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Michael Bird

Also known as: Dickie.

Dickie Bird sitting next to his wife.

Michael Bird (Dickie) was born in July 1914 in Chitagong, then east Bengal, India, now in Bangladesh. His father was Chief Accountant in the East Bengal Railways. Maud, daddy’s mother, with Brother Maurice and Sister Pam, came home to High Wycombe when he was 7 to give birth to Jean, now his only surviving sister. Ernest Bird, his father died in east Bengal when daddy was 8.
Daddy went to the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe where his brother Maurice, future brother-in-law Jack, and later his three sons attended and currently his grandson attends. Daddy joined Edwin Scull, his grandfather’s furniture factory in High Wycombe.
In the 30’s Daddy started courting Doreen whose parents ran the Ship at Itchenor. Daddy, Doreen and her brother Jack had a fine old time messing around in boats at Itchenor.
Then the war came and Maurice, Dickie’s younger brother joined the Royal Navy and eventually flew in the Fleet Air Arm in Albatrosses from HMS Sussex. Sadly he was lost at sea in 1939, and Daddy never really got over this. Daddy was desperate to join the Navy, but he had poor eyesight. Also, he was in a reserved occupation, making aircraft propellers in the furniture factory. He set up an Auxiliary Bomb Disposal Unit in the factory. Toward the end of the war he finally joined the Navy, in time to serve in small boats servicing the serving ships in the Solent.
Dickie married Doreen in 1940 in High Wycombe Parish Church and lived in High Wycombe and then in nearby villages Flackwell Heath and Horsleys Green. They had three sons, Stephen, Maurice and Simon, but still continued their association with Itchenor, Daddy having a mooring at Itchenor and a series of caravans. Then daddy bought a cottage in Selsey in around 1970.
Daddy started a small consulting engineering practice called MEC Bird Associates that is still going strong today. In 1988 Dickie and Doreen moved to Selsey and enjoyed almost 20 years of life in the village.
Dick always supported the RNLI. He was a shoreline member and Doreen helped by taking collections around the village and selling flags.
I’m sure we all have many happy memories of Dickie and Doreen in Selsey. They still had an association with the sea, daddy being a member of Itchenor Sailing Club, and with local fisherman as chums. We recall when the club were entertaining the lifeboat crew for lunch, Dickie and Doreen went with the Selsey lifeboat in one of her spectacular launches off the lifeboat station.

Added by: Simon Bird on 11 June 2007.

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