Contributed by Robin’s son and OF John Kiddle (K65-74) :
My father enjoyed his time at Fram. Being there during the war he had many stories of going on long walks to track down crashed planes. Apparently the Brits were good at immediately putting a guard on any of their downed aircraft whereas the Yanks were far more laid back and left the wreckage unguarded. My father returned home from school with several “borrowed” plane parts, including the electric motor to open/close the canopy on an American aircraft.
He also told me that the boys at the time used to collect plane numbers of any aircraft they saw and pretty soon had a pretty comprehensive tally of the fight force of most of the local airfields. Apparently the “Men from the Ministry” duly arrived at the school and confiscated all their notebooks.
We also still have many of the letters that he sent home to his mother in Huntingdonshire during the war. (His father was posted out to Egypt with the RAF for the duration of the war.) In his letters he thanks his mother for the eggs and bags of sugar which she was posting to him at school. There are also a series of letters building up to his birthday where he was asking his mother for a set of “throwing knives”. As his birthday approached the letters gave more details of the price of the knives and where they could be purchased. The letter home directly after his birthday reads “Thank you for the tie press. It will be very useful”.
After leaving Framlingham Robin joined the Merchant Navy and trained on Shell Oil Tankers becoming a Navigation Officer. He travelled all over the world for Shell Oil and thoroughly enjoyed his time at sea.
Robin married Jessie in May 1952 and they had two children, Sally and John. Robin joined the family furniture business in St Ives, Hunts, in 1954 and worked there until his retirement in 1986. Always a hands-on practical man he enjoyed building many boats and sailing them at Brancaster in North Norfolk.
Robin was diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies about three years ago. He was still reasonably well until Christmas 2014, but between Christmas and the New Year he fell and his condition deteriorated. He went into a care home in Jan and died at the end of April. His funeral was held at Cambridge Crematorium on 18th May 2015. He is survived by his wife, Jessie, and two children, Sally and John.