York Battle of Britain hero dies on the eve of VE Day anniversary, aged 101

Hero of the skies… Terry Clark, who has died aged 101. Photograph: Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
8 May 2020 @ 4.57 pm
| News

York Battle of Britain veteran Terry Clark has died aged 101, leaving only one surviving member of “The Few” who took to the skies in the summer of 1940.

The RAF Benevolent Fund said Mr Clark, who served as a radar operator on Beaufighters during the Second World War, died on Thursday.

He was one of two remaining air crew, known as The Few, who took to the skies to defend the UK against attacks from the Luftwaffe, Nazi Germany’s air force, in the Battle of Britain.

The death of Mr Clark, from Wheldrake, leaves John “Paddy” Hemingway as the last surviving member.

In this Facebook post, Darran Walker said: “Terry was a war hero with the Distinguished Flying Medal, one of the last of The Few, but most of all Terry was our friend and we will miss his company so much.”

‘Especially poignant’

Answered his country’s call: Terry Clark

Mr Clark was an Aircraftman with No. 219 Squadron from July 1940, protecting York and its nearby airfields during the Battle of Britain.

He passed away in Minster Grange nursing home in York.

RAF Benevolent Fund controller Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot said: “Our condolences go to Terry’s family and friends at this sad time.

“This news is especially poignant as we remember the bravery and sacrifice of all those who fought for us today, the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

“Terry belonged to a generation of servicemen and women who answered their country’s call without question.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to every one of them and their legacy must be to remember their service.

“John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway is now the last surviving member of The Few and in September we will mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the battle.

“The RAF Benevolent Fund will be paying tribute to those pilots and air crew who ‘gave so much to so many’.

“We honour their memory by supporting the Second World War and National Service veterans who need our help, before it is too late.”