Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Remember World War II vets

Published:Monday | August 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM
President of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Major General (Ret’d) Robert Neish (left) greets World War II veteran James Ferguson. The occasion was the RAFA’s 70th Anniversary Exhibition and awards function, held recently at Curphey Place. Looking on is Ferguson’s wife, Marlene.

President of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Major General (Ret'd) Robert Neish has called for Jamaicans to remember and appreciate the contribution of the World War II veterans to nation building.

He noted that more than 5,000 Jamaicans went to England and participated in the war effort, and those who returned used the training they received in Britain to make a "positive contribution to Jamaica".

He said the veterans have made their mark in areas such as law, engineering, athletics, medicine, politics, and the building of industry, among others.

Neish was speaking at the RAFA's 70th Anniversary Exhibition and awards function held recently at Curphey Place in Kingston. The event showcased the involvement of Jamaicans in World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945. Special presentations were made to Major General Neish and supporters of the RAFA. The event was used to launch the book Adventures of James Ferguson, which chronicles the life of the veteran of the war.


Ferguson, who entered the British Army at age 14, said the book documents what he and other West Indian nationals went through during the war years in England.

He said readers of the book would learn about "the hurts that one man can have; the caring that one man can give; family life, love life - all that matters in a man's life". He said that having experienced war, he was saddened by events taking place in Syria and other parts of the world.

"War disgusts me; it makes me want to cry. I don't like it; wars should be stopped. It is the worst thing that could happen to the human race, and the quicker it stops is the better for all of us," he said.

RAFA Jamaica (580 Branch) was established in 1946 and is a division of the United Kingdom-based charitable organisation that was set up in 1943.

RAFA Jamaica provides care and welfare support to serving and retired members of the Royal Air Forces as well as retired members of the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing.