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News > Deaths and Obituaries > Passing of David Parry (Prep 1936B)

Passing of David Parry (Prep 1936B)

PARRY David Knollys Heber passed away in Cape Town on 16/5/19.

David with his RAF flight logbook (2018)
David with his RAF flight logbook (2018)
PARRY David Knollys Heber passed away in Cape Town on 16/5/19.
The funeral will be at Christ Church, Kenilworth, Thursday 23rd May 2019 at 2pm

David was born in Durban to parents, Dora & Reg Parry, in November 1924. The family moved to Cape Town in 1927 when his father bought the lovely old homestead of Leeuwenhof, dating back to the early 1700s. He was at Bishops Prep from 1933 to 1936 when his father sold Leeuwenhof to the Government to be used as the official residence of the Administrator of the Cape Province. David and his father then flew to England with Imperial Airways, in those days a great experience taking twelve days, to join his mother and sister who were already living in England. David then went to Bilton Grange Preparatory school in the UK for a year followed by two years at Rugby School.
 
May 1940 had already seen the rescue of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk and now the Battle of Britain was about to commence over southern England. David's father whose business interests were in Durban suggested that the family living in England should now return to South Africa and David and his mother and sister Hermione (Babs) sailed in the Union Castle Liner, Cape Town Castle, on the 31st May. David then went to Michaelhouse School in Natal. It was David's plan to join the services as soon as was possible. At the time the period for training pilots for the SAAF was two years as against one year for the RAF in Rhodesia. David was only seventeen at the time and arrangements were made for him to study navigation after which he was signed on as a supernumerary and spent six months at sea on a Danish oil-tanker where he learnt much about celestial navigation.
 
He joined the Royal Air Force in Rhodesia in September 1942 and trained on Tiger Moths and Oxfords, obtaining his wings in June 1943. He was then posted as a junior officer to the UK where he underwent further advanced training on Wellington Bombers and then on Lancaster heavy bombers. He eventually went to 44 Rhodesia Lancaster Squadron at Spilsby where he went on three operations before the war came to an end. This was followed by a spell on Stirlings in Transport command and he was finally de-mobilised and repatriated to Durban in 1946.
 
He then joined his father in the Shipping firm of Mann George spending 27 years working at their offices in Durban, Lourenco Marques and Beira in Mocambique and in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia and finally in Cape Town. He also had a spell with the Shaw Savill Line in London. It was on his return to South Africe that he met his future wife, Joan, who was travelling out to Australia and New Zealand with her boss Sir John Anderson/Lord Waverley who was the head of the Port of London Authority. David left the ship in Cape Town and they were married a year later in Durban on the 13th October 1951. They have two daughters (Elizabeth who has two sons (Andrew and Nicholas), Frances who has a daughter (Zoe) and two sons (Jesse and Josh) who live in California) and their son Charles (Ogilvie 1976), who has a son (Douglas, Birt 2010) and daughter (Anna). Charles is with the South African Medical Research Council based in Cape Town. He is an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University in the Department of Psychiatry.
 
In 1977 David left shipping and, with a friend, started his own travel agency (Rondebosch Travel) and for the next 20 years this took him on travels all over the world. His subsequent travel business, Somerset Tours& Travel, is now run by his daughter, Elizabeth Cotton, who takes specialised small groups on escorted tours to various exotic destinations all over the world. David retired several years ago, living first at Evergreen Retirement Complex in Rondebosch, and subsequently at Cle du Cap Health Care Centre, Kirstenhof, in the Constantia Valley just outside Cape Town. He died after a short illness. As many have said, “He was a truly a gentleman till the end”.

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