11 thoughts on “Bobby Locke with his Famous Putter

  1. Dear Observer Post, I really enjoy seeing the above recovered photograph ( circa 1947?) with “Bobby” Locke nursing his famous putter which so suited him, his personal, positive attitude and activity in putting ever so reliably to win accolades and trophies galore. That putter gave him tremendous confidence as I witnessed many times as he aimed well to the right of the hole, gave the ball a sharp rap with his rolling wrists and hardly any follow through after a peculiar action of the wrist to give, what he thought was topspin. Ball into hole often enough to win four British Open Championships and be in a threatening position or a win in how many others? He is seen holding his “Big Boy” , hand made, antique weapon of victory – it is “The One” for sure. That is IT, unmarked and unstamped – no maker or user’s name. It was, almost a magic wand in his days of fame and fortune. I have a report to follow about this putter which appears to have vanished into “space”.

    He would never have swopped it for another and believed very definitely that putter not only suited him and his putting style and technique but had an element of “Magic” about it as did a golf ball marked “4” and no other.




  2. Dear Peter Dickens 20th January 2023
    Circa 1954 I watched “Bobby “ Locke and Roberto di Vicenso competing at a minor tournament at Pannal Golf Club in Yorkshire. Locke played good, steady golf, invariably onto the green with two putts for par. Di Vicenso spent a lot of time the rough and looking like losing the hole quite often , but “No”, he chipped on, recovered as if by Magic” and holed the one putt for a half, sometimes a win holing the chip in! The pair finished up about level but “recovery” equalled or beat ”steady performance”. One learns a lot from that example. It has always seemed to me that “Golf” is rather like “Life” as a game! There is more to it than you think with that “shadow” of Radicle Uncertainty, hovering in the wings with unexpected surprises, either way.
    Bobby Locke was showing great promise as a “Rising Star” by 1938. He won The Irish Open and Henry Cotton, great champion and authority on the game, was competing – Think no More. Hitler and his Nazi Brigade, soon enough, brought on a Second World War and Bobby Locke, like so many other young men were forced to join the forces to serve, one way and another , for “Freedom”. He served in The South African Air Force for over five years but did manage, despite all, not to lose his golfing skills. He came back with a vengeance from early 1956 onwards in Europe, America and, back Home, in South Africa. His dictum, learned in America, about “Putting” came through loud and clear. However good you are , “through the green”, you are a loser if you cannot putt. That is a proven fact. So – believe it: he and his Magic, “No Name” Putter, rose to incredible fame. Locke won four British Opens but was “Knocking on the door” for however many other wins?
    About “Bobby” Locke and his most famous “No Name Putter”. You or anyone might like to use the following notes for your Bobby Locke Putter researches. It is factual and I know that not one of the many claimants , stating that they own “THE Bobby Locke Putter”, obtained in the latter years, is in order, but not. The true, splendid tool has no name or identity as such but it was described to me by my friendly acquaintance, Peter Alliss, who had handled it and tried it out. Peter, extraordinary character and expert on the game, who I first met in 1954 at The German Open at Krefeld, said and I quote: “I held it many times and in fact had a few putts with it – it was like a Stradivarius . It was beautifully balanced, rusty head, two or three inches longer than normal, a thinnish grip, a very stiff hickory shaft and it had the most beautiful feel when the ball was struck as it usually was out of the very middle of the club by Bobby who was, without doubt, as good a putter as I have ever seen in my life. I’m not sure where it is now. There were several replicas made and people sold, I’m sure, copies at auction saying this was the putter used by Bobby Locke, but at the end of the day I hope it’s at a home where it’s loved, cared for and remembered – this is the club used by one of golf’s all time greats. Peter Alliss
    As for the rusty putter, which, now, appears to have disappeared completely, I see it being held by it’s owner, proudly photographed on this golf-putter website. I could identify it with no trouble if I had it in my hands right now, having cleaned it and polished it often enough and witnessed it in use, ever so often, at very close quarters. I have speculated that it might, hopefully, be where it belongs, if I had had my wishes, in his coffin, with him. That is probably not so as his wife and daughter were horribly short of cash and worthwhile assets by then that they could not have made such a sacrifice for just a memory and not altogether a happy one for them.
