from the August 2006 issue of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society
STAFF SERGEANT GEOFF BARKWAY DFM R I P
Geoff & his wife Eileen, both members of the Society, regularly attended the monthly lectures : they were also active members of many other local organisations. Geoff was a quiet man but had a wicked sense of humour. He made light of his war disability and until recent years when the D-Day anniversary commemorations were held, he was little known outside of the circle of his friends and those who followed wartime events.
However, during the D-Day commemorations in 2004 he became a national TV figure and was greeted by the Prince of Wales at the Pegasus Bridge in Normandy. It was here that Geoff brought in his glider, one of three, within yards of the bridge whose capture was crucial to the success of the D-Day landings. Sir Trafford Leigh Mallory, Commander of the Allied Air Forces, described the landing as one of the finest bits of precision flying and navigational accomplishments of the war. Geoff unfortunately lost his right arm as a result of the action, but it did not prevent him after the war from being able to have a successful career on the engineering side of London Transport.
He was in demand to speak of his experiences, always given with humour, and was invited to open an exhibition at the Museum of Army Flying to celebrate the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Geoff was 84 when he died of a heart attack following yet another hospital visit, one of a number he had had in recent years.
His funeral on 26th June 2006 at Fetcham Catholic church was a great send off for a remarkable man whom I was proud to call a friend. The Army Air Corps ensured that he had a funeral with full military honours. The church was packed with family, friends and representatives of many military and civilian bodies.
Good-bye Geoff, we will miss you and will long remember your
exploits, marked in perpetuity by the memorial at Pegasus Bridge.
Obituary quoted from The Times
Obituary from the Daliy Telegraph