Flt Sgt Peter Brown

Wednesday 29th March 2023

The RAF Benevolent Fund is sad to learn of the passing of World War 2 RAF veteran Flt Sgt Peter Brown, who died alone in his flat in Westminster on 17 December 22. After a huge campaign made by officials at Westminster City Council, the undertaker, various RAF organisations and charities, Black History enthusiasts and the media encouraging people to attend his funeral, originally due to take place on Wednesday 29 March, Mr Brown’s send-off is now being moved due to organisers being inundated with requests to attend the service. The venue and date is to be confirmed, but it will allow the council to work with well-wishers, community groups and the military to give Mr Brown the send-off he deserves.

Jamaica, which provided a remarkable 3,720 RAF recruits overall during WW2 and was the largest Caribbean contingent, is the birthplace of Peter Brown, who served as a Flight Sergeant Wireless Operator on Lancaster bombers. After basic training, first in Kingston and then Canada, he was one of 22,000 troops who sailed in the liner Queen Elizabeth from Nova Scotia to Gourock on the Clyde.

Mr Brown flew five operations in Lancasters in early 1945, and after the war stayed on in the RAF for several years, serving in Palestine, Egypt, Tripoli and Malta until his final demob in 1950.

Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Chief Executive at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said of his death: “We, at the RAF Benevolent Fund, are sad to learn of the passing of RAF veteran Flt Sgt Peter Brown. Flt Sgt, like many other who served in Bomber Command, their service was exceptional and selfless. His commitment to the Royal Air Force and the nation will be remembered long in to the future.”

Mr Brown never received support from the Fund but, like many veterans, may have benefited from it.

Social isolation, relationship difficulties and psychological issues are affecting significant numbers of the RAF veteran community of all ages, including an estimated 100,000 elderly members suffering loneliness and bereavement.1

Statistics from the RAF Benevolent Fund show2:

  • 45% increase in social inclusion grants between 2021 and 2022
  • 13% increase in friendship and connection enquiries
  • 23% increase in Telephone Friendship Groups during Covid
  • The number of Community Engagement Workers cases have doubled

These statistics highlight the issue of loneliness and isolation amongst RAF veterans – if you, or someone you know, may have fallen off the radar, the Fund is here to help, whether that be via our Telephone Friendship Groups, Community Engagement Workers, Group Break, as well as other services. We want to ensure every RAF veteran, no matter how long they served, receives the support their service to their country deserves.

For more information on the support we can provide click here or speak with our Welfare team on 0300 102 1919.

1. RAF Benevolent Fund 2015 report
2. RAF Benevolent Fund data

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