    The most obvious feature is that the Locke putter head is ancient, hand forged from mild steel which is why it rusts. However, it’s constant use and natural, hand-oiling, , also made a gloss over the rusty colour. It has a hickory wood shaft and relatively ancient leather grip with tar-cord whipping. There was definitely no plastic cap secured with a metal screw on the top- end of the handle. The leather grip was “ancient” and shiny, but not slippery. It had no printing or manufacturer’s name embossed or printed onto the leather surface. There was carried carried no name or stamped identification whatsoever on the head or shaft. There is no hosel of plastic or other material where the shaft fits into the mild-steel, rusty club head’s hand-wrought socket. There were absolutely no product engraving marks or stampings. Replicas all have “Gradidge” stamped on the sole and other makings on the back of the heads. That head was in very good condition due to loving care disregarding much use. It most was probably made in Scotland by some Blacksmith or Professional to sell in his own shop or self-use circa the 1890’s to early 1920’s. It is impossible to tell. How it originally arrived in Germiston, South Africa is, also, a total mystery. An explanation of the Locke acquisition, circa 1929 (some years before Slazengers bought Gradidge and started manufacturing Gradidge Golf Clubs, after the Gradidge Company acquisition, later and in 1935.) is clear. It was obtained for “Young Bobby” by either, close friend, “Bob” Wheleans , a delightful, old gentleman with love in his heart,or Locke’s father, “C.J.” to be a present for Locke, growing up in Golf. The name “Bobby Locke” could not appear on a Slazengers (Gradidge stamped golf clubs) until Locke turned professional very much later, confirmed by his progress details and noted in his book. So, any putter , bearing such stamp marks, CAN NOT BE THE ONE.
    Locke continued to use his trusty, old rusty putter exclusively and certainly, because, as a creature of very strict habit with a most demonstrable, superstitious nature, he would never change his putter or certain other possessions. He certainly used it in the British Open at St. Andrews in 1955 (I was there) and the days after his calamitous accident in 1960, along with the “Triple Crown” set mentioned. Following his third “Open” win, Slazengers directors had a really tough struggle to wean him off his old, pre-war 1938 (?) Gradidge clubs onto latest Slazenger “Triple Crowns”, which he should personally endorse for sale by using them. He feared they might bring him bad luck. They allowed him, for obvious reasons, to continue using his “Old Faithful Putter” as an exception. For the same, “superstition” reason he would never play any but a “Number Four” golf ball. That is certain. Any ball other than a “4” should not be claimed as, even perhaps, used by him in competition or practice rounds. Why have some other foolish claimants given Locke’s Putter the title “Calamity Jane”? That was Robert Tyre Jones putter’s name, certainly not Locke’s, ever!
    The “Bobby Locke’s putter”, lot 120 sold at Christies in 1993, was submitted by his wife and daughter has a stainless steel head stamped with his name and maker’s name on the sole. That club was the usual, conventional stamped, stainless steel replica and anything resembling that club must be likewise dated. It is probable that there were more than quite a few of these proto-types made by Slazengers in the mid 1950’s all stamped “Bobby Locke” & Slazenger, perhaps and, mostly, Gradidge, put into limited circulation or production for sale.
    A True witness, Andrew Jardine ( News Reporter) interviewed Locke at a Golf Outing to Sun City a few weeks before Locke’s death in 1987. Jardine’s news paper article published covered The Locke Putter (nicknamed “My Boy” by Locke) subject amongst other things. Locke was questioned about his tantrum, throwing his “No Name” antique putter in anger on a golf course to be chastised by his father, on the spot. See page 18 Bobby Locke on Golf. Locke stated to Jardine , watched by Locke’s companion: quote Locke – “ I can remember the date. It was August 13th 1932 and I threw the club after missing a putt”. On page 17, he mentions how he received the nickname “Bobby” from his African Nurse and why and how. In his pram as a baby, he “bobbed” up and down. This detail was confirmed, later, in my presence by his parents. Some claims have it that he, purposely, adopted his own nickname “Bobby” as a tribute to “Bobby” Jones. That is another invented fable and not at all true. He was, already, nicknamed “Bobby” before Robert Jones books were circulated and copies seen by “C.J.” and “Bobby”.

