Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Rosemary for Remembrance; Part Two the Obituary.

We all knew Mr Johnson was a gentleman, who was charming and cultured; but we didn’t know that during World War Two, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, (DFC) for his courage leadership and bravery.

Back in August I wrote about the death of a special man, Mr Johnson, you can read about him here; at the time I said in a comment that,

‘He was a lovely gentleman, I wait to read his obituary, I don’t know what his professional life had been, but I bet there will be a string of accomplishments that include service to others.’

We didn’t know about his decoration, but any one who knew him will not be in the least surprised. His family only knew about the DFC in the months before his death and it only since his death that they have discovered he was a squadron leader; he was a very modest man. His obituary ran to two thirds of a page, a rare thing in our local paper where it is not unusual for an obituary to read that the deceased ‘enjoyed playing darts and socialising’, it’s ‘dressed up’ a bit, but put it another way, they ‘enjoyed going to the pub’, (not that I have an issue in any one going to the pub, I just wouldn’t want it to recorded as my life’s work.)

His accomplishments and interests were wide, a vast list of voluntary and community roles points to a life lived to the full.

I looked through the obituary last tonight, to pick out a few words that summed him up, I was spoilt for choice.

Modest, private, deeply spiritual, calm, gentlemanly, supportive, integrity, courteous, wisdom, courageous. Not a bad check list, by which to live a life.

The writer also said, ‘Many will remember him riding his bike,while at the same time calling out a greeting and waving his stick or raising his cap!’ That imagery captures him perfectly.I don’t for a moment think that any one who ever knew him, is likely to forget him . He was some one special.

If you have come to this post in search of information on holders of the DFC, I have, as Mr Johnson was a very private man, changed his name for the purpose of this post, however he was someone that valued the importance of history, and if you wish to email me at uphilldowndale@ofarm.co.uk I will be happy to disclose his real name, because we must never forget what his generation did for us.

‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance, pray you, love, remember’.

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