The Telegraph has reported the passing of yet another legend of the British aviation scene. I will leave it to the professionals at the paper who do it so well to present you his obituary.
Strange isn’t it that wrinkled singers of popular songs, showbiz personalities and other ‘faces’ receive acknowledgement, fanfare and honors by the dozen?
Read of Neville Duke’s contribution to our nation and ponder on the level of his reward for services rendered. I think a Knighthood might have been appropriate at some stage, don’t you? In the absence of that, perhaps a little assistance with this problem below would have been more appreciated. A grateful nation and a land fit for heroes?
The Telegraph, 2005
One of the most decorated British fighter pilots of the Second World War has sold his medals, diaries and other memorabilia partly to pay for a hip replacement operation for his wife who faced at least a six-month wait on the National Health Service.
Sqn Ldr Neville Duke, 83, the Royal Air Force’s top-scoring ace in the Mediterranean theatre who set a world air speed record of 728 mph in 1953, put the collection up for auction rather than subject his wife Gwen to months of pain and discomfort while she waited for an operation.
The standard waiting time for hip replacements in the orthopaedic department at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, one of the nearest facilities to the Dukes’ home, is six months.
Mrs Duke, who has been in pain with her hip for eight months, was told by her chiropractor that the wait might be 15 months.
Before the sale Mrs Duke, 85, explained: “It is very likely I will need a new hip and that is something we just cannot afford. If I went on a NHS waiting list I would have to wait forever, and at my age that’s no good.
‘By selling Neville’s things we will be able to pay for the hip. We pulled out of BUPA because they practically doubled the rate when we reached 60.
Thank you Sir, rest well.