MAJOR (RETIRED) BERNARD STRANGE. MBE
Bernard Strange was not just an ex troop commander. He was much more that, he was a friend and a good pal. Sadly Major Bernard Frank Strange died suddenly on September 19th, following a fall at home from which he did not recover consciousness. His funeral at the Baptist Church, Street, on October 5th was well attended, the church being filled almost to capacity. John Horne paraded the AFSA
Standard and the coffin was draped with one of the Corp’s newly acquired coffin drapes. Joyce Horne, John & Nina Hill, Brian & Nicola Tewkesbury and Pat & Maureen Soward also represented the Association.
Bernard joined The Army Apprentice School, Harrogate in 1948 at the age of 16 and trained as a Radio Mechanic. He met Pearl whilst at Harrogate and they were married at an age when they did not qualify for married quarters. That gave rise to some unusual accommodations! After service in North Africa and Northern Ireland Bernard was commissioned and posted to Hong Kong. In January 1965 he moved to RAF Tangmere to command 638 (Air Formation) Signal Troop, a new task with a unique troop!
638 Signal Troop disbanded on 31 Dec 1968 and re-mustered the following day as ‘C Troop, 244 Signal Squadron.On May 12th, 2007, a tree was planted at the National Memorial Arboretum by Major (Retd.Bernard Strange and Maj Ian Blower, OC 244 Sig Sqn, in memory of all who had served in these units.
From one Air Formation unit to another. On promotion to Captain he was posted to 19th Signal Regiment in Singapore to command Seletar Troop. His last posting was to Headquarters 4 Signal Group in Germany where he became project officer responsible for rolling out the B
FG TV project: the provision of British broadcast television to the UK military bases in NW Europe. For this work he was awarded the MBE.
On retirement in 1984 he settled in the Somerset village of Compton Dundon where he became sub-postmaster. He was ‘spotted’ in 2004, joined both the 19 Signal Regiment Association and the Air Formation Signals Association and,in the same year, moved into the nearby town of Street. In February 2006 he assumed the post of Association Treasurer from our founder member, chairman and treasurer, George Brew, a post that he held until his death.
Bernard was not only a well liked member of 19 SRA, those of us who served with him loved him. There was always a wonderful, and exciting get together with Bernard at every reunion and those who served with him at Seletar (where I was his Foreman of Signals)
plus Brian Tewkesbury and Trevor Broadley will miss him terribly. It was at Seletar that he founded the Sunshine Club ..an all ranks club where the whole troop could get together and enjoy a convivial evening.
In addition, for the Association, Bernard was a diligent committee member and treasurer. He noted the dramatic drop in income from our interest bearing account and, in the face of unbelievable banking bureaucracy,
eventually managed to place some of that money into a bond earning far greater interest.
He leaves his widow, Pearl and two sons, Mark and Richard to all of whom we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
God Bless Bernard.
We will remember you !