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Raymond John Hazzard was born on 30th June 1947 in Portsmouth, where his father
Herbert Hazzard was serving in the Royal Navy. His mother was Muriel Lucille
(née Rayner). The family moved quite often – to Stourpaine and then to
Blandford Forum in Dorset, then to Bournemouth, Torquay, and then to Aldershot,
where Ray became a pupil at F.G.S.
He was five years younger than I, and we were not both at F.G.S. together. The photos of him at the Eastleigh open day, 1964 (below), were taken by myself, and signify a common interest in steam railways, although that passed quite soon as Ray became much more interested in aircraft. I remember walking round one sunny day to his home in a cul-de-sac off Boxalls Lane, Aldershot, right by the railway bridge, to find him sitting in the garden, at a small table, earphones on his head, listening to pilots talking high above in the sky.
He went on to study aeronautical engineering at Queen Mary College in London, and whilst there he shared a room with me in Willesden Green for a time as I was working there then.
He became an airline pilot, joining the ground-breaking operations of Freddie Laker in the 1970s.
The last time I actually saw him was at our grandmother’s funeral in Bournemouth in 1979. In recent years he had taken up residence in the Dominican Republic, but was doing a lot flying in and out of Africa. I did have some email contact with him for a time in the early years of this century.
During a visit home in 2009 he collapsed in his sister Sonia’s house in Hamworthy, Poole, and after a couple of days in hospital he died of Malaria. I did not come to know of this until just before Christmas, a month or so afterwards, and hence did not attend his funeral.
The news cutting from the Bournemouth Daily Echo of December 3rd 2009 states that he was born in Bournemouth, but this is not correct: it was Portsmouth. Similarly it says that Raymond moved to Farnborough; he didn't he lived in Aldershot and took the bus to F.G.S..
Clive Strutt - September 2011