Monday, 18 January 2016

Auf Wiedersehen Wilfrid

With great sadness I have learnt that our neighbour and good friend Wilfrid Robst passed away peacefully at his nursing home yesterday. 

I visited him on Friday and found him in good spirits, full of his usual mischievous humour and busily tapping away on his beloved laptop. We talked about getting him into the car for a brief tour around Framlingham as soon as the weather warmed up. Since we moved to Framlingham we have enjoyed our regular conversations with Wilfrid. Although he was housebound for several years he was a constantly positive and upbeat personality who coped extremely well with adversity and kept himself busy at all times.

I particularly enjoyed his stories of his active service in the Luftwaffe - captured by the British on his first day and sent to P.O.W camps in Scotland and then Dorset. His amusing P.O.W experiences in the south of England could have filled a book. He met an English girl whilst still a prisoner. She eventually became his wife and he remained in England for the rest of his life. 

He had a very successful career as a financial controller at RAF Bentwaters US air base here in Suffolk. He lived in Orford for most of his life where he loved sailing his small yacht and taking an active interest in village life. I believe that he once was Chair of the Parish Council 

He held very strong religious beliefs and spoke fearlessly about death. 

We are pleased to have known him and hope that he rests in peace.

I'll finish with one of the last emails he sent me last week. I think it shows his sparkle

"Good Afternoon John,

Please convey your unknown mother by me (although I saw her famous pictures) my sincere best wishes and congratulations for her birthday she nearly beats me by being a year younger than I will be on 5 February next and tell her I believe all best persons are born in the first quarter of each year. They had the advantage as babies to look forward to summer!

Thank you for your good wishes,

Hope to see you again some time

your erstwhile neighbour