RAF News

Albert Jarrett sadly passes away

Image shows black and white picture of aviator in 1945.
Albert Jarrett in 1945.

It is with sadness that the Royal Air Force family announces the death of World War Two veteran Albert Jarrett.

_____________________________________________________________

Albert, aged 98, grew up in Jamaica and joined the RAF at the age of 17 in 1942, starting his basic training on the island before travelling to the UK in 1943. He continued with his training at RAF Melksham, Wiltshire.

I had a duty to my home country, and it was a pleasure to serve as part of a greater Commonwealth effort during the war.

Albert Jarrett

Albert then posted to Maintenance Units, working mainly in Logistics and serving at RAF Sutton Coldfield and RAF Grantham, before he demobilised in 1946 and returned to Jamaica. Albert soon came back to the UK in 1953, as part of the Windrush generation, living and working in Birmingham.

Image shows veteran.

Albert later met retired Warrant Officer Donald Campbell and the pair founded The Forgotten Generations, a charitable archive highlighting the contributions to the Armed Forces of British African and Caribbean people. The pair recently attended a Jamaican cultural day at RAF Wittering, in celebration of the history, dedication, and sacrifice made by thousands of Jamaican service men and women on the anniversary of Windrush.

Image shows veteran in the cockpit of an aircraft inside a hangar.

Here, Albert also met the Honorary Air Commodore of 7644 Squadron, Dr Marcia McLaughlin, who represented the Royal Auxiliary Air Force at the event. Albert thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the recruits; as well as the heart, soul and food of Jamaica through mutton curry and steel drums.  

I spent more time on the range with new recruits. I was very small, and they couldn’t understand why I was so good at using the rifle, so they kept me behind to teach the recruits. It is wonderful, this is the memory. I’m so pleased at 98, not many of my type around and I’m so pleased to be here.

Albert Jarrett

Image shows veteran and RAF aviator talking inside a hangar.
Albert meets the Honorary Air Commodore of 7644 Squadron, Dr Marcia McLaughlin, during a Jamaican Cultural Visit to RAF Wittering.

After inquiries to the Ministry of Defence, Albert belatedly received his War Service Medal in 2021. In June 2022, at a Platinum Jubilee reception at Number 10 Downing Street, Albert received a Points of Light Award for people who make change in their community. 

In July 2022, Albert carried the Queen’s Baton on its relay prior to the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. During his leg of the relay Albert was pushed in a wheelchair by his old friend, former Warrant Officer Donald Campbell.

Albert has created a legacy and it was my pleasure to have met him.

Warrant Officer Donald Campbell
Co-founder of The Forgotten Generations

Albert was married three times and leaves a widow Shirley.

Read more about Albert

_____________________________________________________________