Tributes paid to 'no-nonsense' former RAF airman and police officer on death at 102

After a decorated career, Eric Maville took up windsurfing in his later years. Credit: Northumbria Police

Tributes have been paid to a "no-nonsense" former police officer and war hero who passed away just days after his 102nd birthday.

Eric Maville was one of Northumbria Police's oldest former officers and previously served in the RAF and represented the force at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Born in Kirkcudbright, Eric left school at the age of 14 to join the County Home Guard during World War Two.

He later became an RAF Gunner aboard bombers in 76 squadron, flying in 30 missions in 1943 and taking part in the raid on the V2 Flying Bomb research facility in Peenemunde in Germany, in which 40 planes were downed by enemy aircraft.

Early the following year, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) by King George VI at Buckingham Palace in early 1944.

At that point, he married his first wife Margaret, who sadly died of tuberculosis not long after the end of the war.

Upon leaving the RAF, Eric joined Northumberland County Constabulary, renamed Northumberland Constabulary in 1969, and then Northumbria Police in 1974. His area covered Morpeth, Shilbottle and Amble.

In 1953, Eric was invited to represent the Force in London to line the Coronation Parade route of Queen Elizabeth II. He married his second wife Cynthia in this period.

After a secondment in Cyprus, he returned to the North East, where he worked across Berwick, Acklington, and Whitley Bay. In 1977 he retired as a Sergeant, although he often acted up to Inspector. He then joined the Newcastle Airport Police, working there until his actual retirement in 1985.

Eric and Cynthia spent many of the following years in Cyprus, where Eric took up the sport of windsurfing at the age of 70. Eventually they returned to the UK and settled back in North Tyneside.

He leaves behind 93-year-old Cynthia, his son Andrew, and his daughter Lesley.

Andrew described him as “modest, practical, fair, and no nonsense”.

He added: “He was very reserved until you got to know him – and very loyal to his friends and family.

“In recent years, with failing health, he never complained about his lot – and all the nurses and carers who looked after him remarked on how lovely he was. He would always perk up and joke with the nurses who came to care for him.

“He will be greatly missed by us all.”