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Chance meeting at Windsor Day Centre reunites RAF friends after 60 years

Chance meeting at Windsor Day Centre reunites RAF friends after 60 years

Tara O'Connor

Chance meeting at Windsor Day Centre reunites RAF friends after 60 years

An ‘emotional’ reunion was enjoyed by two former comrades who were reunited after more than 60 years following a chance meeting at a day centre in Windsor.

Ron Bannister was enlisted in the RAF when he was 18-years-old and earlier this year was shocked to spot his old friend at the King George VI Day Centre.

Despite the pair not keeping in touch, 85-year-old Ron recognised Ken Barber straight away and just to make sure, brought in an old RAF photo to show his long-lost friend.

It was Ken’s first trip to the day centre in Clarence Road.

Ken said: “I didn’t remember much about it until Ron came here and he said, ‘I know you, we used to be in the air force together’.

The two pals were in the RAF for 18 months as part of their national service in 1949 and were based at West Kirby, Merseyside.

Ron said that while serving in the RAF they each learnt a trade. His was driving - a skill that he used once he left.

He was born and bred in Windsor, where he still lives, and was a delivery driver around the area for more than 37 years.

But despite his happy memories, Ron said he was not a fan of the RAF uniforms.

“I didn’t like them stupid hats,” he joked. “When we were told to turn around quickly they kept flying off.”

After leaving the RAF, Ken, 82, became an architect and lived in Ascot for many years. He now lives in Dedworth.

But following their national service, the two former servicemen lost touch until the chance reunion.

Lucy Playle, from the day centre, said: “Ron recognised Ken straightaway, it was instant.

“Ron got quite emotional, he said how wonderful it was to see him again after all these years and he was so pleased to have found his friend.”

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