“Tradition does not die in the ashes but is carried forward in the flames”

Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation

 Patron:  HRH  The  Duke  of  Gloucester

MEMORIAL STONES


PAUL HUDSON



In Loving Memory of 2540637 SAC HUDSON PT

609 (West Riding) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force

November 1951 – November 1953


Paul Trevor Hudson 11 September 1930 – 13 May 2011


Paul Hudson was a National Service armourer with 609 Squadron at Church Fenton, near York.  A Yorkshireman born and bred, it was a lucky posting as it meant that he was both near home, and near his family’s boat, which was moored on the Ouse at Naburn near York – photographs show at least one occasion when members of the Squadron went for an afternoon’s cruising on the river.


Paul Hudson was born in Batley, West Yorkshire on 11th September 1930.  He had an older brother, John, and later a sister, Pamela.  He was educated at Batley Grammar School and went on to be articled to a firm of auctioneers in Dewsbury.  In his spare time he joined his father, the Commodore of York Motor Boat Club, in many happy hours of ‘messing about on the river’ and further afield to the Yorkshire coast.


He was called up to do his National Service on 27th November 1951.  Having been taken up in a biplane at the age of six, his passion alongside boats was aeroplanes, and it was an ambition of his to learn to fly, so naturally he chose the RAF.  He used to joke later that it had to be the RAF because the Navy had stopped accepting National Servicemen by the time he was called up!


Sadly, flying was not to be, because, having passed all his pilot exams with ‘flying colours’ he then failed the last hurdle, the eyesight test.  His disappointment showed: when handed the list of alternative trades, he then picked Motor Boat Crew but was refused that also, and so he picked the first trade at the top of the list: Armourer.  At that point, fate in the shape of a sympathetic Sergeant at Padgate (the RAF training depot in Lancashire), shined on him, and posted him to Church Fenton, back on home territory.  In spite of the inauspicious start, he was very happy at Church Fenton, and he loved working on the Gloster Meteor F8 planes, and when his two years’ service was over, he was offered a permanent Commission. Yet, still not being able to fly was the deciding factor in him making up his mind to leave and join his father in the family firm, Weyrite Scales (The Dial Automatic Scale Company).  He remained in the firm until he retired as Managing Director at the age of 62.


In retirement he had time for another passion: writing.  He had four novels published, the first three a trilogy drawing on his childhood and his service with 609 Squadron.  He also wrote many humorous poems, notably the poem which was read out in the Officers’ Mess, RAF Leeming (North Yorkshire), after the Parade in 2000 to mark the occasion of the Squadron being re-formed on 1 October 1999.  Here it is:



609 (WEST RIDING) SQUADRON ROYAL AUXILIARY AIR FORCE

1936 – 1956 (plus a little bit more)


609 is a great among squadrons,

Of that there’s no shadow of doubt,

Twenty years we served Monarch and country,

Till politicians then snuffed us out.


Our pilots were the ones making history,

As the Battle of Britain was fought,

Their victories were great, and spectacular,

But at such dreadful cost they were bought.


Came the day when fighting was over,

And 609 had a new battle to win,

Those who govern decided that our Squadron

Was one they could now safely bin.


The tenacity shown in our dog fights,

When fighting the Luftwaffe’s might,

Was now needed to persuade a dim Government

That 609’s own survival was our right.


So the Whitehall warriors relented,

And in Britain’s defence, we’d a hand,

But they didn’t like how much it was costing,

So in fifty-six, they made us disband.


But there’s life after death for our Squadron,

As a new millennium opens its door,

Like the Phoenix, we’ve risen from the ashes,

To serve Queen and Country, once more.


For some forty years we have waited

For a chance to put up a good show,

NOW let’s show them just what we are made of -

TALLY HO! ........609.......TALLY HO!


If anyone asked, Paul always said that he was ‘Only an Erk’ (the slang term for a National Serviceman in the RAF), and he would have been incredibly touched that the Squadron flag was on his coffin at his funeral in 2011, and the Squadron was represented by the OC, Squadron Leader Jeff Metcalfe. He kept up the connection through the Squadron Association throughout his life.



Paul married Yvonne, née Sewell, in 1957 and they had a daughter, Adele Louise, who has written this short appreciation of her wonderful Dad, remembering always his humour and sense of fun, his loyalty and his honesty, and never forgetting the stories he told her of his time in 609 Squadron.  

Paul’s last wish was that an oil painting of a Meteor, which he commissioned from John Rayson, and which always used to hang above his desk in his study as he wrote, was to be presented to 609 Squadron after his funeral.  It is of Arthur Hudson’s Meteor F8 (CO 1950 – 53) (no relation to Paul) and it was painted in 1993.  It now hangs in the Crew Room at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.  Not bad for Only an Erk.

Adele L Hudson

April 2014

Paul Hudson in uniform, 1951 – 1953

609 Squadron at Church Fenton, winter 1952/3: Paul is on the back row, fourth from right


Another passion – motorbikes - 1950

Paul Hudson in later life