It was a truly special day at The Erskine Home as we unveiled David’s Bench in tranquil grounds of the Erskine Estate
David Whittick was a hugely popular resident who could often be found sitting in reception, reading a book or newspaper, and ready with a big smile and wave for everyone who walked past. An ex Navy pilot, his other favourite spot was at the front door, watching the planes fly overhead. Sadly last year, David passed away.
When Susan Forrest heard about his passing, she decided to fundraise for David’s Bench, to allow residents, visitors and staff alike to enjoy the same view David did, and a space to remember an incredible man.
A native of Bearsden, David joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1942 at age 17 and was set to Canada for flight training on Tiger Moths and Harvards. Returning to the UK, he flew the Swordfish (835 Naval Air Squadron from HMS Nairana) and completed a number of Arctic Convoys, described by Winston Churchill as ‘the worst journey in the world’.
For his services he was awarded the Russian Gold Star Medal and the British Star Medal. David continued flying after the war as a commercial pilot for British Airways, when he retired David was the longest serving pilot in the company.
After retiring from flying, David worked tirelessly as a volunteer for riding for the disabled. This work culminated in the establishment of a purpose built riding arena in Summerston, Glasgow. In 1995 David was awarded an MBE for his charity work. And In 2013, David’s children and his wife Joyce were present for his final medal presentation: the Arctic Star.
Yesterday Peter, Patrick and Linden joined us to unveil David’s bench in memory of their beloved dad, a very special moment.