Barry Dunnings (1947 – 2015)

Written by Graham

Dad sadly left us on the 4th November 2015, there had been no warnings, he passed peacefully in his man cave.

Dad was born in Southampton 5th July 1947. The middle child of Charles and Hildyard. Growing up in Porlock Road in Millbrook, getting involved in the Scouts at an early age, and taking this through to the Adventure Scouts later on.

Academically, he was top of the class for the majority of subjects but bottom for English in his own admission.

On leaving school taking an apprenticeship with a local cabinet makers firm cutting his teeth until a call to join the Army. Dad enlisted at 17, joining the same Armoured Regiment as his elder brother Les.

A story my told me was when he was posted and Les had been promoted to Lance Corporal, gave my dad an order that he should call him by his rank, Dad in his usual jovial disposition declined and said that he’s always called him Les, that found him with a charge and extra duties 🙂

After marrying and leaving the Army, moving to Lordshill in Southampton he then applied for Hampshire Police who at the time suggested he apply for the Metropolitan Police instead so he did. He was accepted and started his training at Hendon and then later posted to Kingston and New Malden police stations. After his 2 years probation, applying for and being accepted for a firearms position within the Diplomatic Protection Group. This saw him stand outside 10 Downing Street and various Embassies within London when stationed at Tottenham Court Road.

We moved to Durham Road in Raynes Park (SW20) which at the time was a block of flats that had a sizable garden and some large trees. It has since been cleared and the density in housing increased several fold.

During the Iran Embassy Siege, he recounted that he was on the roof checking and reporting movements on several of the skylights on the roof.

In 1982, he took a posting to Heathrow Airport, moving us to Sunbury-on-Thames, the road was entirely Police Married Quarters and we remained in Sunbury for the rest of his career.

Whilst at Heathrow, he took on the responsibility of first aid training and a paramedic during the Ambulance strikes. When several IED’s were launched onto the live runway at Heathrow, he was one of a small team walking up the live runway marking where the IED’s had landed but hadn’t detonated.

He was briefly posted to Holland Park prior to his retirement from the Police and subsequent move back to Southampton.

He took up the role of Postman, getting in several miles of walking a day which I think also helped him keep his hand in with helping people and getting as many smiles out of people though joking with them.

He took up a position with Southampton City Council as a Town Sargent, a role he stayed in right up until his full retirement. He was most proud of the heritage of the role of the Town Sargent, and ticked the boxes for his love of helping people and probably that the heritage of the role in his Birth city.

He loved to travel but not on planes, so would fairly regularly travel on a Cruise or Coach Trip, if this be to the US, Mediterranean.