    After the 1993 memorabilia auction sale, Carolyn Locke, when pressed by a news-reporter, confessed that the real and true, old rusty putter had been held back from the Christies sale, by her self, to hold and retain it and that she had lied deliberately. The replica replacement, never used in any professional competition sold at auction for £2,400. Published copies of the press clippings are on-line available.. The conclusions to draw from that from that report are obvious. Unless the whereabouts of the old rusty are, somehow or coincidentally, discovered , the mystery must remain for all time. Carolyn and Mary, the closest witnesses, are dead from their shocking suicide pact. His regularly-used “Triple Crown Set” simultaneously with the ancient “Rusty” from, circa, 1954 to well past 1962 form an item of interest and, perhaps, proof. Neither appeared at the 1993 Christies Sale which I attended in 1993. The question raised is : “Why not and where were they at that time, actually? Conclusion – it could be that he lost that set or it was stolen along with HIS putter which I had recovered together with the missing “Five Iron” about a week after the level-crossing accident. Proof appears in the Cape Town Press that I offered the reward for recovery and paid it out of my own pocket. Truly – I would recognise that true putter if ever I see it again, I am sure. After all, I recovered the putter after the accident, knew it was “the one” together with the missing Triple Crown Five Iron. I scrubbed it clean, polished and spotless at that time in early 1960. I was intimately involved with that putter and not for the first and only time – I swear that on oath.
    Two, interesting, look-alike, “Bobby Locke” putters surfaced historically, since, resembling one another somewhat. . The first appears , apparently, in perfect condition, like new, the other is seriously damaged and miserably mal-treated and dilapidated. Both have mild steel heads and are, naturally, prone to rusting. Both appear to be more traditional replicas made to resemble the No Name original but they are, clearly named and stamped by Gradidge. The first was given as a, generous, personal gift from Locke to his old pal, Leon Norgarb, a remarkable Tennis Champion and Professional, who we both knew well. After giving up any further attempts at “Wimbledon”, he took, most enthusiastically, to golf with much help from Locke, becoming a splendid golfer and well built for that game as well.. He is the only South African I know or heard of who played Tennis at Wimbledon as well as Golf in any British Open Championship. His immaculate, gift- putter, fully stamped with maker and the champions markings, was auctioned by his family after his death – Lot 90 Bonhams, London, A BOBBY LOCKE ‘MAGIC’ PUTTER, Sold for £611 inc. premium. (Not, obviously, the original )

    The rather similar, second putter with same markings on the sole and peeping out on the edges from underneath a crude lump of lead, “casually” or crudely, , soldered onto the back of the head but “Gradidge” stamped and clearly showing on the sole. Various “modifications” from clumsy hammerings and hammer-bending to alter loft and lie, etc. wreck the item, completely. The hickory shaft looks like a replacement from another, much older, antique putter showing clumsy fitting and heavy damage plus rotting through apparent damp and neglect.. The hosel securing pin looks as though it is not original (shiny stainless steel) and badly damaged in the refit as well. “Modern” leather gripping, trade-marked “Slazenger” had been, latterly fitted. It is being claimed that this item, which looks as though a seriously unskilled person has attempted serious alterations to the putter. I suspect that it might just have been Locke himself as he has been said to have had “a workshop” in his home in Yeoville, Johannesburg. We shall never know. There is no doubt that both of these putters were manufactured by Slazengers, stamped “Gradidge” at their factory in Horbury, Yorkshire many years after 1929 when teenage Locke received “My Boy”, plain bladed. There is a host of other claimants with replica putter gifts – too numerous to mention here.

