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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010
A tribute to a WWII flying great

Memorial service for WWII pilot

Air Commodore Charles Widdows died on 10 January 2010 following a distinguished career in the RAF.

He joined the service in 1926 and was involved with test flights on the Hurricanes and Spitfires used in WWII.

Air Vice Marshal Sir Peter Le Cheminant said this was "how his contemporaries would most remember him".

Air Cmdr Widdows lived in Guernsey from 1967 and Sir Peter described him as "an extremely agreeable, benevolent, charming, retired officer".

Air Commodore Charles Widdows
Air Commodore Widdows was a celebrated test pilot

Following his time as a test pilot the Air Commodore commanded No 29 Squadron during the Battle of Britain where he flew Blemheim's and later, Beaufighters.

At the time of his death he was the oldest surviving pilot of the battle.

Following the war he was stationed in Germany before his last appointment as director of air defence operations at the air ministry.

In 1958 he retired from the RAF and later moved to Guernsey where he was involved with the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Guernsey Scouts Association as well as being a States deputy between 1973 and 1979.

BBC Guernsey's Eddie Parks knew Air Cmdr Widdows through their work for the Scouts and said: "He was one of nature's gentlemen."

A memorial service was held at St Andrews Church on Friday, 19 February 2010.

The service was attended by Guernsey's Lieutenant Governor Sir Fabian Malbon, who officially represented the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Bailiff Geoffrey Rowland.

As people arrived at the church the Guernsey Scout Band played and the service ended with a flypast by a 29 Squadron Typhoon, marking the Air Commodore's connection to the squadron.


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