Top RAF honour for Arthur

Royal Air Force veteran Arthur Mills MBE was accompanied by Ann Hepworth during the visit to RAF Cranwell.
Royal Air Force veteran Arthur Mills MBE was accompanied by Ann Hepworth during the visit to RAF Cranwell.

A Royal Air Force veteran from Market Weighton had a day to remember when he visited RAF Cranwell.

Arthur Mills MBE was honoured at the base by being asked to sign the wall of honour at 57 Squadron.

This is an honour normally reserved for the highest ranked officers and dignitaries.

Mr Mills was invited to sign the wall as a mark of respect for his service to the RAF.

He served in the Second World War, completing 31 
operational flights, being shot at and having to make life-saving decisions under extreme pressure.

The signing of the wall was witnessed by Imelda Duncan, a welfare manager from the Ministry of Defence.

Mrs Duncan said: “The whole event was very moving and it is right and fitting that we honour our WW2 Veterans. I am proud to have been part of such a tribute to a wonderful gentleman.”

Mr Mills’ party was also given a tour of RAF Cranwell’s sporting hall of fame and an oral history of the college.

A spokesman said: “It was impressive when we found no less than three sporting pictures of Arthur with his winning teams for rugby, cricket and gymnastics.

“The day was a wonderful experience for him.

“RAF Cranwell were very grateful for the opportunity to host and thank Arthur for his distinguished service to the RAF.”

Mr Mills played cricket for the RAF at Lords.

He is one of only a few people who have ever played cricket on the grassed area in front of the college.

Mr Mills has been invited as a VIP to return to RAF 
Cranwell to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the college.

He said was delighted with the invite and has agreed to attend the event.

Mr Mills said: “I will remember this day until my dying day. Thank you.”

Ann Hepworth, who is Mr Mills’ friend, accompanied him to RAF Cranwell on the day.

She said she had never seen Arthur so proud and emotional.

She said: “It has been the icing on the cake for him.

“He thought he would never return to RAF Cranwell and although he talked often about the base and reminisced about sporting and military events it was just in the past.

“It was not until Mrs Duncan asked if he would like to return to RAF Cranwell that these thoughts became reality.

“Mrs Duncan went out of her way to make it happen.

“The day was a wonderful tribute to Arthur and he has fabulous photographs as mementos of the visit.”