Thomas family memories dating back to the 1930s. Plus some detail on the threats the club faced in the 1980s and 90s.
Sgt. Thomas Wade Thomas (Tommy), 1922 - 1941
Words (mostly) borrowed from John Tierney' 2019 web report of the race
Sgt Thomas Wade Thomas (Tommy) joined the club in 1936, aged 14. Just five years later (on 13 September 1941) he died when his Blenheim bomber crashed on take-off from RAF Watton in Norfolk. All four crew on board were killed plus one airman on the ground. Tommy was a wireless operator/air gunner and is buried in Willesden New Cemetery. In those early years of the war the RAF incurred almost as many casualties in air accidents as in action.
At the time of the crash Tommy’s father was serving in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, his sister in the WAAF, and his brother Ted in the Middlesex Regiment. The following Easter, 1942, the cup was donated to the club for an annual memorial race.
Ted was active at Serps and often took cine footage of the club's races in the 1970s. Ted passed away in 1984 aged 64 and is also remembered by the race.
Brian, Tommy's nephew, joined the club in April 1967, aged 11. Brian was President from 2001-04, and Club Secretary from 2009 to 2017. Brian also worked as a lifeguard at the Serpentine Lido in the 1980 and 1981 seasons.