Frans Thomas Benneker
7th March.2012 (80 years) †
Tom passed away peacefully on the 7th March 2012 in the Heidehaus-Oststadtklinik Hannover
Known to all as Tom he was born on the 25th April 1932 in Lonneker in Holland. He was the son of Bernard Benneker and Johanna Bakkers. However it was not allowed during the occupation of the National Socialists to call Tom by his first name. This is because of the "Tommies"!! In those years he was called Frans. His mother was always very upset about this fact. She admired Thomas A. Edison and that was the reason why Tom was called Thomas even though he never invented anything, he always had a lot of good ideas.
He started school in August 1938 until September 1950 and attended the following schools at Pathmoss School, Zuid-Esmark school and Synagog Enschede. He was also in Hoger Burger School and did additional tuition at the Middlebare Handelsavond School in Enschede to prepare for study at the Business High School in Rotterdam. Tom left with the certificate of H.B.S.-A.
He then started a career in November 1950 with the Dutch Royal Air force as an early entrant. In January 1951 he trained with the Royal Air force he went to Sandehurst and was then at Duxford Base where 64 Squadron operated Gloster Javelins and 65 Squadron flew Hawker Hunters. These were the last two operational squadrons to fly from the airfield. Tom also trained in Lossiemouth. The Fleet Air Arm used Lossiemouth as a training station with pilots receiving their basic training here before moving on. In June 1951 he also trained with the American Air force in the USA. In December 1951 he was posted to the United Nations unit in Korea as a professional pilot in a strategic wing it was here in Korea where he was wounded by a shot to his foot.
Tom then completed his final exam with the Middle Business School. He continued with the Dutch Royal Air force until December 1968 where he had an Honorable discharge as Flying Officer 1st class. Tom then went into the family business of vegetable export until July 1969 when he moved to Hannover as a Export official at Telefunken Fernseh and Rundfunk GmbH Hannover until June 1984 where he was made redundant due to the closure of the Hannover Office.
It was in 1978 that he married Heide and moved to Großburgwedel. From January 1985 until June 1986 Tom took temporary employment with LTCCA, Soltau as a C4 Clerk, he was responsible for the loading and dispatch of military vehicles with the German railways.
In June 1986 he was employed with the Senior Claims Office North West Europe, British Army over the Rhine for fatal accidents with land - and air vehicles.
In 1991 Tom became a pensioner but still carried on work as a translator for the German courts in English and Dutch, and would often travel great distances to carry out this task.
He was a member of Georg Zum Silbenen Einhorn in Nienburg and was also a member of Bridge of Fellowship 929 and Royal Arch Chapter No 4 also in Hannover. He joined Saxony Lodge on the 28 June 2000 his proposers were Dr Wolfgang Schaefer and Bill Hayler. He would enlighten the younger brethren and older with many of his adventures whilst in the Dutch Air force. It was always a delight to hear from Tom some of the antics that he and his comrades got up to during the cold war period, and also his time as a young lad during the war years in Holland. From commandeering a bus to get back to camp as an initiative test, except it had paying passengers on board. To flying low so that the girls petticoats would rise.
Tom was very enthusiastic with regards to when we started having our annual Burns night and it was Tom that suggested we should have Scottish Country Dancing added to the theme. Tom was always known as a bit of a Fred Astaire when it came to getting up on the dance floor. Always the humorous type Tom even managed to auction a two foot icicle on a BBQ in the summer nobody realized they were bidding on an icicle until it was too late and it was taken out of the cool box.
Tom is survived by his wife Heide and his three daughters Corina, Jolanda, Ylona and his two grandchildren Daphne and Jelmer