Sydney Hope

551712 Sydney Hope 1921 – 2005

Syd had been ill for some time and passed away on Wednesday evening the 4th May 2005 in hospital.

He was in the 4th entry Boy Entrants so he went back a long way and I am sure he will be sadly missed.

He is survived by his wife Barbara in Hampshire and we wish her well for the future.

Our thoughts and prayers will be with her I am sure.

Syd was known to many who knew him as the cousin of Bob Hope the actor but Syd was a unique person in his own fight, with a personality, style and humour that was every bit as good as his famous cousin.

Syd was born in Birkenhead in 1921 being one of six children. He always had a fantasy that he would one day join the RAF and so at the tender age of 16 he did just that at Aldershot. He was in the 7th entry.

He went to many places as part of his service career including Germany, Cyprus and Malta.

His activities had earned him numerous decorations including the Africa Star, the Africa Clasp, the Italy Star, Defence Medal and War Medal to name but a few. He was however a very modest man and there was only an odd occasion when he would relate any tales of his exploits. One such was when he was lying on his belly in the cold fuselage of an aircraft in mid winter, with 5Olbs of camera strapped to him. The resultant photos were processed immediately on returning to base and then of course passed to the Intelligence Section.

One long standing friend said of him once “If it were not for people like Syd, this country would not be free today”.

At the age of 36 he embarked on a second string to his life by meeting and marrying Barbara, who was 21 at the time.

Retiring from the RAF at age 55 and reaching the rank of Warrant Officer he did not stop there. He joined Hunting Photographics as a photo technician where he stayed until full retirement.

We wish his wife good fortune for the future and I am sure she knows who to call if ever she needs help.

Just some of Syd’s postings:

West Drayton, Cranwell, Farnborough, Andover, Gosport, Honeyboume, 500 Squadron, Little Rissington, Driffield, Wellesbourne Mountford, Cosford, Colerne, Deversoir, Eastleigh, Ismailia, JARlC(ME), Leconfield, Stanmore, 2ATAF Germany, Jever, No.7 MFP S, Gutersloh, Brampton, Episkopi.

A big thank you to Barbara Hope for supplying the infivmation.

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

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