In Memory of Flight Lieutenant Reverend Canon Islwyn Davies

A sphere of influence________________________________________________________________________ 
It is never easy to discuss the sad loss of a fellow Officer, it is harder still to discuss the passing of a man you consider to be a colleague, a mentor and a friend, and this is the unfortunate role I find myself in today. On Friday the 18th of January 2013 Flight Lieutenant the Reverent Canon Islwyn Davies, who I had the immense honour of knowing for seventeen years, sadly passed away. 

Islwyn’s sphere of influence was vast as was his commitment to the local community having served as a town councillor, a school governor, a Squadron Commander, a Wing Padre and of course as the Rector of Saint Cynog’s Church in Ystradgynlais. 

I first met Islwyn in 1997 when I was a young 13 year old cadet joining 2227 (Mid Gwendreath) Squadron for the first time. Islwyn had already served three years on the Squadron by this stage, two years as the Squadron chaplain and a further year as a Squadron Officer. I’ve spoken too many of the cadets from that era of late and the one phrase that is consistently used to describe the then Pilot Officer Davies is “a character”.

For much of my time as a cadet the Squadron was commanded by Flight Lieutenant Vicki Prigmore who of her friend has commented, “In life you meet a few special people, it was an honour and a privilege to have known a real gentleman who put his heart and soul into everything he did and always made us laugh. The 2227 family has lost one of its elder statesmen, but his legacy will live on in the generations of cadets who were lucky enough to have known him. Rest in peace my friend.”
In 2002 Islwyn was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant and was given command of 2227 (Mid Gwendraeth) Squadron where he distinguished himself by running a vibrant and happy unit until standing down on the 31st of September 2006. Never pausing to take a break on the 1st of October 2006 Islwyn took post as the Number 3 Welsh Wing Chaplain, transforming the role and serving dutifully until his retirement in 2012.
The passing of Flt Lt Davies is a heart-breaking affair, the likes of this gentlemen we will unfortunately never see again. There are literally generations of youngsters who owe a debt of gratitude to him and I am proud to say that he was my friend. Our hearts go out to Islwyn’s brother Terry and his daughter Helen and her family.
Flt Lt Davies’ funeral will be held at St Cynog’s Church, Heol Yr Eglwys, Ystradgynlais on Saturday 26 January 2013 at 11 am. The Bishop of Brecon and Swansea will be conducting the service.
Islwyn played a major role in the Number 3 Welsh Wing 70th Anniversay Parade Service in 2011

Overview kindly supplied by: Flt Lt L Brace WSO

Images kindly supplied by: Adam Davies and Flt Lt L Brace WSO

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