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Keyword: obits

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  • Montana Standard (Newspaper) Declares U.S. Flag Dead

    05/28/2010 6:46:16 AM PDT · by Bushbacker1 · 57 replies · 3,129+ views
    Montana Standard ^ | 5/28/10 | Bushbacker1
    The Montana Standard, Butte, Montana, has declared the U.S. Flag dead.
  • Lesley Blanch — obituary (There’ll always be an England)

    05/13/2007 8:17:58 AM PDT · by dighton · 14 replies · 708+ views
    Lesley Blanch, who died on Monday aged 102, was the author of The Wilder Shores of Love, an enduringly popular account of the romantic fulfilment that four 19th-century European women found in Arabia; but her most romanticised creation was Lesley Blanch herself.Like the writer Pierre Loti, another of her subjects with whom she identified, Lesley Blanch preferred fantasy to truth and rarely distinguished between the two. She was an escapist; life was simply more entertaining as a product of the imagination. She revelled in the air of deliberate mystery around her, which was thickened by her remarkable account of her...
  • Ex-Social Distortion bassist killed by truck

    01/24/2007 11:14:32 PM PST · by WestVirginiaRebel · 42 replies · 1,901+ views
    CNN ^ | 01-24-07 | WestVirginiaRebel
    PLACENTIA, California (AP)-Brent Liles, a former bassist for the 1980s punk rock group Social Distortion, was struck and killed by a truck while riding a bicycle, authorities said Wednesday. He was 43.
  • G. Roger Crowningshield, 87, Who Set Diamond Grading System, Dies

    11/21/2006 9:04:57 AM PST · by Silly · 23 replies · 572+ views
    The New York Times ^ | Nov. 16, 2006 | JEREMY PEARCE
    G. Roger Crowningshield, a gemologist who helped revolutionize methods for judging the quality of precious stones and for spotting fakes, died on Nov. 8 in Hightstown, N.J. He was 87. He lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. His death was confirmed by a spokesman from the Gemological Institute of America; Mr. Crowningshield had been a fixture in the institute’s Manhattan laboratory since 1949, introducing ever more exacting methods for defining the color, cut and clarity of gems.
  • The fine art of Obituary

    12/16/2005 12:57:38 PM PST · by aculeus · 17 replies · 598+ views
    Times Literary Supplement ^ | December 16, 2005 | by Keith Thomas
    Ian Brunskill, editor GREAT LIVES A century in obituaries 684pp. Times Books. £20. 0 00 720168 0 Neither a memorial address nor a full-scale biography, the obituary notice is an underrated literary genre. To narrate the life, evoke the personality and assess the historical significance of someone who died only a day or so previously is no trivial task. Obituarists have to work quickly. They should avoid causing unnecessary pain to the living, but they must also be candid. They have to hazard an instant judgement, while recognizing that it may be overturned by later revelations. If they make mistakes,...
  • Lady Mills (Mary Hayley Bell) -- obituary

    12/07/2005 2:33:16 PM PST · by dighton · 11 replies · 837+ views
    Lady Mills, the actress, playwright and novelist Mary Hayley Bell, who died on Thursday aged 94, wrote one of the West End’s most successful post-war plays, Duet for Two Hands, and a novel, Whistle Down the Wind, which was turned into a memorable film.Often drawn in her fiction to medical or psychological case histories, Mary Hayley Bell gave up a promising career as an actress in the early 1940s when she married John Mills. She became a dramatist on the ground that she could write where and when she chose to suit her family, whereas acting was bound to keep...
  • Don Adams has died (Get Smart)

    09/26/2005 11:12:18 AM PDT · by Borges · 266 replies · 10,631+ views
    Alt Obits | 9/25/05
    Don Adams, who gained worldwide fame and three Emmy Awards starring as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, in the classic television comedy GET SMART, died at 8:02 p.m PDT, Sunday, September 25, 2005, at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills. He was 82. Although he had been in failing health for more than two years due to bone lymphoma, his death resulted from a sudden lung infection for which he was hospitalized the previous day. Born Donald James Yarmy on April 13, 1923 [correct, despite frequently reported erroneous dates] in New York City to Irish-Hungarian parents, Adams hoped for an engineering career....
  • Replacing duty and honor with ‘South Park’

