Capt Ivan Terrence Atkins Mbe

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

CAPT. IVAN TERRENCE ATKINS, M.B.E.

Date: 22nd October 2014

The funeral of my father was held yesterday in the Forest of Dean Crematorium.
It’s only now hitting me that he is gone and I’m fit for nothing today.

My stepmother and her daughter and son in law put together a superb tribute to Daddy and the Service could not have been bettered. I knew my father was not deeply religious but I was surprised that he chose a Humanist service. However it was so lovely that I think that’s the way I would wish to go.

We entered the Chapel to the strains of Korsakov’s ‘Song of India’ – so appropriate because Daddy was born and brought up in India and didn’t come to the UK until he was 22. I doubt I’ll ever be able to hear this glorious piece of music again without it bringing a tear to my eye.  Avis had chosen to have the coffin draped with the Union Jack and Daddy's medals were there.  He was one of a vanishing generation - proud, disciplined and old fashioned in the best possible way - he always doffed his hat to the ladyfolk and opened doors for them.

The lady officiating was kind and warm and read the Eulogy to Father - what surprised me was that there were things I didn’t know about him and I thought I knew it all.

My half-sister read that lovely poem by Christina Rossetti ‘Remember’. I read a North American Legend about the Humming Bird which Mandy had found in a card sent by my son to his Grandpa and, as he couldn’t be with us, it was an appropriate choice.

My sister was meant to read ‘Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep’ but couldn’t manage it. I stepped in but it broke me up at the end.

We had a time of quiet reflection to the music of Borodin’s Nocturne No. 2 and Daddy left us to ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’.

As always, there was much reminiscing and laughter at the Wake, held at the Speech House in the Forest of Dean, but reality hit when I returned home very late.

I know we will all miss him very very much indeed but I felt so sorry for my stepmother who’d lived with him for nearly 60 years and looked so lost. Fortunately her daughter and son in law live very close and will, I know, continue to be a wonderful help to her.

I’m not really sure I believe in an After life – although it is a comforting thought – but I wish there were one so that I could now ask my father so many questions we never got round to during his long life.

This was my other favourite photo of Daddy, proudly displaying his MBE. That was awarded when honours really meant something. In those days, honours were much harder to attain and we even went to the Palace for his presentation. (I even remember what I was wearing, a powder blue coat and my first pair of kitten heels in a cherry red colour with a bag to match) To celebrate - Daddy took us to Veraswamys - the oldest and swankiest Indian Restaurant in London at the time.  It is just off Regent Street and is still there. It opened in 1926.  

Nowadays the Queen does not present the MBE – and I’m not even sure she presents the OBE’s.

N.B. Among his many attributes - My father gets a mention for his help and research in a book concerning Japanese War Crimes - Knights of Bushido.
 

CAPT. IVAN TERRENCE ATKINS, M.B.E.

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