The Airmen's Stories - F/O A S Worthington
Alec Sillavan Worthington was born in late 1916 in Macclesfield and educated at Sedburgh School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he read Law. He learned to fly with the University Air Squadron and was commissioned in the RAFVR in December 1937.
Called to full-time service on 25th September 1939, Worthington went straight to 12 FTS
Grantham for No. 5 Course, which ran from 25th September 1939 to 10th April 1940.
Worthington joined 219 Squadron at Catterick on 20th April 1940, direct from 12 FTS.
He served with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. He did an AI course at
Debden in early December 1940.
Worthington joined 51 OTU at Debden from 219 on
20th August 1941 as an instructor.
His subsequent service is undocumented until 1946, when he was released from the RAF as a Squadron Leader.
Worthington emigrated to Canada with his family in 1954 and worked for the Iron Ore Company of Canada initially in Montreal then in Sept Iles, Quebec until retirement.
He died on 24th May 1995 at the age of 78.
His son wrote this appreciation:
Personal thoughts on Alec Sillavan Worthington.
First of all, a simple but heartfelt word of thanks to all of you for coming to wish Alec a last farewell. For those of you who knew him well, Alec was not big on ceremony, least of all for something like his own funeral; however he was very true to his friends and family, and now I believe would accept some modicum of formality under the circumstances. Quite frankly, he isn't in much of a position to disagree.
Therefore I would like to say a few brief words about the man, a very ordinary man.
My father was many things to many people and had many talents. He was scholarly, having had the silver spoon in his mouth from an early age. But he was also the black sheep of the family, a quiet rebel who thoroughly enjoyed the company and friendship of men regardless of their mark in life. In fact, for him, his few best friends were the simple and pure of heart. He was rather a white knight, always helping those less fortunate. Thats how ne met his first and only wife Gerda, our mother. This pattern was to continue throughout his life.
Dad was not a wealthy man, but he was a rich man in terms of his lifetime experiences. He survived six years in the RAF and the 'Battle of Britain', not because he was good, but because as he put it he was very 'lucky'. Frankly I agree, but I believe he was also very brave. Dad was as much a sailor as he was an excellent fighter pilot. He was as much at home fixing a broken-down Gray Marine gas engine covered up to his neck in grease and bilge oil, as he was flying as he was flying a fighter aircraft like a Mosquito at 150mph in the stark blackness of nighttime. He would take chances, but not recklessly. He always had that grin and that glint in his eye.
Just for the excitement you see....
Dad would never visit anybody per se: he would breeze in and breeze out as quickly as politeness would permit, no sooner would he arrive than he would be advising all that he had other things to do and must be off shortly to some crisis of his own making. Needless to say, he loved adventure and excitement. His family found that out too. Twenty-odd years in Sept-Iles, the winters of northern Quebec - true pioneer country back then. Seventeen summers Picton farming country and seventeen winters in San Jose, Costa Rica with the Howard Hughes' of this world. That's the essence of this man. He lived and enjoyed life to the fullest but never allowed his excesses to hurt others. As a father, Dad taught Christine and me to be resourceful and independent, just as he was. Tough as a youngster, but invaluable lessons as an adult.
When Alec went on dialysis five years ago, he never complained or said how unfair it was. It wasn't easy, for he suffered and worst of all became dependent on others. Something he didn't want to do. Stoic, he did it his way to the end, fighting every inch of the way. My father has now bid his last hurrah. He loved living more than any person I know or will ever know. He avoided bitterness and still laughed. I'll certainly miss him and I know that you will too.
Now that he is gone, he is flying much better than before.
He is in much better hands now ... God bless him.
Ian Michael Worthington.