    05/13/2005 8:03:33 AM PDT · by manny613 · 14 replies · 703+ views
    I do while perusing the morning Internet is read the military obituaries in the British press, mainly The Daily Telegraph. Invariably, these write-ups mark the passing of a veteran of World War II in the kind of scope and detail, as critic James Bowman has noted, rarely found in an American paper. Sometimes, I feel compelled to save them in a file. Last summer, there was Wing Commander David Penman, 85, one of five Lancaster bombers pilots (out of 12 who started on the mission) to return in 1942 from a daring, low-flying, daylight raid on a German engine plant;...
  • Wing Commander Gerry McMahon (obituary)

    09/20/2001 8:27:40 PM PDT · by dighton · 6 replies · 209+ views
    WING COMMANDER GERRY McMAHON, who has died aged 81, was serving as a flying officer rear-gunner when his four-engine Short Stirling bomber was shot down inland from the Normandy beaches on D-Day; after being taken prisoner McMahon reversed the situation, capturing 62 German soldiers and marching them to the Allied lines. On the night of June 5 1944, McMahon's Canadian skipper, Flt Lt Gordon Thring, was briefed to drop paratroopers near a canal crossing, later famous as Pegasus bridge. He was then to return to RAF Fairford, take a troop-carrying glider in tow and release it in the invasion zone.Encountering ...
  • Isaac Stern dead at 81.

    09/22/2001 10:10:53 PM PDT · by SlickWillard · 44 replies · 886+ views
    Associated Press, via Yahoo, via Drudge ^ | Saturday September 22 10:02 PM ET | your friendly right-wing hate mongers at FreeRepublic
    Bach, Concerto Number One, in A, for Violin, BWV 1041 First Movement, Allegro Second Movement, Andante Third Movement, Allegro Assai     Bach, Concerto Number Two, in E, for Violin, BWV 1042 First Movement, Allegro Second Movement, Andante Third Movement, Allegro Assai Bach, Concerto in D for Two Violins, BWV 1043 (with Itzhak Perlman) First Movement, Vivace Second Movement, Largo Ma Non Tanto Third Movement, Allegro Beethoven, Concerto in D for Violin, Opus 61 First Movement, Allegro Ma Non Troppo Second Movement, Larghetto Third Movement, Rhondo Allegro Beethoven, Triple Concerto in C, for Violin, Cello, and Piano, Opus 56 (with ...
  • Brigadier 'Geordie' Andrews (obituary)

    09/26/2001 7:56:27 PM PDT · by dighton · 8 replies · 268+ views
    BRIGADIER "GEORDIE" ANDREWS, who has died aged 91, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1944 having commanded 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, from Normandy to the Reichswald. As part of the 152nd (Seaforth and Cameron) Brigade, itself part of the 51st (Highland) Division, the 2nd Battalion had landed in Normandy on D+1 (June 7), and had immediately been thrown into the battle to break out from the bridgehead. After taking part in the unsuccessful Operation Goodwood, the battalion was ordered to capture Tilly-la-Campagne as part of Operation Totalize, which finally achieved the breakout.It was a hard-fought battle against an enemy ...
  • Group Captain Charles Green (obituary)

    09/28/2001 6:40:34 PM PDT · by dighton · 15 replies · 506+ views
    GROUP CAPTAIN CHARLES GREEN, who has died aged 88, led a wing of rocket-firing Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers which helped to destroy vital German armour in the Falaise Pocket in August 1944.Green played an important role in overcoming the Typhoon's teething problems in 1942. He later mastered low-level flying ("hedge-hopping") and took out tanks, transport and troop concentrations that were holding up the Allied advance from the Normandy beachheads into north-west Europe.Previously, Green had questioned the proposal to fit the Hawker Hurricane fighter with rockets, and won his argument that the Typhoon not only performed better but also had a superior ...
  • Ganju Lama: obituaries

    10/02/2001 7:31:02 PM PDT · by dighton · 3 replies · 654+ views
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 07/03/2000
    GANJU LAMA, who has died aged 75, was awarded a Victoria Cross in Burma for his action on June 12 1944 when B Company, 7th Gurkha Rifles, were checking a Japanese attack, supported by tanks, in the Imphal and Kohima area.Although the Japanese had failed in their attempt to break through the British lines and move on into India, they still had the resources to mount fierce attacks. On June 12 they had put down an intense artillery barrage on the Gurkha-held position north of the village of Ningthoukhong, knocking out several bunkers and causing heavy casualties.They followed this up ...
  • Gregory Hemingway (obituary)

