John A. Smith
It is with regret that we announce the death, on 6th March 1988, of John A Smith, founder member, founder and only Chairman and a past President.
John Anthony Smith, the Society's Founder Chairman, died aged 66 at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow on 6th March 1988. He was born on 8th August 1922 and was educated at Aldeburgh Lodge, Suffolk and St Edwards, Oxford. He joined the BBC on leaving school in 1941 and worked in London and Evesham. John served with HM Forces from 1942-47, being a Captain in the Royal Artillery. After service with 3 Division in Normandy he joined Radio SEAC in Ceylon. He rejoined the BBC in 1947, spending much of the next 30 years as a producer at Bush House with Radio News and Current Affairs. He also spent some time with the German and East European Services.
When the Forces Postal History Society was founded in 1952 John was already acknowledged as the expert in modern FPOs and contributed articles to "Stamp Collecting Weekly". In 1957 he published the standard reference work on the RAFPOST, which so far has not been improved upon. He became the Founder Chairman of the FPHS at the inaugural meeting on 18th October 1952, a position he held with distinction for over 30 years. John later became President of the Society and was an Honorary Life Member.
A kindly man, John was always ready to give help and advice to newcomers to Forces Postal History and there must be many members of the Society who, like me, received encouragement and were introduced to the Society through his efforts. The fact that the Society is so strong today is due in no small part to the dedicated band of Postal Historians who founded the Society, amongst whom John was a leading light.
John leaves a widow, Cora, to who we send our deepest sympathies at her great loss.