War hero’s memorabilia auctioned to pay for care

War hero’s memorabilia auctioned to pay for care

Mosquito pilot Bransome Burbridge

The wartime collection of Mosquito pilot Bransome Burbridge will be auctioned to raise money for his care in a residential home

The wartime collection of Mosquito pilot Bransome Burbridge will be auctioned to raise money for his care in a residential home

SON: Paul Burbridge, 59

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

THE son of a highly decorated Second World War pilot has told how he must sell his father’s medals to pay for his care.

Bransome Burbridge was a conscientious objector and pacifist before the war, but when the full horror of what the world was dealing with became clear, he signed up to the RAF.

In his Mosquito fighter-bomber, Wing Commander Burbridge shot down 21 enemy aircraft, including V1 flying bombs, and was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery.

The medals will be among a collection of Wing Commander Burbridge’s wartime memorabilia auctioned next month, and could fetch as much as £120,000. His son, Paul, 59, said money raised will go towards ensuring his father is comfortable at his residential home.

Mr Burbridge, of Clifton, York, who is the artistic director of Riding Lights Theatre Company, said: “From his reticence and modesty and self-effacing nature about the war, we know he wouldn’t have had a problem with us raising money in this way – not because he didn’t value them, I’m sure he did, but he valued other things more.

"The experience and story is what’s important, and that is not what is lost. The story is there to be told, it’s not these little bits of metal in boxes in a drawer. They are tokens of something much more important.”

He said he was sure his father had been proud to receive his medals from King George VI at Buckingham Palace, but had never made a fuss about them.

“They were tucked away in a drawer. I think he didn’t want to imply that he had done anything more than anyone else. He risked his life, but didn’t give his life, that’s something many people sacrificed.”

Wing Commander Burbridge has suffered from Alzheimer’s for 13 years, and moved into a residential home near Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, with his wife Barbara, when he began to require round-the-clock care.

His wife died last year, but Mr Burbridge said keeping his father, who is now 92, comfortable in a familiar environment would be better than moving him to another care home.

Since the story appeared in a national newspaper, people have been in touch with Mr Burbridge and his sister Sarah Guthrie, offering to help raise the money so they would not have to sell the medals.

Mr Burbridge said: “I know that he and my mother were obviously concerned that they would pass on whatever they could to the family, but we said the first call of all was their care.

“We are not campaigning, just managing the assets the best way we can. He’s lucky he has something to sell that’s of value to people, because many don’t. People have offered to start a campaign, but we would prefer people use their own money to look after their own relatives while we have this opportunity.”

Comments (12)

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10:20am Thu 28 Feb 13

Big Bad Wolf says...

Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge.
Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge. Big Bad Wolf
  • Score: 0

10:26am Thu 28 Feb 13

sheps lad says...

A land fit for heroes?
A land fit for heroes? sheps lad
  • Score: 0

10:38am Thu 28 Feb 13

Dick Turpin says...

Scandalous.
But it is only a reflection on our current injured servicmen who have to rely on charity to get the treatment and care they truly deserve.
Scandalous. But it is only a reflection on our current injured servicmen who have to rely on charity to get the treatment and care they truly deserve. Dick Turpin
  • Score: 0

10:47am Thu 28 Feb 13

Kevin Turvey says...

This is very sad.

Only if there is a VC or George Cross would they be worth anything to make it worthwhile to sell in order to fund anything but a cheap meal out, there is no way that they would fund any reasonable amount of care.

That is the reality.

My great uncle’s war medals that I have are worth very little financially (£100 or so) but worth the world to me as a memory of him. So they are not for sale at any price.

The economics are disturbing in that some people need to sell things very dear to them for next to nothing to receive very little in return!

At least we are talking of the generation that served in just wars for freedom rather than sent abroad to fight for corporate interests as per nowadays.
This is very sad. Only if there is a VC or George Cross would they be worth anything to make it worthwhile to sell in order to fund anything but a cheap meal out, there is no way that they would fund any reasonable amount of care. That is the reality. My great uncle’s war medals that I have are worth very little financially (£100 or so) but worth the world to me as a memory of him. So they are not for sale at any price. The economics are disturbing in that some people need to sell things very dear to them for next to nothing to receive very little in return! At least we are talking of the generation that served in just wars for freedom rather than sent abroad to fight for corporate interests as per nowadays. Kevin Turvey
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Thu 28 Feb 13

invisibleman says...

