'A remarkable man': Family pays tribute to RAF veteran, 100
- Credit: Ken Mears
The family of an RAF veteran from Hornchurch has paid tribute to him after his death aged 100.
Ron Miller, who served as a photographer during the Second World War, reached his century on the 75th anniversary of VE Day last May.
He was taken into Queen's Hospital last month after a fall and, following admission, tested positive for Covid-19 before his death.
Daughter Barbara Campbell described her dad, who lived at Goldsmere Court, as "a character".
She said: "He led a very full and active life and was very well known in Hornchurch.
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"He would hold court in his favourite cafe Nes’ Cafe regaling his stories about the war, where he had worked as well as the many interests he had involved himself in.
"His favourite quote when you asked him if he was alright was always 'no I’m half left'."
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Ron volunteered for the RAF after a doctor signed him off from work at the Murex metal plant in Rainham after he developed 18 boils on his right arm.
He spent time serving at RAF bases across the UK and was assigned to 16 Squadron, with whom he was sent to an airbase outside Brussels, Belgium towards the end of the Second World War.
Among his duties included testing 36 inch-long cameras attached to Spitfire planes.
After the war, he worked for an oil firm as an archivist.
Granddaughter Leanne Cole called him a "remarkable man".
"There are so many treasured memories that all his family and friends will keep and our lives without doubt have been influenced by this great man."
She said he received 125 cards for his 100th birthday, adding that the Hornchurch community helped to keep him going in his later years.
"He had a kind of celebrity status. You had to watch out if you were walking about town if Ron was out as the speedometer on his scooter would always read full throttle."
Ron, who had three children as well as multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren, also enjoyed an annual holiday to Portugal in normal times.
Leanne said he found life difficult during Covid lockdowns.
"He missed his trips out to town, attending church and seeing his family and friends.
"He wasn’t able to celebrate his 100th birthday or go on his holiday."
His funeral is on Friday, March 26 and the procession will leave Holy Cross Church at 2.50pm, travelling through Hornchurch to Upminster Crematorium.
Barbara said anyone wishing to pay their respects can line the streets in a socially-distanced manner.