Jim West – St Athan, Leeming, Leuchars – RIP

Jim West

It is with great sadness we have to announce the passing of another Troop, Jim West who served with the teams at : –

St. Athan 1968 – 1970

Leeming 1970 –  1974

Leuchars 1979 – 1980

Jim served as Team Leader at Leeming having passed his Team Leaders course in 1969. Jim was the first member of the RAF Regiment (Rock Apes) to serve as a Team Leader.

He passed away at home with his family on 2nd February 2018.

Details of Jim West’s funeral .
The funeral will take place on Friday 16th Feb at the Methodist Church, Station Road, Bentham Lancs LA2 7BL at 1.30pm
Then at the  Bentham Golf Club, High Bentham, Lancaster LA2 7AG

Family flowers only please 
At Jim’s request red ties please (Jim was a strong Labour supporter)
Could you please advise Woody Woodyatt if you are attending (woodywoodyatt@gmail.com).

Our condolences go out to his family.



The following comments were pasted on Facebook

‘Woody’ Woodyatt

Just thought I would share one great memory of being on the hill with Jim,
Early 70s, Jim and I both PS on the Leeming team, we were doing the Yorkshire 3 peaks, set off from Ribblehead, it was honking it down, thoroughly soaked in the first 10 mins {long before Gortex }, now Jim was quite a typical and proud Yorkshireman, and could be quite dour.
We walked on in silence, rain getting even heavier, Jim turned to me and said “it may get to raining later on ”
We did finish all three peaks, forgive my ranting, feeling very sad.

Ian ‘Jugs’ Jones

Typical Jim – At Saint’s driving up to Forrest inn New Radnorshire on a Friday “Jugs what you planning for tomorrow?” “not decided yet why?” “we’ll do the 50 miler then”  How could one say no.

An April Friday night driving up to North Wales Pen-y-Pass hotel bothy. – Jim ” what you doing tomorrow Jugs?” Antenna on full alert by now.” “what are YOU doing tomorrow Jim” “I’m doing the 13 peaks with you OK”,  Shanghai’d again but what a wonderful bonding with a lovely guy. Circa 68/69.

‘His name was West one of the best, may he now sleep in painless rest.’

Jim joined RAF MR at Saints circa late ’67/’68. On the TL’s course ’68/69?.

He was little known in the M R system but came from a sound background of fell running & rock climbing. He took every one by surprise on the TL course and soon won the respect of some very ‘handy’ guys on the course with him.

He took over Leeming MRT from John Stevenson. He was very very highly regarded by the Leeming troops and I think I am right in saying they would, to a man, go the extra ‘ten yards’ for him any day.

I know little of his career from then until he arrived at Leuchars about the time of my demob in’77 when I had the pleasure of a few more ‘hill’ days with him. R.I.P.

Philip Luff

Memories of Jim. I am grateful I was able to serve with him……And to have been able to spend some time with him before Christmas.

I first met Jim at Kinloss when he was on his Team Leaders course. I had just arrived there and, as the commcen were after me, George Bruce sent me off
with Jim and the other members of the course to get me out of the way. So I got a few weeks really good mountaineering with Jim, Has Oldham, Slim Hemmings and Jim Gilligan.
Jim completed the course and after getting the Leeming Team he invited me to become the W/Op.
Jim was one of the fittest and most active Team Leaders I had the pleasure of working with. He was always in front! Despite my best efforts to beat him up a hill.
I have many fond memories of mountaineering with Jim. I think the highlight was probably halving the guidebook time when ascending Shuksan Peak in Washington
State when the Leeming Team went to America. As usual, Jim was in front all the way to the top! Attached is a photo of Jim approaching the summit pyramid of Shuksan.


Jim West – RIP
After leaving the RAF, we remained friends and always kept in touch. We even managed a backpacking trip to the pyrenees when Jim was 74 – He was still as fit
as ever and spent much of his time in front!!
He will be missed.

Jim Morrison

I had the pleasure of serving with Jim when he was at Saints.  A Yorkshire man he was typically laconic and would often come out with some profound or witty statement that completely encapsulated the situation.  A day on the hill with Jim was always a great experience, he managed to get newer Troops to stretch themselves to achieve what they thought was unachievable. A true leader in every respect.

RIP Jim, you were one of the greats.

The following was sent to Ray Sefton from David Smith

Former RAF Regt F/Sgt, James (Jim) WEST , born 08 Jul 33, died on 02 Feb 18, aged 84. He enlisted in Mar 62, serving with Nos 34 Sqn RAF Akrotiri (62-65), 37 Sqn RAF Catterick (65-66 & 75-79), GDT RAF St Athan (66-70), Mountain Rescue Team Leader RAF Leeming (70-74), 16 Sqn (74-75), 27 Sqn (79-80), & GD RAF Swinderby (80-82). He was discharged in Oct 82. He was some time member of the RAF Regiment Association HQ Roll.  Funeral will be held on Friday 13:30 16 Feb 18 at, the Methodist church , Station Road, Bentham ,Lancs, LA2 7LF, followed by wake at the Golf Club Bentham Robin Lane, High Bentham Nr Lancaster LA2 7AG. Family request, no flowers and at Jim’s request red ties please.   Corps and the Association extends their sincere condolences to his family. [Nat Sec 02/02/18-WW]

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