Our long-serving Trustee colleague, Charles McKenzie, has passed away on April 7th, after a long illness, bravely borne, aged 78. Please find details of the funeral arrangements below, at the end of this obituary.
The Original Board of Trustees of the Friends of the New Forest Airfields in 2002 is pictured below.
Standing (left to right): Les White, John Brooks, Charles McKenzie. Seated: Ann Baily, John Lay, Betty Hockey, Bernard Baily. (Ann Baily, Betty Hockey, Bernard Baily and Charles McKenzie are all now deceased)
Charles was one of the founder Trustees of the Friends of the New Forest Airfields and a Member from January 18th 1999 until his death on April 7th 2019 (Member No.011). He was appointed as the Project Manager for the design, materials procurement and construction of the New Forest Airfields Memorial in Black Lane, on the western dispersal area of the Second World War airfield at Holmsley South.
On leaving school, Charles was apprenticed to HM Dockyard, Portsmouth, as an electrician. During his working life, Charles was 78 and after work at King’s College Hospital in London, he moved to the Royal Free Hospital, where he met Professor Patrick Bunning, who was going to set up an Anatomy Department in a new medical school at Zaire, Northern Nigeria, and asked Charles to come out with him to help set it up. Charles and his wife Judy lived in Nigeria for seven years, during which time their two sons, James and Steven, were born.
In 1974, they returned to UK, where he had met Professor Dennis Wright and worked with him at the Medical School in Southampton University. Charles then acted as the curator of the Medical Pathology Museum at Southampton General Hospital, now the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
He was an expert on the history of reinforcement works and engineering works on airfields. In retirement, he was always a strong supporter of FONFA and a valuable and much valued companion at Trustee Board Meetings. Charles was a quiet, mild mannered man, a true gentleman, who listened much and spoke only when he had something significant to say. He had a quick wit, a ready smile and a dry sense of humour. He was good company and always looked for the positive aspects of any situation. The members of the Trustee Board extend our heartfelt condolences to his widow, Judy. We shall miss his warm companionship greatly in the coming years.
The funeral ceremony was held at the Woodlands Burial Ground, at Hinton Park, Wyndham Road, Walkford, Christchurch BH23 7EJ at 1230 pm on Tuesday 7th May. Afterwards, there was a wake at the Borough Arms, Avenue Road, Lymington.