Tributes paid to air marshal

Sir Peter Bairsto.
Sir Peter Bairsto.

Tribute has been paid to St Andrews resident Air Marshal Sir Peter Bairsto, who has died at the age of 91.

Mr Bairsto had a long and distinguished RAF career before coming to Fife to live with his first wife Kathie in 1984.

He had originally come to the Kingdom in 1954, joining No 43. Squadron to fly Hunter fighters based at RAF Leuchars.

During his three years there he was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air.

Sir Peter, who was born in Liverpool in 1926, also led the squadron’s aerobatic formation team – the Fighting Cocks – at many displays, including the Farnborough Air Show for the Premier of Russia, the Queen and other national leaders.

His flying can also been seen in the film High Flight, for which he provided flying sequences.

After leaving Leuchars, Sir Peter worked in a number of roles, including Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command.

Sir Peter retired from the RAF in 1984 and served as the chairman of the St Andrews’ Links Management Trust for three years.

Kathie died in 2008, and in 2010 Sir Peter married Pamela Braid in St Andrews.

He had three children from his first marriage: Helen, Nigel, who served as an engineer at RAF Leuchars in the 1970s, and Clive, who served at Leuchars three times and commanded the station from 2007-2009. Both sons reached the rank of air-vice-marshal.

Sir Peter died in Cupar on October 24.