Bio / Text:
Wing Commander Edward (Tim) Fairhurst DFC was born on April 14th 1918 at Mirfield in Yorkshire and educated at Shrewsbury School. He joined the Territorial Army in 1936 and was commissioned into the 7th West Yorkshire Regiment. With little activity after the outbreak of war, he responded to a request for Army officers to transfer to the RAF to train as pilots.
He completed his flying training in November 1940 when he was posted to No 4 Squadron, flying the Lysander. In October 1941 he was posted to D Flight No1 PRU (Spitfires), which later became No 541 Squadron. In September 1942 he flew to Russia as OC PRU detachment and operated there with red star markings in place of RAF roundels. He was promoted to Sqd Ldr, converted to Mosquitoes and posted across the airfield as OC A Flight 544 Sqdn. Fairhurst went to America to brief the USAAF on photographic operations before returning to the UK. In September 1944 he was posted back to 541 Sqn (Spitfires) as CO and remained there until the end of the war. By the end of the war he had flown 88 long-range photographic sorties.
He was twice mentioned in dispatches, was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre avec Palme and received the Territorial Decoration. After two years as a civilian, Wing Commander Edward (Tim) Fairhurst rejoined the RAF in May 1947 and flew Spitfires in Malaya before going to Hong Kong. Following a period selecting men for officer and aircrew training, he spent the final two years of his service as the permanent president of a court martial standing board. He retired in 1965, when he became a civil servant and worked for the MoD as a positive vetting officer. In old age he was invited to the Russian embassy to be presented with the Arctic Star. Tim Fairhurst died on April 25th 2009 aged 91.