    This, abused and damaged, putter left the possession of Mary Locke in 1987 as a charity donation for the fund-operator, Mr, Colin Tait, an apparent old friend of Locke and his wife. Serious efforts have been made to prove that this putter is the true, “No Name” – “My Boy” and is residing now in America by a second or third purchaser/memorabilia collector. The seriously damaged item is presented in a hand-made timber , exhibition stand mounted with brass fittings and a multitude of inscriptions on brass plates. It was first purchased , an individual item , via charitable auction by a Mr Brian Sylvester who was furnished, subsequently, with a congratulatory letter which is now being put forward as a real, formal, true “provenance” document in a formal state that , obviously, it lacks. The wording of the letter does not state that this is the putter used since boyhood and through every golfing event, friendlies, exhibitions and practicing, at least, up to 1962 and thereafter, well after the accident when the putter would never again be used to win any tournament, whatsoever. That one is, certainly, not the one recovered by me, thankfully, intact. Here follows what the Mary Locke letter states – the two warm, friendly, kind wishes paragraphs on the Bobby Locke headed paper have not been included below:-
    “Mr Brian Sylvester
    P.O.Box. 659, Bergvliet, 2012 and dated 8th May 1987
    Dear Mr. Sylvester,
    My daughter & I heard from Colin Tait that you bought one of our dear Bobby’s Putters which we promised to Colin for his auction, before he left us.
    Signed – Mary Locke”

    Please, everyone, remember and bear in mind. Carolyn Locke, forcefully interviewed by a press reporter in London admitted the putter placed in the Christie’s Auction was falsely placed and, purposely misleading. The available copy of the press report shows her as purposely retaining possession of the ancient “original” and that was in July 1993. How could the Colin Tait charity sale replica be “The No Name One” in 1987 if Carolyn still had the true one in her own possession in 1993?

    Because so many replicas have surfaced, allegedly given as gifts or whatever by Locke and his wife and daughter , the facts stated here have been challenged by some who believe that the one-of-many putters received from Locke himself or others must be “The One” even if the head is not rusty, is not mild steel but stainless steel with relatively “new” grips, stamped “Bobby Locke” and “Gradidge” or “Slazenger”! Locke received the true item circa 1929, he states, when he was growing slim but taller and just a promising young golfer. If it was a bit large, he did, already have a good putter which I inherited much later, it was a shortened “STAR MAXWELL PUTTER BY GIBSONS OF KINGHORN” , given to him by the Captain of Germiston Golf club to that young boy who could do with a better putter than the one he received as a small child. That “Star Maxwell” was recognised and confirmed by his old golfing pal Hendry Green, who played golf with Locke , in those days as a junior, and remembered it well. I hope you find this all useful and worth publishing It is a joy to be of service. I fear you will say again that my messages rather long. Well, how can you prove the truth, convoluted by Time and mistaken accounts, in a few words when there is so much proven detail and much evidence is so questionable and complicated? If you all want The Truth, here it is.
    Sincerely with honour and dignity,


    • Alfred, I’ve just rescued this from my spam folder, not just me, clearly Wordsmith feels its too long too. I’m struggling to see what this has to do with my statement that Locke was in an operational zone during the war? That he did not see a shot fired in anger does not detract his status as a war veteran. Many veterans participating in World War 2 did not see a shot fired in anger – doesn’t mean they were not prepared to be in, or actually in a danger zone.


      • Dear Peter
        I am puzzled by your reply. This website has nothing to do with the War except to say, with due regard, that Locke lost out on his golf career due to the War and I acknowledge that he served just over five years, perfectly, correctly. I take from you website that The Matter of Bobby Locke and his Pouter” have not one iota to do with his war record, which is, openly, acknowledged in my due brief. I believed that your separate website was about Locke, “The Great Putter” which is , duly acknowledged and the matter of his tried and tested, “magic wand” putter, which has disappeared from sight or possession to all. Locke was never in an operational zone during hostilities in World War Two – the facts are there and not invented by me or anyone else.