    10/05/2001 6:58:56 AM PDT · by dighton · 20 replies · 653+ views
    GREGORY HEMINGWAY, who has died aged 69, was the youngest son of the writer Ernest Hemingway; a champion game shot as a boy, he later became estranged from his father, wrestled with his sexual identity and spent his last five days in the women's section of a prison in Miami. Gregory Hancock Hemingway was born at Kansas City on November 12 1931, the son of Ernest Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. Hemingway senior recalled his new son as being built like the Battling Siki, the West African fighter - all shoulders, long arms, big feet. "Very black hair. ...
  • Marian Holmes obituary

    10/09/2001 5:13:22 PM PDT · by dighton · 13 replies · 206+ views
    MARIAN HOLMES, who has died aged 80, was one of the small team of secretaries working for Winston Churchill during the Second World War; she kept a remarkably pithy and revealing diary at the time, and more recently gave her reminiscences to a number of radio and television programmes, including Churchill, made by his biographer Sir Martin Gilbert.In a letter to Gilbert in 1985, Marian Holmes recalled how Churchill required the highest standards and could be impatient if anything less were forthcoming. "But in all his moods - totally absorbed in the serious matter of the moment, agonised over some ...
  • Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Mayne -- obituary

    10/10/2001 5:45:57 PM PDT · by dighton · 3 replies · 244+ views
    LIEUTENANT COLONEL RUPERT MAYNE, who has died aged 91, enjoyed a colourful career during the Second World War with British Intelligence in India, a land which had attracted generations of his family before him.Maynes had been serving in India since the mid-18th century, and many had died there, as 16 military graves on the subcontinent bear witness. Among those to make an impression was Lt William Mayne, a 19th century cavalry officer who rode a handsome grey charger and was considered so lethal on the battlefield that he was known to the Pathans as "Death on the Pale Horse".In 1857, ...
  • Irina Bromley -- obituary

    10/11/2001 8:43:58 PM PDT · by dighton · 4 replies · 243+ views
    IRINA BROMLEY, who has died aged 85, was born in the last days of Tsarist Russia, heiress to vast estates in Estonia conferred on her forebears by Catherine the Great, and apparently destined for a life of aristocratic privilege; the turbulence of the 20th century and her own dauntless courage ensured a more interesting outcome.She was born Baroness Irene Isabella Margarete Paulina Caecilia von Meyendorff ex den hause Uxkull (she changed her first name to Irina when she later became a British citizen) on June 6 1916 at Reval (present day Talinn), the eldest child of Fyodor, her deeply conservative ...
  • Sir James Cable -- obituary

    10/12/2001 5:39:31 PM PDT · by dighton · 194+ views
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 10/13/2001
    SIR JAMES CABLE, who has died aged 80, was both a diplomat and one of the most influential naval strategic thinkers of the last half-century.His Gunboat Diplomacy, first published in 1971, rescued that term from its pejorative Victorian overtones and brought to public attention the continuing importance of naval power in what Cable called "Violent Peace".Until the end of the 19th century there had been very little theoretical study of seapower. It was largely left to naval officers to work out, on the basis of practical experience, how to apply force at sea in the pursuit of wider strategic goals.When ...
  • Lt-Col Roland 'Ronnie' Degg -- obituary

    10/19/2001 5:51:48 PM PDT · by dighton · 3 replies · 219+ views
    LIEUTENANT-COLONEL ROLAND "RONNIE" DEGG, who has died aged 92, was one of the outstanding battalion commanders of the Second World War; in 1944 he won a DSO while commanding the 1st Battalion, the South Staffordshire Regiment, on Chindit operations in Burma.Degg, who after school worked in the coal mines, had enlisted in the ranks during the General Strike. He went on to be commissioned in the field and to be appointed second-in-command of his battalion when it formed part of Brigadier Mike Calvert's 77th Brigade - one of five brigades in Special Force, which was committed to action behind Japanese ...
  • Howard Finster -- obituary

