As the former Branch President and Regional Chairman of the RNZAFA in this part of eNZed I gave the Memorial Tributes for the RSA ( like the Royal British Legion) for any ex NZ Service men in the area.
Frank came to NZ some time after the war became a fisher man built his own fishing boat, no doubt his Handley Page apprenticeship gave him the skills, he was also an excellent wood carver some of his work is in the Invercargill City Museum.
What makes his story un forgtable for me is that when he took his last flight I under took to look up details of his life for the Tribute and found he had been given the Freedom of the City of Coventry... and here is the rub...When I wrote to the Lord(?) Mayor of Coventry for details of the award I passed on to some other Interdept who said they would seek the file information.
I never heard back to my further requests,from them!! So for some one who had been given the Freodom of the City which I would hope was for his service to the country I think this deplorable.
As Frank had no relatives here in New Zealand his Memmeorial was done through his solicitor on behalf of Two nieces over in England and for him to be cremated.
This is the part that hits me the most.. The Cremation Ceromony... and the number of attendees.
All six of us... Officiate, Solicitor, Memorial Director, Bugler, "Poppy Lady"( my late Sweetheart) and me. After the Officate had read the dedication I gave the tribute of the Last Post
and Revellie with the Bugler and placed the Poppy
on the casket as did every one else. And the casket then slid away for Franks final resting...
A picture file of the building of Whitley's was sent to his Nieces to see what their uncle had learned to build before becoming the controller of one.
Such a happening on the part of Coventry for not complying to the request is disgusting... But Frank Will be Remembered... Placed in the records of the Southland Branch RNZAFA and placed in the Invercargill City Library Archives for to be read in the years ahead.
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