The Sounds Of Goodbye

Sydney had shaken off the cloth of yesterday’s achievements. A Harbour Bridge had spanned a busy waterway whilst the Opera House had set sail for a world of high class music and entertainment.

Old horse drawn tracks had made way for carpets of bitumen whilst ancient ramshackle buildings had surrendered to monoliths of concrete and steel.

Overhead, birds on the wing had provided impromptu concerts whilst at higher levels the muffled roar of jet engines had etched their presence along numerous sky trails. In the process new worlds of speed and distance had been born.

Yet, for one moment, on Wednesday 30th January,2019 the reverse was taking place. Commander {Retd] Arthur John {Nat} Gould a highly decorated RAAF, RAF and Fleet Air Arm pilot of World War Two and Korean vintage was being laid to rest at the Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens, North Ryde.

Many would have remembered approximately two months earlier, on Thursday 8th November 2018, at the Magnolia Chapel North Ryde the sounds of a Supermarine Spitfire  from the Temora Aviation Museum sweeping low over the gathered mourners in tribute to another fallen comrade, Flying Officer Joseph Lysle Roberts, formally of No.457 Spitfire Squadron RAAF.

However on this most recent of Wednesday’s, January 30th 2019 a repeat performance of a Spitfire fly over would not eventuate  but one still felt that the occasion of Lysle Roberts and Nat Gould’s passing was still of great significance.

Both had flown Spitfires. Both were two of a kind, forged in war and peace! Both were gifted airmen, having etched their calling cards on numerous pages of wartime history.

These were very special moments to be treasured by those privileged to be in attendance for the farewelling of two of Australia’s finest sons. They will be deeply missed.


Ron Elliott. The Spitfire Association {Life Member}

The Spitfire Cloud, complete with pilot (see to the left of the cockpit), by Gary Pescod Photography. See his original post on Facebook here.