    10/23/2001 5:40:18 PM PDT · by dighton · 5 replies · 187+ views
    HOWARD FINSTER, who has died aged 84, was a Baptist minister and folk artist who used images from popular culture to spread his religious message.Finster created more than 46,000 "sermons in paint" which featured representations ranging from Elvis Presley, George Washington and Coca-Cola bottles to divine themes and visions of Hell which warned: "HELL IS A HELL OF A PLACE" with "NO COLD COKES". His work also appeared on the covers of rock albums by bands such as R.E.M. and Talking Heads.Finster took up painting in his forties when a spot of paint on his finger turned into a face ...
  • Beverley Snook -- obituary

    11/02/2001 5:19:29 PM PST · by dighton · 9 replies · 302+ views
    BEVERLEY ("BEV") SNOOK, who has died aged 72, was a former chairman of the Royal Aero Club and an air racing competitor so exuberant that he might have been described as accident-prone.In 1961 Snook was piloting one of his two Mark IX Spitfires in the London to Cardiff air race when the fighter caught fire after landing at Exeter airport. He explained afterwards: "I had taxied for nearly a mile when the plane suddenly exploded and burst into flames. Fortunately, I was able to jump out." He escaped with only cuts and bruises.Tales of Snook's misadventures were legion. On one ...
  • Roy Boulting -- obituary

    11/07/2001 4:36:48 PM PST · by dighton · 10 replies · 288+ views
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 11/08/2001
    ROY BOULTING, who has died aged 87, formed with his twin brother John one of the most successful partnerships in the history of British film-making; taking turns with each other as producer and director, their joint work included such films as Brighton Rock (1947), Lucky Jim (1957) and I'm All Right Jack (1959).Their films both caught and shaped the mood of the times, graduating from wartime propaganda to the satirical examination of institutions, among them the Army and the Church. But although they gained the reputation of angry young men, in truth their work was mildly radical rather than revolutionary. ...
  • Michael Torrens-Spence (obituary)

    11/09/2001 4:09:53 PM PST · by dighton · 7 replies · 422+ views
    MICHAEL TORRENS-SPENCE, who has died aged 87, won the DSO, DFC, AFC and Greek DFC during wartime service in the Mediterranean as a pilot with the Fleet Air Arm; in the course of his career he achieved the possibly unique distinction of having held commissions in the Royal Navy, the RAF, the Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. On the night of November 11 1940, 21 Swordfish "Stringbag" aircraft from the carrier Illustrious flew off in two waves to mount one of the most daring naval air raids ever attempted - on the Italian main battle fleet at anchor in ...
  • Wing Commander Roland 'Bee' Beamont -- obituary

    11/22/2001 10:38:09 AM PST · by dighton · 11 replies · 2,691+ views
    WING COMMANDER ROLAND "BEE" BEAMONT, who has died aged 81, followed dazzling wartime service as a fighter pilot and wing leader with a long and sustained peacetime career as a test pilot.Awarded a DSO and Bar and DFC and Bar, mentioned in dispatches and leading a fighter wing before he was 24, Beamont went on to lead the English Electric Canberra - the first RAF jet bomber - and English Electric Lightning flight test programmes.Subsequently he was chief test pilot of the ill-fated British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) TSR2 supersonic bomber-reconnaissance programme until the aircraft's abrupt and brutal cancellation by the ...
  • Critic who made Harry Truman fume dies at 85 (Paul Hume)

    11/27/2001 4:54:48 PM PST · by dighton · 10 replies · 291+ views
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 11/28/2001 | Stephen Robinson
    A LINE has been drawn under a famous episode in American presidential folklore with the death of a mild-mannered music reviewer once threatened with serious physical injury by President Harry Truman.Paul Hume, The Washington Post's music critic, wrote a gently damning review of the singing of Margaret Truman, the president's daughter, at a 1950 Washington recital."Miss Truman is a unique American phenomenon with a pleasant voice of little size and fair quality," Hume wrote of the performance."She is extremely attractive on stage, yet Miss Truman cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time. . ."Truman ...
  • Bo Belinsky, the Playboy Pitcher, Dies at 64

