Friday, December 13, 2019

Alan Rayner was born on the 29th December 1927 in Gosport, Hants, second son to Charles & Maud Rayner &

brother to Philip Rayner – dec’d, (also an Arborfield Old Boy). Maud later married Alan & Philip’s stepfather,

Philip Downer after Charles sadly died.

Alan attended Leesland School & then The Central School in Gosport before being evacuated to Hedge End

during WW2. He was only there a short time before enlisting in 1942 at Portsmouth for The Royal Signals. In

1944 he joined REME where he remained until 1953 initially learning his trade (motor vehicle engineering) at

Arborfield. He served at home & also in Egypt, Palestine, Korea & Japan.

He was mentioned in despatches & remained extremely proud of that throughout his life.

After his military service Alan ran various workshops for The War Department (at Turweston/Whitfield,

Northants & Bicester, Oxon), the MOD at Old Dalby, Leics & Cardington, Beds & later became a lecturer for the

DOE at Cardington before retiring.

Alan married Marjorie Dell at Westbury, Bucks in 1957, having met her at Whitfield. They lived at Westbury,

Bucks initially, moving to Melton Mowbray, Leics, then, to Great Barford, Beds and  to Little Paxton, Cambs in

1976 where they have lived ever since.

Geraldine, their daughter was born in 1960 & Kevin, their son in 1963. Their son in law is Andrew, daughter in

law, Lorraine & grandson, Michael, born in 1998.

In Alan’s discharge papers he was described thus: “S/sgt Rayner is a man of upright character, trustworthy,

conscientious & technically capable.” His military conduct was described as “exemplary”.  In many respects

that also sums up his life, but I need to add his dry sense of humour, his patience, intelligence, kindness, love

of nature, love of travel, interest in history, patriotism, wisdom and above all his love & support to Marjorie &

his family, friends, colleagues & neighbours.

Alan died at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon on 23rd August 2015 after a short illness though he had

become frail over the last few years. *********** His ashes were interred at Little Paxton.

He is greatly missed.



Geraldine Calvert

Notifying Deaths of Ex Arborfield Boys and requests for an AOBA Remembrance Scroll

Reporting Deaths

In the event of an ex Arborfield Old Boys death it would be most helpful if members could report as much of the following information to the Bereavement Officer or to any AOBA Committee member: The full name of the deceased, his intake number and date of death. Also the full name and address of the next of kin (n-o-k) of the deceased. Normally who ever reports the death is a friend or is known to the family and it is better that they negotiate on our behalf, with the n-o-k or family, not myself or committee members to obtain all the necessary information.

Note: After some drumhead services a few members mentioned that some deaths were not read out and no crosses were planted for them. Majority of the names mentioned were found to be from the previous year and were recorded, a small number were not. The reason why we miss some is because we have not been informed or we have insufficient information to record the death. Members are reminded to report deaths as and when they are aware of them. If you know of an ex Arborfield boy who has passed away and is not listed in the AOBA Roll of Honour (Can be seen on the AOBA Website) then please let me have their details.

A request for an AOBA Remembrance Scroll

I would like to remind members that I do not automatically send out a Remembrance Scroll when I’m notified of a death.  I only send them when requested by whoever has made contact with the family of the deceased and only then when the n-o-k has confirmed that they would like to receive one.  Remembrance Scrolls can be requested in the memory of the deceased for both AOBA members and non members. The minimum information required, before a scroll is sent, is listed in sub paragraphs a. & b. below:

a. Full name of the deceased, his intake number and date of death.

b. The n-o-k or family member’s full name, ensuring that we have their first name, and the address to where the scroll should be sent.

c. If a member of the AOBA his membership number, if available.

When it has been confirmed that the n-o-k of the deceased has requested a Remembrance Scroll, I will only send one if I have all the detail as listed in sub paragraphs a. & b. above. I will not send a scroll until I’m in receipt of all this detail. As you can imagine, if we get any of this detail wrong, it could cause extra grief to the bereaved.

You can contact me through the completion of the short webform found here