Allan Johnstone died on 16th July 2016 after a tough old battle with cancer.
Allan and I were childhood pals in Aberdeen where we both grew up and went to school together in the late 40’s early 50’s. We were inseparable in those early days and played endlessly with our Dinky cars or the like.
Allan subsequently followed me into the RAF as a photographer, but I’m not sure which entry. Sadly though, as was frequently the way with the Air Force we never got to serve in the same place at the same time although we both served at Brampton.
I saw him last in 2011 in Canada, where he went to join his mother and his sister Stella after he left the service where he pursued a successful career in property management while working for the Real Estate Council of Ontario. I didn’t realise then that that would be the last time I’d see him and I’m sad about that of course.
I’ve enclosed a rather poor quality image of Allan taken a good few years ago, but he hadn’t changed much and I’m sure those who served with him will recognise him.
Also attached is a much repaired photo of Allan and I as eight year olds on the beach in Aberdeen.
We were typical little boys of the time and the sharp-eyed amongst the readership may spot the fact that I rarely went out unarmed and I’m carrying my trusty Chad Valley six-gun in my hand! (I’m the one on the right by the way!!) We’re standing on an old wooden cable drum that had washed up on the beach and to which we immediately claimed ownership.
The background to this picture is interesting, insofar as we had skedaddled from our homes without asking permission, and had taken two trams to get from home to Aberdeen beach. It was a long journey, so we were pretty resourceful, but then, kids tended to be in those days and we were used to travelling on Aberdeen’s tramcars.
While we were playing on the cable drum, a couple visiting Aberdeen must have identified us as being unaccompanied and took our photograph. Allan in his naivete gave the couple his name and address and few weeks later the photo arrived at Allan’s home and the proverbial promptly hit the fan. Needless to say we both copped a pretty severe bollocking!
Just for interest, I attach the original photo so you can see the degree of damage I had to deal with to repair the childhood photo. Needless to say that photo is very precious to me now!
By kind permission of the RAF Photographers Association magazine Flashback