Bill Ferguson, Tenterden Rotary Club
Tenterden Rotary Club Speaker 12 November 2015, Keith Quilter: How does it feel to stand by the grave of your best friend who was killed in action at the age of 22 in Japan and here you are almost 70 years later, in your 90's? That was the lasting thought in my mind after tonight's presentation. Keith Quilter blended personal stories and reflective analysis of the events of 1945 when the "forgotten" British Fleet engaged Japan alongside the allied American Navy in the final months of WW2. Keith flew combat aircraft and vividly recalled his experiences to an audience who could only imagine the events he described.
Fittingly, on the day after Armistice, Keith recited once more the opening verse of the British Legion remembrance poem: "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.
Will Iredale, Keith's son in law has written a book about the Fleet Air Arm and its little known contribution to the war in the Pacific. It wasn't just the Americans...You can find the book (The Kamikaze Hunters) here http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Kamikaze-Hunters-Fighting-Pacific/dp/0230768199
Photo: Keith Quilter, Jo Britton (Travelux), Will Iredale (journalist and author)