        This is a story, in as few words as I can tell about the history of the Great Bobby Locke and his Putter. I am not going to put up a few words like : “You drive for show but putt for Dough” . I have re-read what I have stated with open generosity of the Spirit about that great golfer and his intimate relationship with his putter. Sorry – are Red lights flashing at The Level Crossing ? I see this as a good , honest account of Locke and his putter. Ignore it if you like. I will understand very well even if it arrived in your Spam Folder. It does nor belong in mine as it is a truthful account of Locke and his prized possession. Peter Alliss realized what it was and said so. I reckon Peter was one of the best commentators and Golf personalities I have ever witnessed. I did say how sorry I am if the account is long. Volume Six of “Eagles Victorious” is very long and most detailed. I recommend a copy to all enthusiasts. Who knows? This has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Locke never flying a bomber in action in 1943 to 1945 and it is no intention of mine to say so in this particular matter of Bobby Locke’s Famous Putter and what it meant to him. I might publish this anyway and elsewhere, if it seems appropriate. Good Luck and a happy new year. I am not an antagonist towards you – please accept that and forgive me if you think so. I thought I was being helpful to you with your recordings of “facts”. When I die there will, probably, be no true witnesses surviving.

        Most sincerely



      • Hi Alfred – I’m not being antagonistic either and wish you the very best, whilst I enjoy golf and the story of Bobby Locke, this remains a site which honours military veterans – that Locke did not “see action” is not important and inconsequential. His record shows he was in a operational area during the war, flying bombers – both Palestine and Egypt were ‘theatres of operations’, whether the areas were ‘safe’ or not is inconsequential, and whether he was a co-pilot, pilot or trainee bomber pilot is inconsequential. The definition of these zones of combat and how long they remained such is known, and at the time Locke was present there they were still considered theatres of operations albeit for training missions. His status as a war veteran whose golf career was set aside by the war remains. This Imperial War Image and my fun punt ‘putting for dough’ is just an antidote post for fun and interest. I think we’ve learned a great deal about Bobby Locke on this conversation stream and I thank you for that.


      • Dear Peter Dickens (19th February 2023)

        I am very grateful for your views and exchanges to date. Thank you again. As a leading publicist on War Service matters, I feel you should receive these facts in detail. Nothing, so far mentioned by me is not supported by accurate survey and investigation data.

        An initial enquiry (circa 1993) for Locke’s War record from The S.A. Defense Force was detailed in some respects but unclear in others. The acronyms for postings did not state posting’s place/air station names, although, dates were made perfectly clear. The stated residential address, together with Locke’s first wife, Elizabeth Hester “Lilian” in 1943 to circa October 1944 was “The Beach Hotel”, Humewood, Port Elizabeth. Correct – Tick

        The much clearer and detailed, second, report from The S.A. Defense Force in February 2010 and the facts are copied here. There were no facilities for medium or heavy bomber training within South Africa in 1944. Records show that Locke journeyed from South Africa to Egypt for his very first time on 13th December 1944 for initial, upgrade to Wellington, Medium Bomber, RAF, Pilot Training at Aqir in Palestine, taking some four and a half months to pass tests. “Eagles Victorious” records the active, bombing sorties of Numbers 31 and 34 Liberator Squadrons operating in Italy since their initial formations to include details covering January to April 1945, prior to Locke’s arrival at Fogia/Celone, Italy. Both Squadrons were participating in the defeat of Nazi Forces. from, effectively, safe bases.

        Locke arrived back in Cairo from R.A.F. Aqir on 7th May 1945. Having passed his Wellington Pilot Tests he was posted to Number 31 Liberator Heavy Bomber (four engines aircraft) on 11th May 1945 – after hostilities had, finally, ceased . The nominated areas, formerly designated as “Active War Zones” had been cleared of all German and Italian militia, many taken as prisoners of war, the rest withdrawn or surrendered very much earlier into 1944 and “Peace” reigning in those previously dangerous parts.

