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Vale Bob Gillett

 24 November 1922 16 July 2010.


Malta. c. July 1943.  Group portrait of fitters and mechanics of No. 3 (Kittyhawk) Squadron RAAF.
(Left to right:) Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Lloyd (Grizz) Bear of Melbourne, Vic;  LAC Washe of Wingham, NSW;  LAC Coolaman of Fremantle, WA;  LAC Gillett of Kandos, NSW (sitting on wing at left): 
LAC Gilseman of Lithgow, NSW;  Corporal Cork of Tumut, NSW.  [AWM MEC2007]

The following tribute was provided by Bob's son Ian Gillett:

Robert's Life Journey:

- Born in Wellington, NSW, Nov 24, 1922, to parents Leslie and Janet Gillett.  The second of 5 children (Betty 1920, Alan 1924, Kathleen 1926 and Margaret 1930).

- Educated at several NSW country schools including Wingham Primary, Taree High and Kandos High, he began his electrical apprenticeship at Kandos Cement Works until the outbreak of WWII, when he enlisted in the RAAF in Nov 1940, as Aircraftsman 1st Class, service number 36597.

- While training in NSW, he met his sweetheart Shirley Stow, at her girlfriend's 16th birthday party in Hurstville Grove.

- Love at first sight !!!

- Posted overseas: April 1942 to Nov 1945, mainly in the Middle East and Italy as ground crew, servicing the aircraft of 3 Squadron.

- Married Shirley at St Stephens Presbyterian Church, Sydney, on 21st Dec, 1946 and lived in a small 3rd story flat at 230 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee for 5 years.

- Finished his electrical apprenticeship for Godfreys, before joining ACI Glass-Works as an electrician in 1951 where he worked for the next 30 years.

- Family life began in earnest with the birth of his first child, Lesley and three years later they moved to a new house at 60 Remly St, Lakemba where he and Shirley lovingly raised Lesley (1949), Rodney (1955) and Ian (1957) for 25 years before moving into a unit in Kogarah.

- Retired from ACI in July 1981 and moved to his favourite holiday spot, Hawks Nest, where he lived happily with Shirl for 30 years, enjoying golfing, surfing, occasional overseas holidays and many wonderful times with his grandchildren.

- Ill health, from two strokes and Alzheimers, Robert finally 'went home' on Friday 16th July 2010.   Memorial Service: Thursday July 22nd 2010, Uniting Church Tea Gardens.


Bob with his Family.

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