Harry Cottrell

A member of No. 8 Entry SOP at Farnborough the last pre-war entry, Harry’s service career took him to many parts of the world including Canada, after the war, he spent much time in South Africa. Post war. He was employed in a civilian capacity with a mining company as photographer on their geological survey project in what was then Rhodesia. He subsequently jointed the Stamford Mercury newspaper where he was chief photographer for 24 years before retiring in 1983.

Harry had a range of hobbies and interests. A main one being his work in his local Freemasonry lodge where he attained high office. Another interest was bee-keeping where he was acknowledged as something of an authority, and gave talks to schools and various organisations.

He would sort out desirable locations for his swarms, such as the Bolton Abbey estate and transport them up in his trailer. He and Joan had quite a thriving little cottage industry in converting the golden nectar into honey and bottling it. We used to joke that his sales at reunions was his main source of income.

He was a keen and accomplished gardener, winning many trophies for his vegetable and flower exhibits. He and Joan had a sumptuous summer house on the nearby Burghley House Estate where they tended their large allotment. They would sometimes sleep in it over the weekend and regarded it almost as a holiday.

By kind permission of the RAF Photographers Association magazine ‘Flashback’


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