In commemorations of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, we are celebrating the military service of Anthony ‘Tony’ John Haynes who has chosen to continue his life’s journey at Heanton Nursing Home. His military journey began on 5th January 1971, when he joined the RAF with a desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, Flight Lieutenant Walter Haynes, a pilot during World War II. Tony aspired to become an engineer, a goal he achieved with distinction over his 15-year career in the RAF.

Tony’s two older brothers, Roger and Richard, also dedicated their lives to service, spending a combined 60 years in the Royal Navy. As an Aircraft Propulsion Technician, Tony’s expertise took him across five tours of duty at RAF Halton, Valley, Lossiemouth, Coltishall, and back to Halton. He worked on numerous iconic RAF aircraft and even had the privilege of flying in some. Tony’s dedication to passing on his knowledge was evident when he transitioned to the role of Technical Instructor, mentoring the next generation of aircraft engineers.

Tony’s achievements were recognised with a promotion to Sergeant in December 1977, a milestone he holds with great pride. Beyond his technical skills, Tony also competed in show jumping, representing the RAF in various competitions. In October 1985, Tony and his wife Dorothy (Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Dorothy (Woodcock) Haynes), a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS), were married in a joint forces wedding. They met at a formal Mess Dinner at RAF Halton. They began their married life on the Chequers Estate, where Dorothy served as Curator.

Upon leaving the RAF in June 1986, Tony continued to serve at Halton as a civilian instructor before moving to Saudi Arabia to instruct and work for BAE Systems on Tornado aircraft. Learning was a priority for Tony, who earned both an HNC and ONC in Engineering during his time in the RAF and went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in 1999 whilst working full time.

Tony and Dorothy have two supportive children, Adam and Ruth. Upon Adam and Ruth leaving home to pursue their own lives and after 27 years in Lancashire, Tony and Dorothy retired to North Devon in 2018. Throughout his life, Tony has been a caring and loving family man. Living with Dementia has been heart-breaking for his family and friends.

Dorothy Haynes MBE expresses her heartfelt gratitude to the team at Heanton for their exceptional care and support during this difficult time. Their dedication to Tony’s well-being has been a source of comfort and strength for the Haynes family. At the core of Heanton Nursing Homes’ philosophy lies a commitment to nurturing independence no matter what complexity you live with.

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