        There can be no doubt about these actual details of 2nd Lt. Locke’s War Service Records, complete with verified, confirmed dates and activities. He certainly did serve as a Volunteer, a Pupil Pilot, Trainee and Trainer upwards, from 15th October 1940 until honourable discharge, back in South Africa on 11th November 1945, a recognised “Veteran”. Flying was dangerous for all, in all circumstances, including basic training. Examples:-
        One, Air Sergeant Raymond Marie de Marillac (102316) of the Rhodesian Air Force, died 25th Aug 1941 in a Harvard, Trainer Aircraft crash. That young volunteer was killed learning to upgrade to a powerful-engine, large propeller aircraft delivering massive “torque” effects on take-offs, etcetera. Others also fell into that same trap and died in the process of transitional handling of such powerful aircraft. De Marillac is correctly honoured for volunteering and his giving service and his life though only a pupil.
        Douglas Bader whilst attempting a variety of aerobatics, a vital skill necessary for all Fighter Pilots, in his early flying training days, crashed and lost both his legs. Later on, he managed to persuade the R.A.F. to let him fly again and he served as a famous W.W. Two Air Ace and Squadron Leader, etc. with a significant record of achievements. He also managed to re-learn playing golf with compensating necessary adjustments for his artificial-limbed handicap. A splendid golfing photograph shows Bobby Locke and Douglas Bader, who is getting a helping hand from his caddie up a steep slope to the 4th tee at Parkview Golf Club in Johannesburg, South Africa. Bader survived many, many challenges including being shot down in his Spitfire and spending time in “ Stalag Seventeen”, as an repeat escapee P.O.W. He managed to escape probable death where others perished just learning, hopefully, how to employ the flying skills necessary. Flying is a risky business in many, many ways and that is something to be respected and recognised towards all and sundry who venture into that area. Reports have it that those two pilot- war veterans, Bader and Locke, enjoyed the pleasant meeting and golfing together. Perhaps that day was a true highlight for both, understandably.

        Realistically, one must repeat that flying aircraft, peacefully or otherwise , does carry enormous risks and dangers for all candidates However, one can see from the attached evidence that even had Locke wished it, however sincerely, he was never in the right place at the right time to fly hostile sorties commanding crews and bomber aircraft in any actions as recorded in “Eagles Victorious” by H.J. Martin and Neil Orpen, Government data and historians. He was clearly, posted and placed “elsewhere and far away” from those or any other action areas involving the South African Air Force “in action”.

        Perhaps we might, consider or assume the possibility that there could be a typographical error or misprint in “Bobby Locke on Golf” stating “1943” instead of, truthfully, 1945 in Cairo – page 39. There also , certainly does exist a perfectly clear misprint or typographical error on Page 52 of Locke’s autobiography. The text says he is photographed with “Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durrant”. The man in the centre is, actually, Jimmy Demaret, the famous American, professional golfer. Mistakes can be made.

        It is only right and proper that the clear facts should be shown, published and not assuming vague descriptions, theories or copied, dubious repetitions which might delude many readers plus golfing and hero fans into mistaken conceptions. True revelation brings no discredit to the individual in question. Incorrect or doubtful suggestions can and do.

        Hereunder attached are the accurate, clear details of 2nd Lt Arthur D’Arcy Locke’s War Record provided by S.A. Department of Defence. An extensive copy of S.A.A.F. 31 Squadron War Diary Notes for the period can be provided, on request. Locke’s name does not appear in any. I have attempted to make this message as brief and clarified as I can. Please accept it.

        Most sincerely with thanks for your replies and thoughts to date.

