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Ian Smith, the former Prime Minister of what was Rhodesia has died. I met him very briefly in the late 70’s. He had been invited to attend the Battle of Britain service in Westminster Abbey and the pilots’ association dinner. The dinner was held at the Officers’ Mess where I lived at the time as a young WRAF officer. Some friends and I bought some spitfire prints and took them down to the ante room and got the old guys to sign them. One of the ex-pilots was Douglas Bader, famous for rejoining the RAF as a pilot at the start of the second World War despite having had both legs amputated. His story was immortalised by Kenneth Moore in ‘Reach for the Skies’. Anyway, it was a riotous evening and they were all such fun, including Ian Smith who was a bit of a curiosity. Very stupidly we presented the prints to the Mess and never thought to keep any for ourselves, as they would now fetch a tidy sum now.


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