Moving event at RAF memorial museum as late air commodore’s artefacts are unveiled

- Local People

DAVIDSTOW Moor RAF Memorial Museum hosted a very special unveiling of Air Commodore Pamela Joy Tamblin’s artefacts, kindly donated by her family, writes Helen Pusey.

To honour this, Mr Keast, curator of the museum, arranged an afternoon on the hot Monday, May 30, which incorporated introductions, a parade assemble with Bodmin Air Corps and guest of honour, Air Marshall Sir Graham Anthony ‘Dusty’ Miller, who said: “Today has raised the profile of RAFA, and encouraged not only serving members of the RAF, but veterans too.”

A RAFA dedication was also made by Gerry O’Connor, president of the Bodmin Branch, before the unveiling took place in the museum.

The display tells the story of a young lady that starts her career in the ATS at Bletchley Park, working on code breaking from 1943 until 1945. Following the war, she was discharged at the rank of Corporal, and went on to study at Durham University, gaining a secondary honours degree in Geography and Economics.

She joined the RAF in 1951, and began officer training for 12 weeks. Following this, she managed an education centre and was then transferred to the administrative branch in 1955, completing an Advanced Officers training course in personnel and general management.

Later, she developed skills as an interviewer, projectionist, public speaker and learned how to manage accounts. With all of these impressive transferable skills, it is not surprising that she rose from Flying Officer to Air Commodore, and had many responsibilities, still being rare for a woman to gain even today.

In Joy’s curriculum vitae, she said: “My entire service career has been characterised by assessing factors, making decisions, then planning, organising and controlling the implementation of those decisions.

“This has been so at ever increasing levels of responsibilities and the widening of areas of responsibility from junior officer to air commodore.”

She was awarded a CB— Companion of the Order of the Bath, and finally retired in 1980, still encouraging new recruits.

Having unveiled this remarkable story, the day did not finish for Sir Graham, as he was introduced to Jim Blake, who has reached the age of 100-years-old.

Mr Blake said: “I was a Beaufighter, Navigator, Coastal Command; I flew a couple of trips from Davidstow, but also from Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, Egypt, Libya and then Burma for a 12-month stint.

“I was in 252, 257, 27 and 502 squadrons. I was the first man to use radar in action in 1940 in a Whitley to protect the Empress of Britain, which was under attack by German subs.”

Sir Graham later met another RAFA member, Mr Clifford Clarke, aged 92, who had only just given up flying two years previously, as he was finding it more difficult to get in and out of the planes. He too had been in Coastal Command as a pilot. They spoke of their roles during the Second World War.

Mr Clarke said: “It has been a very interesting day. I have found out more today about Joy than when I attended her funeral last year.”

Joy Tamblin passed away in 2015, but thanks to her friend Jim Brandon, he knew just the place for her memorabilia to be appreciated and viewed by the public permanently.

The new display includes her uniform as well as photographs of her long, successful RAF career.

Mr Keast added: “It has gone brilliantly and the weather is fantastic.”

Members, family and friends of RAFA went on to enjoy a Cornish cream tea and cakes in the marquee, which was on the front lawn of the museum.

To learn more about Pamela Joy Tamblin’s career, visit Davidstow Moor RAF memorial museum, which is open daily from 10.30am until 4pm.

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Honor Hill · 186 days ago · Report

I am a second cousin of Joy’s, born and raised in Newcastle, as was she, and presently living in Dallas. Joy and I kept in touch through the years, Christmas letters and phone calls mostly, so I was touched to see that her friend had seen to it that her memorabilia have found a permanent place where they can contribute to the knowledge of our times. Thank you for doing this and being her friend. No doubt you knew Doulas too. Feel free to be in touch if you wish.

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