Air Training Corps leader Michael (67) dies

Air Cadets and officers will form a guard of honour at the funeral tomorrow (Friday) of one of the Corps most respected and well-loved personalities.

WO  Michael Procter
WO Michael Procter

Michael Procter influenced the lives of thousands of teenagers and mentored many colleagues during nearly 30 years of service.

Mr Procter (67) died on Sunday after being ill for only a few weeks. His death stunned the Air Training Corps community throughout the region. He will be in full dress uniform for the 9-15am service at Sion Church, and at Burnley crematorium at 10-40am. Officers will act as pall-bearers.

The outpouring of tributes paid to Mr Procter have comforted his wife of 48 years, Sheila, and son Shaun. “He was an amazing man,” said Shaun. “He had an infectious laugh, and he affected the lives of so many young men and women in a positive way.”

Mr Procter was honoured for his outstanding service and exceptional devotion to duty with an award from the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire in 2000.

A skilled marksman and clay pigeon shooter, Mr Procter taught the members of many squadrons and was planning more activities and an overseas trip when he was taken ill. A professional driver, he was the mainstay of transport arrangements.

He was born in Burnley but spent his early childhood in Tasmania after his family emigrated as “Ten Pound Poms”. They returned to Burnley in 1960 for a visit and when Mr Procter was 16 they came back permanently.

When his own son showed an interest in flying, Mr Procter offered to help as an assistant instructor and within months was appointed as Warrant Officer with the Burnley 352 Squadron.

He willingly assumed the duties of a Squadron Commander when he was asked to step in, in 1990, as an NCO with the Pendle Squadron, and he was later asked to revive the then ailing squadron in Accrington, who pay a last tribute to him by forming the guard of honour.