Mr John Edward Ettridge, of St Edmunds Nursing Home, Grantham, has died there. He was 82.
Mr Ettridge was born in Biggin Hill, Kent in 1932. He was the son of the late Albert and Nellie Ettridge and the middle child of three. He had two sisters, Doreen Winn and Irene Banks.
He grew up in Tottenham, where he attended the Bruce Grove Infants School and then Rowland Hill Secondary Modern.
Mr Ettridge left school at 15 and became a telegram boy for South Tottenham Post Office. At the same time he joined the Air Training Corps (ATC).
As a telegram boy he served at the Islington Post Office and in 1949 he passed his motorcycle test and transferred to Finsbury Park delivering telegrams as far as Stoke Newington and Stanford Hill. At 18 he became a postman at Wood Green sorting office and not long after this he received his National Service call-up papers. He was accepted into the Royal Air Force.
Mr Ettridge wanted to be a policeman but this was not an option for National Service, so he joined as a ‘regular’ in the RAF, signing for an initial four years. He actually served his country for 26 years, leaving in 1977.
His service life started at Ilford recruiting office, going to Cardington, where he was issued with uniform and number. He then did his initial training at West Kirby, where he was assigned to C Squadron, passing out as ‘best recruit’ after two months. In 1951 he went to Pershore Police School and after training he passed out as AC1.
His first posting as a policeman was RAF Halton, where he stayed until 1956. While there he met the love of his life, Jean. They were married on July 25 1954 at Holy Trinity Church, Tottenham. They celebrated 60 years of marriage in July 2014, receiving a card from the Queen, which they were very proud of.
Their first child, Jane, was born in June 1955 in Glasgow, but unfortunately died in Great Ormond Street Hospital in infancy.
In 1956 Mr Ettridge was posted to Cyprus. His wife followed him and their second child, Penny was born in November 1957. The family returned to England in 1959 and he was posted to RAF Spitalgate, Grantham. Their third child, Ian was born in October of that year. In 1962 he was posted overseas to RAF Tengah in Singapore and the family followed, as they did throughout his service life. On returning to England in 1965 the family moved to RAF Debden in Essex. While there he served a three-month detached duty in Aden. Further postings followed at RAF Bruggen and RAF Rheindahlen, both in Germany, before a return to RAF Spitalgate in 1969 and then returning to the previous two German bases. His final posting was to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in 1974, where he remained until leaving the RAF.
He then worked for Lincs RoadCar as a bus driver.
Mr Ettridge was a member of the RAF Police Association and one of the founding members of the RAF Police Association East Midlands branch.
He and his wife settled in Grantham, moving into a newly-built house on Stathern Walk. They lived there until 2013, when his health and mobility made it impossible to remain in the house. They moved into a bungalow until his wife’s unexpected death in September 2014. With failing health and mobility problems Mr Ettridge moved into St Edmunds Nursing Home.
He had many interests including the Post Office, RAF, buses and trains.
The funeral service was held at Grantham Crematorium Chapel, conducted by Robert Holland.
Family mourners included: Penny Spencer, Ian Ettridge and Tracey Hemmings, Irene and Alan Banks, Adrian Martin, Darren Martin, Wendy and Megan Green, Mary and Anthony Wilkinson, Ian Sparks and Pat Conway, Gail and Barry Holliday, Eric and Marie Spencer, Kaitlyn Spencer, Ryan Spencer and Sue Chipperfield.
Other mourners included: Sue Smith, Valerie Lamb, Bernard Lamb, Maureen Clarke, Barrie Clarke, David and Joyce Lane, Derek and Lyn Bilzon, George and Jackie Lee, Ann Bennett, Brian and Mavis Austin, David Marr, Trevor and June Evans, Rob and Chris Miller, David Greer, Muriel Hides, Lou Baldwin, Michelle Watson, Kim Banks, Mark Cutler, Mrs Greer, Mr and Mrs Watson, Mr Shipton, Miss Clarke, Mrs S. Hides, Zoe Constable, Brian Morrison, Barbara Morrison, David Jones, John and Mary Curtis, Gp Capt Don Hiller (RAF Association), Susan Pearce, John Park, Valerie and Bernard Lamb, Patricia and Mick Hall, Barry and Maureen Clarke, Mrs Hughes, and Mrs Foster.
Funeral arrangements were by Robert Holland, St Catherine’s Road, Grantham. Donations for St Barnabas ‘Hospice in a Hospital’ and Great Ormond Street Hospital amount to £184.50 to date.