    11/27/2001 5:17:15 PM PST · by dighton · 8 replies · 352+ views
    New York Times ^ | 11/27/2001 | Richard Goldstein
    Bo Belinsky, whose pitching prowess as a rookie with the Los Angeles Angels catapulted him to the life of a Hollywood playboy and the fleeting glitter of a 1960's celebrity, died Friday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 64.The cause was apparently a heart attack, The Associated Press reported. Belinsky had been treated for bladder cancer and vascular problems and had undergone hip-replacement surgery. He had been dependent on alcohol and drugs, but said last year that he had been sober since 1976.A one-time teenage pool hustler, Belinsky experienced a tumultuous ride; he was lionized by Walter Winchell, ...
  • Flight Lieutenant William Reid VC -- obituary

    11/28/2001 5:05:37 PM PST · by dighton · 7 replies · 935+ views
    FLIGHT LIEUTENANT WILLIAM REID, who has died aged 79, won a Victoria Cross in 1943 for his heroism on a bombing expedition to Germany.On the night of November 3 1943, Reid was serving with 61 Squadron as captain of a Lancaster bomber on the way to Dusseldorf when it was attacked by a Messerschmitt 110 nightfighter as it crossed the Dutch coast.His windscreen was shattered, the plane's gun turrets, steering mechanism and cockpit were badly damaged, and Reid himself sustained serious injuries to his head, shoulders and hands. The plane dived 200 ft before he managed to regain control.Saying nothing ...
  • Tommy Gould VC -- obituary

    12/06/2001 4:43:56 PM PST · by dighton · 2 replies · 859+ views
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 12/07/2001
    TOMMY GOULD, who has died aged 86, won the Victoria Cross, the only Jewish recipient of the Second World War, while serving in the submarine Thrasher in February 1942.At about midday on February 16, Thrasher, on patrol off Suva Bay, on the north coast of Crete, torpedoed and sank an Axis supply ship of some 3,000 tons, escorted by five anti-submarine vessels.The escorts counter-attacked, with support from aircraft, and dropped 33 depth-charges, some of them very close indeed. Thrasher survived the attacks and, that evening after dark, surfaced to recharge batteries.In the early hours of the morning, when Thrasher altered ...
  • Wing Commander Roy Elliott -- obituary

    12/12/2001 4:22:23 PM PST · by dighton · 189+ views
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 12/13/2001
    WING COMMANDER ROY ELLIOTT, who has died aged 84, was an exceptional squadron commander in Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennett's hand-picked Pathfinder Force.Mostly creamed from standard Bomber Command squadrons by Group Captain Hamish Mahaddie, an ebullient Scot whom Bennett styled his "horse thief", the Pathfinders pinpointed and illuminated targets for the main force. They were distinguished from other pilots by a much coveted gold Pathfinder winged badge worn below their RAF wings.Sometimes diving a No 627 Squadron two-seat, twin-engine de Havilland Mosquito - the versatile "wooden wonder" - as low as 50 ft to mark and attack targets, Elliott displayed, as ...
  • Wing Commander Danny Walker -- obituary

    12/16/2001 4:54:15 PM PST · by dighton · 1 replies · 465+ views
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 12/17/2001
    WING COMMANDER DANNY WALKER, who has died at London, Ontario, aged 83, was navigator in the Dambusters' attack on the Mohne and Eder dams in the Ruhr valley.Flying Officer Walker's task on setting off in the early evening of May 16 1943 was to get his Australian pilot, Flight Lieutenant David Shannon, to the targets and back. "We were just over Holland when we got coned by the searchlights," he recalled. "They were so dazzling you couldn't see a thing. You were like a black moth caught in the light expecting the fighters to scream in any moment."Walker steered the ...
  • Seymour Reit -- obituary

    12/21/2001 6:08:56 PM PST · by dighton · 2 replies · 366+ views
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 12/22/2001
    SEYMOUR REIT, the author and illustrator who has died aged 83, was the creator of Casper the Friendly Ghost.Reit began drawing for animated films in the 1930s when, having just left university, he landed a job at the Miami studios of Dave and Max Fleischer, perhaps best known for their Betty Boop cartoons. Reit was one of 500 artists employed in the making of Gulliver's Travels (1939), and also worked in his spare time on short films featuring Popeye and Betty Boop.This brought him useful additional income, but he soon realised that there were far fewer talented storytellers at the ...
  • The Earl of Egmont -- obituary

