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Tributes paid to former RAF Benevolent Fund Chairman

All at the RAF Benevolent Fund are saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Adrian Swire, a former Chairman of the Fund, and unstinting supporter of our work.

Sir Adrian Swire with his Spitfire

Chief Executive of the Fund Air Vice-Marshal David Murray paid this tribute. He said: "Sir Adrian took the helm of the RAF Benevolent Fund as the charity entered a period of transition.

His sound business sense and desire to further the welfare work of the Fund, ensured he steered us through this time of change with sensitivity and success.

"Following his years as chairman, the Swire charities and Sir Adrian Swire Charitable Trust have been, and continue to be, generous supporters of the Fund for the past 20 years.

Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends at this sad time."

Sir Adrian joined the Board of Trustees at the RAF Benevolent Fund in 1996, succeeding Lord Barber.

A former RAF Volunteer Reserve and Honorary Air Commodore in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, he brought with him a wealth of business experience in his family enterprises, including John Swire and Sons and Swire Pacific.

As the RAF, along with other branches of the Armed Forces, looked to scale back their manpower, Sir Adrian guided the Fund through a period of ever-increasing welfare spend, supporting younger veterans leaving the service they thought would provide a job for life, and the fund-raising challenges that presented. Sir Adrian stepped down from the role in 2000.

He had a life-long passion for flying and held a private pilot’s licence for more than 60 years. He was also the proud owner of a Mark IX Spitfire, which he taught himself to fly.

Sir Adrian died on 24 August, 2018, aged 86.

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