Big Bad Wolf wrote:
Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge.
Wait until these others are here in such numbers that they start ruling the country and we start flogging 15 year old rape victims etc
[quote][p][bold]Big Bad Wolf[/bold] wrote: Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge.[/p][/quote]Wait until these others are here in such numbers that they start ruling the country and we start flogging 15 year old rape victims etc invisibleman
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Thu 28 Feb 13

CHISSY1 says...

Big Bad Wolf wrote:
Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge.
"Sums up this rotten country".
[quote][p][bold]Big Bad Wolf[/bold] wrote: Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge.[/p][/quote]"Sums up this rotten country". CHISSY1
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Jam tomorrow says...

We had to sell a relatives house not many years ago, there is about a third of the money left. They receive no different care or service than all the other people there who aren't self-funding. The council/us pays for those.
We had to sell a relatives house not many years ago, there is about a third of the money left. They receive no different care or service than all the other people there who aren't self-funding. The council/us pays for those. Jam tomorrow
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Geoffers says...

Big Bad Wolf wrote:
Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge.
Agree absolutely!
[quote][p][bold]Big Bad Wolf[/bold] wrote: Shocking that we cannot look after someone who risked his life for the country, yet we happily pay for others to come and live here from half way round the globe who then try to destroy the country that has given them refuge.[/p][/quote]Agree absolutely! Geoffers
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Thu 28 Feb 13

michaeljohnrogan says...

what a disgusting country .England has become,that cannot care for, in comfort,and dignity,those who risked their all to give us the freedom we have today.
what a disgusting country .England has become,that cannot care for, in comfort,and dignity,those who risked their all to give us the freedom we have today. michaeljohnrogan
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Thu 28 Feb 13

stopatred says...

its a sad state of affairs when we cant look after our own people but give others that come here anything they want and more
its a sad state of affairs when we cant look after our own people but give others that come here anything they want and more stopatred
  • Score: 0

10:01pm Thu 28 Feb 13

tracymand says...

Have the family tried contacting the RAF Benevolent fund free support line on 0800 169 2942?
They can help check if there are any funds they can access, including the funding available for ex-servicepersons care costs.
So sad if the family have to sell the legacy he has created for them to pay for his care - surely he is owed the care he needs by the Country he defended.
Good Luck
Have the family tried contacting the RAF Benevolent fund free support line on 0800 169 2942? They can help check if there are any funds they can access, including the funding available for ex-servicepersons care costs. So sad if the family have to sell the legacy he has created for them to pay for his care - surely he is owed the care he needs by the Country he defended. Good Luck tracymand
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Triker55 says...

tracymand wrote:
Have the family tried contacting the RAF Benevolent fund free support line on 0800 169 2942? They can help check if there are any funds they can access, including the funding available for ex-servicepersons care costs. So sad if the family have to sell the legacy he has created for them to pay for his care - surely he is owed the care he needs by the Country he defended. Good Luck
This would have been my comment too.
Not only the RAFBF will help but also the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) who also have there own care homes for former members of the RAF.
The RAFA Help Line is 0800 0182 361.

I quite agree with comments about foreign scroungers getting better treatment than those who fought for our freedom, including those who are still fightin to keep the peace. They scrounge off hard working tax payers to finance their evil ways and to bomb our city centres and butcher innocent people.
I just hope I don't need to fall back on the state for help one day.
For the record I am also ex-RAF.
[quote][p][bold]tracymand[/bold] wrote: Have the family tried contacting the RAF Benevolent fund free support line on 0800 169 2942? They can help check if there are any funds they can access, including the funding available for ex-servicepersons care costs. So sad if the family have to sell the legacy he has created for them to pay for his care - surely he is owed the care he needs by the Country he defended. Good Luck[/p][/quote]This would have been my comment too. Not only the RAFBF will help but also the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) who also have there own care homes for former members of the RAF. The RAFA Help Line is 0800 0182 361. I quite agree with comments about foreign scroungers getting better treatment than those who fought for our freedom, including those who are still fightin to keep the peace. They scrounge off hard working tax payers to finance their evil ways and to bomb our city centres and butcher innocent people. I just hope I don't need to fall back on the state for help one day. For the record I am also ex-RAF. Triker55
  • Score: 0

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