    01/02/2002 4:35:26 PM PST · by dighton · 7 replies · 349+ views
    THE 11th EARL OF EGMONT, who has died in Alberta aged 87, became one of the Peerage's most romantic figures at the age of 15 when he reluctantly moved from a two-room prairie shack to Avon Castle, Hampshire, on his father's inheritance of the earldom.Members of a junior branch of the Perceval family which had emigrated to Iowa and then Alberta in the late 19th century, the boy and his widowed father "bached" together on a 600-acre ranch at Priddis, near Calgary.Wearing chaps, boots and stetsons, they contentedly built up a herd of cattle, chopped their own wood and cooked ...
  • Albert Alexandre -- obituary

    01/15/2002 4:49:47 PM PST · by dighton · 3 replies · 519+ views
    ALBERT ALEXANDRE, who has died aged 100, was the last veteran of the First World War resident at the Royal Hospital Chelsea; in 1999 France made him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.Alexandre enlisted at 15 in October 1917 and was just 16 when his regiment, the Guernsey Light Infantry, which had recently lost 700 men, moved back into the line at Passchendaele.There Alexandre was thrown into the bloodiest of fighting, worse, he said, than anything he had been led to expect by his more experienced comrades.Even the elements seemed to conspire with the horrors of war to make ...
  • Colin MacIvor -- obituary

    01/21/2002 4:52:16 PM PST · by dighton · 5 replies · 211+ views
    COLIN MacIVOR, who has died aged 72, began his career as a Jesuit before moving into an unequivocally secular existence; his sometimes rackety and occasionally disastrous progress, however, never destroyed his true vocation, which was for setting the table on a roar.Brilliant, witty and outrageous, MacIvor exemplified panache while retaining the gifts of sympathy and generosity. Yet he had his demons to fight.An outwardly brazen Englishry covered complex feelings about class, which made him distinctly unreliable when discussing his past, and which meant that he drew his most profound satisfactions from foreign sources.He was also plagued by bouts of manic ...
  • Bartley Gorman -- obituary

    01/22/2002 5:14:39 PM PST · by dighton · 3 replies · 720+ views
    BARTLEY GORMAN, who has died aged 57, was the self-styled "King of the Gypsies", celebrated in the shadowy world of illegal fighting as the Undefeated Bareknuckle Champion of Great Britain and Ireland.Gorman was, he estimated, "the most dangerous unarmed man in the world". He would never fight a "normal man", because "I am liable to kill him with one punch".He was born in 1944 at Nottingham, the son of a Welsh father and Irish mother, and the fifth in a line of Bartley Gormans. "Bartley Gorman the third was the champion of North and South Wales. Bartley Gorman the fourth ...
  • Harold Russell, Who Won Oscar for Playing Disabled Veteran in 'The Best Years of Our Lives,' Dies..

    01/31/2002 4:13:17 PM PST · by TomServo · 68 replies · 1,192+ views
    AP ^ | AP
    Harold Russell, who received two Academy Awards for his sensitive portrayal of a wounded veteran in "The Best Years of Our Lives" after losing his hands in World War II, has died. He was 88. Russell, who rarely acted again but used his celebrity to push for the rights of the disabled, died of a heart attack Tuesday at a nursing home in Needham, Mass., his family said Thursday. Russell joined the U.S. Army on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, as an instructor in the parachute corps. He was working as an explosives expert ...
  • Sydney 'Bill' Smith -- obituary

    02/05/2002 6:05:49 PM PST · by dighton · 9 replies · 201+ views
    SYDNEY "BILL" SMITH, who has died aged 89, saved the lives of himself and two crewmen by crash-landing his stricken Blenheim bomber in a Rotterdam street on July 16 1941.The nose of the aircraft came to a halt against the ticket office of the local zoo. Smith stepped from the wreckage only slightly bruised, but his navigator was projected feet-first through the Perspex front of the aircraft, breaking his ankle; his wireless operator/gunner was trapped in the gun turret with severe shrapnel wounds to his leg.Smith tried to get to the men, but Dutch rescuers brushed him aside, one snatching ...
  • Desmond O'Hagan -- obituary

