A SECOND World War pilot thought to be one of the last in the borough has died.

Tom Bromley, 89, who spent most of his life at Aldham Crescent, died at Buckingham Care Home, Penistone, where he had spent the last few weeks of life.

Born in Wigan, Tom's family walked from Wigan to Wombwell in 1924 when he was a two-year-old to find work as, while coal seams in Lancashire were declining, those in Wombwell were continuing to be exploited. His father eventually found work at Wombwell Main.

The family settled in Smithies before moving to Roebuck Street and Tom went to school at Holgate Grammar after passing his 11 plus exam. Later leaving school to care for his sick mother, he worked in the pits as a technician and studied chemistry and physics at night school.

In 1941, he became a pilot with the Royal Air Force and received his training in Africa, after travelling by sea. On the journey there, the ships in front and behind his were hit by torpedos and sank.

After completing his training, Tom returned to Britain as a Wellington Bomber pilot. On one particular mission the plane failed to lift off correctly, causing it to crash, though the crew survived.

He then moved to the Air Transport Auxiliary, responsible for ferrying new, repaired and damaged military aircraft across the country, where he flew 40 different different types of aircraft.

These included Lancaster Bombers, Wellington Bombers, four types of Spitfires, four types of Hurricanes and, his personal favourite, the Mosquito.

After being demobbed, Tom found work as a salesman for Hoover and rose to the position of sales manager for the north of England. He would stay with the company for 35 years before retirement.

He met wife Mary, née Savage, from Sheffield, during the war at a dance at the Cuban Club in Barnsley. Following the war, they stayed with Mary's father at the Imperial in Barnsley, where he was landlord.

They married in 1947 at St Mary's Church, Barnsley, and moved in with Tom's sister at Wood Walk. Their first child, Martyn, was born in 1949 followed by their daughter, Lynn, and son, Paul.

In his leisure time, Tom enjoyed golf and joined Silkstone Golf Club in 1960, rising to captain and, later, president. He was also a lifelong Barnsley FC fan, a Freemason and a member of Barnsley Round Table.