home Guard or an army patrol who thought that the thre baled out pilots they saw, including Squadron Leader King, this other pilot(Killed) called King and Flt Lt James Nicolson VC were paratrooper enemy soldiers-all shot down in the same action. He said to me:"I missed the aeroplane more-I hardly knew King and was livid until I found out he was dead." He also told me, regarding the VC action of JB Nicolson, his friend, baled out after being set on fire and shooting at a 109 whilst on fire, then being fired at by the Army:"We thought it was screamingly funny that "Nick" was shot in the bum, until we found he had been burned and the nature of his injuries later". He also related:"The Army made a better job of it with King, they killed him!" Tom told me many things:Of Lancashire that we both came from:"Merseyside was not invented then!" he said when he said he was from Bootle, in Lancashire. Me and Simon visited the church he attended, later I visited his old cricket ground at Wrea Green where He spoke with me at Aces High about and I reasured him it was still unchanged-Duckpond, cricket green, village houses around a square and a pub and a church. He clasped my hand and said:"You have made an old man very happy". Tom was a star junior cricketer and his score still stands as a record at a cricket club down South somewhere, I was told. Rest in peace with your beloved wife, Tom. He was one of the Battle of Britain fighter pilots who were very young, yet faced up to a huge burden of protecting the people of Britain in 1940 from invasion and the horrific things that happened in the Occupied countries taken over by Nazi Germany in wartime. May we always remember such men. God bless you Tom Neil, Rest in peace. Paul Davies

  • Re: Wing Commander Tom Neil.Smithy, Thu Jul 12 21:16
    That is terribly sad news. His "Gun Button to Fire" is one of the best accounts from the Battle IMHO. RIP.
    • Tom Neil Remembered. — Paul Davies, Wed Jul 25 11:28
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