    02/06/2002 5:51:41 PM PST · by dighton · 3 replies · 110+ views
    DESMOND O'HAGAN, who has died aged 92, adopted a baby elephant which insisted on sleeping in his bedroom when he was a young district officer in Kenya.Tembo, which means elephant in Swahili, was brought into O'Hagan's tent in the bush at the age of two months after his mother had been shot, and from then on declined to leave O'Hagan's side. At first only the size of a large Labrador, Tembo spurned the spare bedroom in the mud hut with a thatched roof to lie down every night beside O'Hagan's bed.During the day he went to the office, where he ...
  • George Nader -- obituary

    02/10/2002 8:03:20 AM PST · by dighton · 22 replies · 949+ views
    GEORGE NADER, who has died aged 80, was a popular B-movie actor of the 1950s and 1960s whose virile screen heroics were admired and emulated by Rock Hudson.Nader made more than 50 films, including The Female Animal (1957) with Jane Powell; Six Bridges to Cross with Tony Curtis; Four Girls in Town (1956) with Julie Adams; and The Million Eyes of Su-Muru (1967) with Shirley Eaton.Hudson, who left the bulk of his fortune to Nader after dying of Aids in 1985, first met Nader as a young actor, when they helped each other to conceal their homosexuality from their female ...
  • Elisabeth Mann Borgese -- obituary

    02/17/2002 4:39:44 PM PST · by dighton · 9 replies · 226+ views
    ELISABETH MANN BORGESE, who has died aged 83, was the last surviving child of the German novelist Thomas Mann and successful herself in several different fields: as an anthropologist; as a political scientist; as an environmentalist with a special interest in oceans; and as a writer of short stories.One of her more outlandish achievements, at the end of her life, was to train an English setter to play piano duets with her. To this end she had a special piano made - with no legs and no black notes, and with keys twice as wide as normal. A visitor wrote ...
  • Desmond Plunkett -- obituary

    02/19/2002 5:10:40 PM PST · by dighton · 14 replies · 225+ views
    DESMOND PLUNKETT, who has died aged 86, was one of the Allied airmen who took part in what became known as "The Great Escape". As the mapmaker for the escape committee at Stalag Luft III, he was one of several models for the character played by Donald Pleasence in the film made in 1963.Of the 76 men who got away, 73 were recaptured - and 50 were executed on Hitler's orders. Plunkett - the 13th man to crawl through the tunnel - was among those retaken; but he was fortunate that he managed to remain on the run until the ...
  • Isabella, Lady Forbes -- obituary

    03/01/2002 6:24:14 PM PST · by dighton · 7 replies · 730+ views
    ISABELLA, LADY FORBES OF CRAIGIEVAR, who has died aged 88, married the heir to a baronetcy after he had re-registered himself as a man.A farmer's daughter, Lady Forbes had worked as housekeeper to Sir Ewan Forbes when he was Dr Elizabeth Forbes-Semphill, a popular GP in Aberdeenshire.Dr Forbes-Semphill had been registered a girl at birth in 1912 as the daughter of the 18th Lord Semphill. The Forbes-Semphills are an ancient Scottish family holding a 15th century barony and a baronetcy of Nova Scotia, created in 1630.Young Betty's girlhood was marked by insecurity about her sex (although she did "come out" ...
  • Ralph Rumney -- obituary

    03/08/2002 6:52:42 PM PST · by dighton · 16 replies · 559+ views
    RALPH RUMNEY, the artist who has died aged 67, was the sole English founding member of the Situationist International, the subversive movement which helped to inspire the Paris riots of May 1968, the Sex Pistols, the K Foundation, the decor of the Hacienda Club in Manchester and Damien Hirst.The Situationist International was founded in 1957 by Guy Debord in a bar in the village of Cosio d'Arroscia, high in the Italian Alps. Rumney was there throughout the week-long meeting, supposedly representing the London Psychogeographical Committee (which did not exist). He documented the proceedings in photographs, witnessing, as he believed, the ...
  • Elizabeth Brooke Vidmer -- obituary

