Family gathers to mark former RAF man's 90th birthday

Denzel Peachey, front, centre, surrounded by his family at the party on Saturday

Denzel Peachey, front, centre, surrounded by his family at the party on Saturday

First published in News by , Witney Reporter

A FORMER Second World War serviceman celebrated his 90th birthday last week.

Former Flt Sgt Denzel Peachey, who lives at Witney’s Madley Park House care home, reached the landmark on Thursday.

On Saturday, 15 members of his family, including three great-grandchildren, gathered for a party at the home.

Born and brought up in Brize Norton, he was an RAF aircraft engineer who finished the war in Malaya – now part of Malaysia – before he was demobbed in 1945.

The former Brize Norton Primary School pupil worked as a builder after leaving school aged 14 and joined the RAF in his teens.

He met his wife Margaret McLachlan, known as Molly, shortly after the war while she was training to be a nurse at Hemel Hempstead Hospital.

They married in 1950 in Portsmouth and lived in Fareham, Hampshire, in the 1950s while Mr Peachey worked at Vickers Engineering in Southampton.

The couple had two children, Nigel, now 63, and Mike, now 61, and moved to Apley Way, Witney, in 1959.

His wife died of cancer in 1993, aged 67, and he continued living at their home until he had a stroke in 2006.

Mike said: “He’s a very proud man and was mad keen on the RAF.

“He always used to go to air shows and keep up to date with different aircraft.

“It’s a massive achievement to get to 90.

“He was really upset when my mum died and he has been on his own for a long time, which is a real shame, because he had just got to the age where he had more free time to do things.”

Mr Peachey later worked at Smiths Industries in Witney as a progress chaser.

He played football and cricket for Smiths in the 1960s and 1970s, later taking up badminton, which he played until he was 81.

His sister Barbara Flitchett died in the 1980s and his brother Ralph died last year.

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