A warrant officer who died following a brave battle with cancer has been remembered in a poignant ceremony outside 5131 Bomb Disposal Squadron’s at RAF Wittering.
A commemorative plaque was dedicated to WO John Tomiczek, who was affectionally known as Tommy, in a service attended by his family and every available member of the squadron.
Tommy’s warrant was presented to his widow, Tracey, by Squadron Leader Mike Stocks, Officer Commanding 5131 (BD) Squadron.
WO Tomiczek died in September of complications resulting from his battle with cancer.
Station chaplain, the Rev Sqn Ldr David Haslam, addressed the gathering and spoke of Tommy’s two families; his wife and children, and his service comrades.
The comparison thoughtfully reflected the close bonds of the bomb disposal community, which has sadly lost one of its most experienced and respected members.
Tracey, Tommy’s wife of 32 years said; “It was beautiful, very fitting. So many of Tommy’s colleagues came to the service today, and it was lovely to hear just how highly they thought of him. The whole day was a great tribute to Tommy and I’m sure he would be so impressed with what the squadron has done in his honour.”
WO Tomiczek enlisted in December 1980. His career included a host of major operations from the last 35 years and saw him ascend to the highest achievable non-commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force.
Sqn Ldr Mike Stocks said: “It’s easy to be sentimental at occasions like this, but Tommy was a calm and factual man and our service reflected that. Good bomb disposal officers are steady and rational; those qualities made Tommy an excellent role model for everyone on the squadron.
“It was important for us to let Tommy’s family know just how much the squadron valued him, not just for his technical expertise but also for the content of his character.”