It is with great sadness that I am writing to pass on the news that one of the original members on the BARC North Western Centre recently passed away at the grand old age of 105.
Wilf was born in Birkenhead and trained as a chartered surveyor. At the outbreak of war in 1939 he joined the 56th London Infantry Division and was deployed to Iraq. He later rose from the rank of bombardier to tank corporal and fought in the Battle of El Alamein before joining the Italian campaign starting with the landings at Salerno and then fighting at the Battle of Monte Cassino. He survived intense German attacks, moving up through northern Italy along the Gothic Line until his service ended in Trieste.
Wilf became a good friend of Centre Chairman, Jock Sinclair, during the early post war years and Jock persuaded Wilf to join the North Western Centre committee in 1959. Wilf enthusiastically organised and supported many events over the next 30 years including, race meetings at Oulton Park and Aintree, kart meetings and even autotests, including the Festive Frolics meeting at New Brighton on Boxing Day. Wilf held the roles of Competition Secretary, Treasurer, Secretary and finished off becoming Vice Chaiman. Over and above these official roles Wilf’s enthusiasm for the Centre and motor sport in general was vast and infectious, without Wilf’s support the Centre would not be as healthy as it is today.
There are many tales to tell about Wilf Cockbain, all happy and always very interesting, but they are for a longer piece. However there is space for just one - at the age of 102 Wilf came to visit us at an Oulton Park race meeting, climbed the stairs of Race Control and gave a humorous warm up talk to the CNC Heads drivers before their Drivers Briefing. Even at that great age Wilf had lost none of his enthusiasm for the sport or his ability to talk!
Wilf is seen above receiving a presentation from the committee during his 95’th year. Current Chairman, Ray Sumner, is making the presentation.
Wilf, a true gentleman and enthusiast, rest in peace.