RAF invites Banbury area well-wishers to send a cards to make wartime veteran's 100th birthday extra special

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The RAF has invited Banbury well-wishers to send a cards to make a 100-year-old Bomber Command veteran’s birthday extra special.

Richard ‘Dick’ Skepper, who was born on 30 June, 1924 in Kent, moved with his wife Irene to a Kineton nursing home to be closer to his son.

Mr Skepper’s wife died in 2018 and he has continued to live in the home. His sisters and brothers have also passed away.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now the RAF Association (RAFA) is inviting people living in the Banbury area to send cards to the wartime veteran to help make his centenary a day to remember.

Dick Skepper, who was with Bomber Command in the Second World War, reaches his 100th birthday at the end of JuneDick Skepper, who was with Bomber Command in the Second World War, reaches his 100th birthday at the end of June
Dick Skepper, who was with Bomber Command in the Second World War, reaches his 100th birthday at the end of June

"Dick’s family are happy for us to share his address, in the hope that some birthday cards might make their way to him on this special occasion,” said Caroline Jacobi of the RAFA.

When the Second World War began, Dick initially wanted to be a tank driver but his mother persuaded him to join the RAF, which he did aged 18.

He completed his recruit training in October 1942 and was posted to 99 Maintenance Unit (99MU) based at RAF High Ercall in Shropshire. From there he was posted to No 4 School of Technical Training RAFT in Wales and qualified as a Flight Mechanic Engines (FM1) in February 1943.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He was posted to 7 Squadron under Bomber Command at RAF Oakington in Cambridgeshire in March 1943. He was given the rank of Aircraftsman 1st class (AC1) in December 1943 and was promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC) in December 1944.

Dick Skepper, in RAF uniform during the Second World WarDick Skepper, in RAF uniform during the Second World War
Dick Skepper, in RAF uniform during the Second World War

Dick flew first on Sterlings and later Lancasters. To this day the Lancaster remains his favourite aircraft.

Dick served alongside his brothers Alec and Geoffrey, who were also in Bomber Command. All three brothers survived the war and returned home to their family and were reunited with their two sisters. Unfortunately, all Dick’s siblings have now passed away.

After the war, Mr Skepper spent most of his working life working on engines and other mechanical parts. After a short spell at Vauxhall Motors, he joined the Rootes Group in 1948, which later became Chrysler. When the car and truck businesses separated, he worked for Dodge Trucks, which later became Renault Trucks. He retired in 1988 having completed 40 years’ service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dick married Irene in June 1945 and settled in Luton where they had their son, David. The couple enjoyed ballroom dancing, family holidays to Europe and had a wide circle of friends. They become grandparents to David’s two children in their 60s.

Dick and Irene Skepper spent their last year together living in Kineton Manor Nursing Home so they could be closer to David, his wife Lorraine and their children. Irene passed away in August 2018.

“Dick will be 100-years-old on June 30 and we would like to get as many people as possible to send him a birthday card to mark this very special occasion,” said Ms Jacobi.

The address to send your card to is Mr Dick Skepper, Kineton Manor Nursing Home, Manor Lane, Kineton, Warks, CV35 0JT.

Related topics: