Pete Thornton - R.I.P.

Peter "Pedro" Thornton died on Sat 22 Jan 2011 after a long battle with cancer. It was his wish that information about his battle was restricted to family and close friends. With the support of his wife Rita, he underwent a range of treatments over the last year. He finally succumbed after slipping into unconsciousness on Thu 20 Jan.

Pete served in 216 Para Sig Sqn from 1959 - 1967 and for those who had the privilege of knowing him, he was quite a character; full of fun, but a first class solider and detachment commander. Pete left the Squadron in 1967, together with the late Matt McBirney, for 249 Signals Squadron in Singapore.

At the end of his tour with 249 he was posted to B.A.O.R. for a short time before “throwing his teddy out of the pram” (Pete’s words). He subsequently wrote to an Australian officer, with whom he had served in 249, who'd told him if he ever got fed up with the Pommy Army, give him a bell. Eventually Pete joined the Australian Army where, during many years of service with distinction, one of his roles was as YofS in RASigs.

Pete made numerous contributions to the 216 OCA website and, in the years before his illness, often sent thoughtful, frightening, funny, and downright rude e-mails to his Squadron friends. We will all miss his humour and sometimes more serious comments.

In 2008 I was honoured by his collaboration for the composition of a heartfelt obituary for the late great Matt McBirney. Matt's obit can be read at "In Memorium" at 216 Parachute Signal Squadron.

Deepest sympathies are extended to his wife Rita at this sad time.
It is understood that Pete was buried at a quiet service in Nambour, Australia on 27th Jan 2011.

R.I.P. Pete Thornton – Airborne Brother

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