Flying Officer Neil R Pearson RAuxAF
Operations Officer No 2 (City of Edinburgh) Maritime Headquarters Unit and 603 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Neil Pearson was born in Glasgow in 1961 and was dux of his school. He had a very keen interest in vehicles and initially set up a tool business in Edinburgh. Latterly he managed and ran a garage in Leith.
He was particularly keen on classic cars and became chairman of the Scottish Vintage Vehicle Federation. He joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 1991 as a part time Auxiliary and trained initially as an air traffic control clerk. Neil’s potential was quickly recognised and he was commissioned in 1996 becoming a Maritime Patrol Aircraft Controller working in the underground headquarters in Pitreavie Castle and on occasions also detached to RAF Macrihanish and to the Royal Naval Base at Faslane. He was a member of the Unit when it won the Robins Efficiency Trophy in 1996.
Neil will be remembered as a most keen and capable young officer always ready to go the extra mile. He was one of a small group of officers on the Maritime Headquarters Unit who wore the full Highland Mess Kit in the Grey Douglas tartan. This dress uniform was authorised by King Edward 8th in 1936 to be worn by Auxiliary Officers from Scottish Squadrons and to this day this unique Mess Dress is rarely seen. The attached photograph shows Neil alongside the Rt Hon Lord Monro of Langham, Honorary Inspector General of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, the Rt Hon Lord Selkirk of Douglas, Honorary Air Commodore of No 2 Maritime Headquarters and Wing Commander Bob Kemp, Commanding Officer of No 2 Maritime Headquarters Unit.
Very sadly Neil developed a brain tumour in 1999 and although he fought this dreadful illness with great vigour and resilience he died in 2001. He would have gone much further in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and was a huge loss to the Squadron. Neil is survived by Muriel, his beloved wife and young son Andrew who is now an accomplished musician.