Flying career inspired by Ipswich
INSPIRED by the sight of fighter planes roaring through the Ipswich skies, Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom went on to enjoy a glittering career in the RAF.Today, as news of his death sinks in, memories of the 82-year-old former World War Two fighter pilot are being rekindled.
INSPIRED by the sight of fighter planes roaring through the Ipswich skies, Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom went on to enjoy a glittering career in the RAF.
Today, as news of his death sinks in, memories of the 82-year-old former World War Two fighter pilot are being rekindled.
In 1937, Cardiff-born Sir Ivor moved to Ipswich as a fresh-faced 17-year-old to work in a tax office above Marks and Spencer.
During his time in Ipswich he went along to the RAF recruitment centre in Princes Street – now the Curve Bar – to enlist.
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After joining the RAF volunteer service in May 1940, Sir Ivor made a rapid rise through the ranks and ended his RAF career as controller of National Air Traffic services in 1977.
Despite spending his final days living in Hertfordshire, Sir Ivor retained close links with the Ipswich area and was vice president of the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society (MHAS) up until his death.
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Bob Dunnett, vice chairman of the society, described Sir Ivor as a great supporter of the MHAS and as a wonderful man.
He said: "He was extremely generous to the MHAS and would always support us. He was one of the dignitaries at the opening of our museum in September 2000.
"He used to love coming along and was the ultimate English gentleman."
Mr Dunnett recalled conversations he had with Sir Ivor about his time in Ipswich.
He said: "He said to me that he would stand in his office pen pushing and could see aircraft flying overhead. He said this inspired him and made him want to become a pilot and so in 1940 he joined the volunteer reserves."
Norah Hardmeier, of Clive Avenue, Ipswich, knew Sir Ivor during his time in Ipswich and remained close friends with his family right up until his death.
She said: "He was a lovely man and was very kind – he would do anything for anybody. He enjoyed coming back to Suffolk when he could."
Sir Ivor is survived by his wife, Jess, who he married in 1942 at the Burlington Road Baptist Church, Ipswich, and by two sons and a daughter.
He died on January 24.