Shropshire

Dambusters engineer: RAF appeal for funeral crowd for couple

Victor and Edna Barnett Image copyright C/o RAF Cosford
Image caption Victor and Edna Barnett died within 10 days of each other, after 68 years of marriage

The RAF is appealing for people to attend the funeral of a Dambusters engineer and his wife, who died within 10 days of each other.

Victor and Edna Barnett, from Telford, Shropshire, met in the air force, and were married for 68 years, but had no children and have no living relatives.

He was initially a radar engineer, while she worked in air traffic control with the Women's Auxiliary Air Force.

Their funeral will be held at Telford Crematorium on Tuesday.

Mr Barnett, known as VJ, was 101 and died on 21 December, while 91-year-old Mrs Barnett died on New Years Eve.

Image copyright C/o RAF Cosford
Image caption Mr Barnett worked as an engineer with the Dambusters squadron

Sqn Ldr Chris Wilson from Shropshire's RAF Cosford said Mr Barnett joined the air force in 1937, and worked on Chain Home, the first line of radar which would have notified of approaching enemy air craft during the Battle of Britain.

He was then seconded to the 617, as part of the engineering team preparing Lancaster bombers for the mission, and befriended 'bouncing bomb' inventor Barnes Wallis, Mr Wilson added.

He said Mrs Barnett served between 1944 and 1950.

Mr Wilson added they first met in 1944 before the war separated them, meeting again in 1949 and marrying a year later, but had no children.

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RAF Cosford is planning to send servicemen and women to bear their coffins, after being notified of their death by a friend of the couple.

Mr Wilson said: "The fact he was in the air force was enough for us, the fact he has done something extra special makes it all the more relevant.

"The person who contacted us said they were utterly devoted to one another so it is unsurprising that she died so soon after her husband."

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