399 days ago
A cleaner with Sodexo Justice has made an emotional return trip to Cyprus, 30 years after her brother was killed in a helicopter accident there while serving with the RAF.
Rose Boulton, 60, a morning cleaner at Exeter Crown and County Courts, planned the visit to RAF Akrotiri (where Sodexo Defence also provides FM services) to pay tribute to her brother Martin Cook, who was a corporal in the RAF medical unit at the base in the 1980s. He was one of three people killed on 5 November 1986 when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed into Limassol bay shortly after take off.
“Martin was only 36 when the accident happened and I went to Cyprus for the initial service on 14 November 1986,” said Rose. “I wanted to go back and say goodbye again.”
When Rose discussed the upcoming trip with her line manager, facilities manager Mike Everett, he was keen to help and got in touch with the RAF team.
“Rose is a really nice person, and a very good worker. Being ex-military I understand their systems and so contacted the RAF association to let them know why she was flying over,” explained Mike.
Flt LT Spike Milligan picked up Mike’s message and responded by putting together an amazing itinerary for Rose when she arrived on the day, including lunch and tours of the Station Museum and 84 Squadron.
“It was such a wonderful and emotional trip,” said Rose. “It really helped with my grieving and the closure process, and it was also was refreshing to know that those killed in the accident had not been forgotten by those still living.”
Mike added: “We would like to send a massive thank you to the RAF – and in particular Flt LT Spike Milligan – for taking such good care of Rose, ensuring her visit was a moment to remember.”
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