The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 5 No 5 - June 1982

Major D.P. Tidy, MA (Oxon)

The Editorial Committee records its profound regrets at the loss of the invaluable services of Maj Douglas P. Tidy when he took up a post in Natal. Maj Tidy has been a member of the Editorial Committee since Vol 1 No 2 of the Journal.

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Major D.P.Tidy, MA (Oxon)

He served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War II, enlisting in 1940 at the age of 16 (having falsified his age). During his service he flew in Blenheims, Bisleys, Venturas and a wide variety of other aircraft. For some time he was attached to the United States Air Force. After the War he read English at the University of Oxford, and graduated with an MA degree. He served subsequently with the Royal Air Force as a Station Education Officer in Bomber and Maintenance Command (1962-1966), eventually retiring with the rank of Squadron Leader. He came to South Africa in 1966, and served in the South African Air Force (Active Citizen Force), 90 Tactical Airfield Unit, becoming a Major in 1976. His varied career has included teaching in an English public school, the African Colonial Service (Nigeria), editorial work with the National Institute for Metallurgy, and club and hotel management, in which calling he is now engaged. He was formerly on the staff of the South African National Museum of Military History, as Senior Professional Officer and Curator of Aviation.

Maj Tidy is an acknowledged authority on the history of military aviation, and his contribution to this field of knowledge, in the form of published research, has been outstanding. Readers of the ‘Military History Journal’ will remember his most informative and lucidly presented series dealing with South African air aces, the first of which appeared in Vol 1 No 3 (December 1968). He is also the author of the book, ‘I Fear No Man’ (London, Macdonald, 1972), the history of 74 Squadron, Royal Air Force (whose motto forms the title of the book), in which he served for a time during the War, and in which Group Captain A.G. (‘Sailor’) Malan, DSO (and Bar), DFC (and Bar), also served.

However, no record of Maj Tidy’s achievements can do justice to his great personal qualities, which have made such an impact upon all who worked with him, and especially his editorial colleagues. His kindness and generosity were always evident, and were especially manifested in the unstinting manner in which he permitted his colleagues to share his expertise and experience. Maj Tidy leaves us with our sincerest best wishes for the future.

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