    03/20/2002 5:10:34 PM PST · by dighton · 6 replies · 263+ views
    ELIZABETH BROOKE VIDMER, who has died aged 88, had a colourful upbringing as the daughter of Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, the last White Rajah of Sarawak. She later married Harry Roy, the popular 1930s band leader; as "Princess Pearl" she starred with him in two musical films.Sarawak, in north-west Borneo, was one of the most exotic personal fiefdoms carved out in the age of European colonial expansion. In 1838, James Brooke (Elizabeth's great-great uncle) had spent his £30,000 inheritance on a 142 ft schooner and sailed for Borneo as a soldier of fortune. Landing at Sarawak, then a province of...
  • Eileen Farrell -- obituary

    03/24/2002 4:23:42 PM PST · by dighton · 8 replies · 211+ views
    EILEEN FARRELL, who has died aged 82, was one of the finest American sopranos of the 20th century; she had a voice of magnificent proportions which she used with both acumen and artistry in a wide variety of roles.With a build as imposing as her voice, she was in her prime in an era when a full figure precluded a very active career on the stage. Until she was 40, when she embarked on the first of five seasons at the Metropolitan in New York, she was best known as a performer in concert, on disc and on the radio.Yet...
  • Billy Wilder -- obituary

    03/29/2002 5:49:05 PM PST · by dighton · 7 replies · 208+ views
    BILLY WILDER, who has died aged 95, was one of the great directors, screenwriters and producers of the 20th century, making more than 50 films which won him half a dozen Academy Awards.Among his best pictures were Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment; among the most popular were Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch; and among the most enduringly tense and disconcertingly truthful were Double Indemnity and Ace In The Hole.Wilder was fascinated by human folly. A small, compact, be-spectacled, brown-eyed, acid-tongued, fast-talking, round-faced Viennese Jew who chain-smoked on the set and distributed his acerbic comments impartially, he...
  • Graham Mason -- obituary

    04/09/2002 7:24:33 AM PDT · by dighton · 7 replies · 286+ views
    GRAHAM MASON, the journalist who has died aged 59, was in the 1980s the drunkest man in the Coach and Horses, the pub in Soho where, in the half century after the Second World War, a tragicomedy was played out nightly by its regulars.His claim to a title in bibulous misbehaviour was staked against stiff competition from Jeffrey Bernard and a dedicated cast of less celebrated but formidable drinkers. Mason was a fearsome sight at his most drunkenly irascible. Seated at the bar, his thin shanks wrapped around the legs of a high stool, he would swivel his reptilian stare...
  • Squadron Leader Pat Wells -- obituary

    04/10/2002 6:00:46 PM PDT · by dighton · 15 replies · 209+ views
    SQUADRON LEADER PAT WELLS, who has died in South Africa aged 85, had the honour - as he came to consider it - of being shot down in flames over Kent by Adolf Galland, the German fighter ace; the two men became friends after the war.The incident occurred on November 28 1940. Wells had already been shot down and wounded once, while fighting in the Battle of Britain: on September 7 he had been attacking a Heinkel 111 bomber (which he later claimed as a "probable") when his Hurricane was set alight by fire from Me 109 fighters.Wells baled out...
  • Ken Revis -- obituary

    04/25/2002 5:42:54 PM PDT · by dighton · 10 replies · 262+ views
    KEN REVIS, who has died aged 84, lost his eyesight while defusing mines on Brighton's West Pier; but, with the help of his wife Jo, he went on to have a fulfilling career over almost 60 years.Revis became a representative of St Dunstan's charity for the blind in India, and served as a press officer for Morris Motors. He qualified as a solicitor, went beagling, learned to water-ski and flew a glider. When a programme in the television series It Happened to Me featured him in 1959, he drove an MGA sports car at 100 miles per hour on an...
  • Charles Dugan-Chapman -- obituary

    04/26/2002 6:54:00 PM PDT · by dighton · 1 replies · 956+ views
    CHARLES DUGAN-CHAPMAN, who has died aged 84, escaped from his native Poland in 1940 and flew with the RAF as a fighter and fighter-bomber pilot; after the war, starting from a garage in south-west London, he built up a plastics manufacturing business which he eventually sold for more than £30 million.He was born Ignacy Czajka, near Lvov, on January 12 1918. His father died when he was only two, and his mother when he was 14; he was then brought up by an aunt, who owned a restaurant. By the time the Germans occupied Poland and the Second World War...