        CMIS/DOC C/513/12

        Telephone +27-12-322-6350/9 Department of Defence
        Extension 14 Documentation Centre
        Facsimile +27-12-339-4631 Private Bag X289
        Enquiries Ms T. Schneider Pretoria, 0001
        Email sandf@mweb.co.za South Africa
        01 April 2010

        To:- Mr. A .L .Pratt

        1. Thank you for your letter 21 February 2010
        2. The information which you have requested concerning the above person is as follows
        a. Assumed Service in the Fulltime Volunteer Force as a Pupil Pilot 1st October 1940
        b. Qualified as a pilot and commissioned with the rank of 2nd.Lt. on 10 April 1942
        c. Lt. Locke was attached to Operational Training Unit of RAF Aqir for the purpose of attending a multi-engine conversion course on Wellington Aircraft (22/12/1944)
        d. He received the following medals – Italy Star, War Medal, Africa Service Medal
        e. Explanations:-
        Emplaned ZAS Boarded aircraft at Zwarkkop Air Staion. Later Zwartkop
        (Swartkop) Air Base of The South African Air Force near Pretoria
        Ex ZAS From Zwartkop Air Station
        MAFD Mobile Air Force Depot
        MAF DEPOT WEF Mobile Air Force Depot . With Effect From
        SAAF BD/S.B.D: South African Air Force Base Depot
        AC Aircraft
        A/S Air School
        O.T.U. Operational Training Unit
        f. Postings and Appointments:-
        10/04/1942 22 A/S Pilot, S.A.A.T. Special Reserve Flying Officers
        04/05/1942 26 A/S
        29/06/1942 62 A/S Elementary flying instructors course (Tempe, Bloemfontein)
        21/09/1942 4 A/S Flying Instructors Duties (Benoni)
        29/05/1943 62 A/S Flying Instructors Course (Tempe, Bloemfontein)
        01/07/1943 3 A/S Flying Instructors Duties
        31/08/1943 62 A/S Conversion Oxford Aircraft. First Pilot + Night Flying
        (Tempe, Bloemfontein)
        29/10/1943 MAFD Return from course
        12/11/1943 43 A/S NAV S/D CSE 16 (Port Alfred)
        11/12/1943 43 A/S Staff Pilot Duties (Port Alfred)
        05/03/1944 42 A/S Staff Pilot Duties (Port Elizabeth)
        14/11/1944 MAFD For Operations
        13/12/1944 SAAF BD Left the Union by air from ZAS to Cairo
        22/12/1944 RAF AQIR Detailed to RAF AQIR (Conversion Course to
        Wellington Twin Engine Bombers)
        29/04/1945 S.B.D. Returned to South African Air Force Base Depot (Cairo)
        07/05/1945 ADV/TC Posted to Advanced Training Centre
        08/05/1945 War Ended V.E. Day Europe (All Hostilities Ended- Unconditional Surrender)
        11/05/1945 31 SQDN Posted to 31 Squadron (Celone, Italy)
        03/08/1945 S.B.D. Returned to South African Air Force Base Depot (Cairo)
        07/09/1945 Emplaned Cairo West
        09/09/1945 MAFD Arrived by air at ZAS. Moved to Mobile Air Force Depot.
        11/10/1945 Released from full time service


  3. Thank you for publishing my statement. It is much appreciated. Well done. I visited your Section on “The Minds and Hearts of Afrikaners and much appreciation I show.


    • It is important to know and to understand that history is ductile and malleable and that, in some instances, has been purposely altered or manipulated. A classic example is the propaganda put about by King Henry Seventh concerning the defeated rival King Richard Third. Almost everything recorded has been found to be highly questionable or false. The community and the individual now have a totally inaccurate image of the individual whose body was found and reburied with full honours, a blond with blue eyes and a curved spine and not a wickedly ugly, hunchbacked monster with black hair and evil, dark eyes as portrayed.

      Can we all put our hands on our hearts and swear, on oath, that 2nd Lt. Arthur D’Arcy Locke flew one hundred bombing sorties in World War Two and that he served “in action” in known War Zones for most of 1944 and much in 1945? That false claim is being widely announced , with a nice, round number, “100” sorties. He did not even have the opportunity to perform one bombing sortie in his entire military service. The facts are clear and certain, being ignored, although dates and venues are published with certainty. Data shown closely follows reality within the short period of 78 years, within living memory for some of us, still alive and mentally sharp.. All History can become myth shrouded in uncertainty. Some examples get purposely created to make some sense or to create a false to create a new image or to justify an outcome.

      Bomber crews suffered massive losses and officially were thought to have done all they could within twenty five or thirty missions. Very few flew more than that and survived. Some, few went beyond what was expected with official records to prove it and were decorated accordingly.

      Colonel Graham Du Toit was able, on site, to provide the Air and Squadron Stations locations in detail, subsequently confirmed by the central records office for the S.A.A.F. It is plain to see the logic in this, particular case.

      Please ensure proof of your reliability for “True Facts” as you show in what you publish I do realize that it is now impossible for me to approach each and every false claimant website on this issue. I have done much but can only rely on the likes of you to tell the truth. There is no motive I can see to do otherwise. Bobby Locke arrived, complete with clubs, shoes and balls, for further conversion training and final posting, as qualified, “after the show was over”.


      P.S. I am not sending this text for you not to publish it , unless you wish to do so. Simply remove or correct the text concerning being a bomber pilot in active service regions described in Observer Post. Henry Cotton also joined up saying he wished to fly a Spitfire but never did and it is known and shown together with reasons given.
      “When World War 2 interrupted Locke’s burgeoning career as a golfer, he joined the South African Air Force as a bomber pilot, serving in both the Mediterranean and the Western Desert theatres of combat.”



      • Hi Alfred, we’ve been around this tree so many times now. I did not say he flew 100 sorties, he was in conflict zones during the war and the war put aside his golfing career whilst he served his country – in good service mind. These are the facts. He is and remains a war veteran of the Second World War – and that is in no way a slight on the sacrifice of bomber crews. As for Col Graham Du Toit, with all respect to him, he is not the preeminent historian on the SAAF, albeit a good amateur contributor – no different to me. I am not going to dish his service as a Johnny come lately, because that is not the case. He joined to become a bomber pilot – fact, he served in two theatres of combat – albeit ‘training’ and albeit that they we’re relatively safe – – still doesn’t change the fact.


      • Dear, Dear Peter,

        Bobby Locke did not fly in any hostile action. He was not qualified for any such action in any of the appropriate and available aircraft because he was not qualified do do so until May 1945. He arrived after fighting was all over or approaching such and attended for further pupil training, in a safety zone in Palestine, and was posted to a heroic bombing squadron after cessation of hostilities. Why ignore that question altogether or just state the simple facts and how lucky he was . As we agree – he served his time but not in any warfare currently danger, battle zone. Let us not insinuate that he did , could have or might have done so or other, possibly in action. He did not.

        I don’t want to go around this, straight-forward , subject any more than you do. Suggesting that he served as a bomber pilot in what was, at a time before, hostile, dangerous and requiring risks to which Locke was not exposed, had ceased completely but, obliquely suggesting a possibility and without intention, support “rumours” that he was placed so in the certain place and “might have” flown 100 sorties when he did not fly even one. Let me agree that he did receive final training in The Middle East
        ( Palestine/Israel). I am only interested , regarding history, in provable facts. Not only that, but as I was in an intimate place where we received letters and family important news. We did know all about his movements and some members were there at the time. It is difficult to understand, with all of the information and official records laid, perfectly, bare that it is not perfectly clear that Locke arrived, untrained in heavy bombers to proceeded to Aqir in January 1945 and , having passed his advanced pupil flying tests, was posted to 31 Squadron SAAF in Italy after hostilities had ceased and The Dreaded Nazi Enemy had surrendered, unconditionally. Let me leave it so. If you can prove otherwise, please do. He was a great example in pre and postwar golf. That is true and we, golfers, all know that “Putting is the most important scoring mechanism in expert golf. My own driving and long game are good for SHOW. My chipping and putting leave much to desire and that I do KNOW. Thank “Goodness” it is not for “Dough”.

        Most sincerely



      • Alfred I can’t keep going around this tree with you – the facts are 1. He was a SAAF pilot during the war 2. He trained as Bomber pilot 3. He served in the Palestine and North Africa theatres of operations during the war – those are facts, I don’t have to prove anything otherwise – my statement stands.


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