wythall radio club

having fun with RF

David Dawkes G0ICJ (1945-2018) SK

G0ICJ relaxing with a drink

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of long time club member David G0ICJ on Sunday 22ndJuly after a long illness at the age of 73.

David leaves behind his wife Jackie and daughters Angela and Claire and their families. David was loved by everyone, and was the very best of men. We will all mourn David and remember him in our own way and what he meant to us whether as family, or friend.

David had been a member of Wythall Radio Club for 36 years. In all that time he gave his friendship freely, unconditionally, never judged people, never complained, always optimistic. He sought out new members to the club and made them feel welcome. For many of those years David also took on the role of club Treasurer, where his career in banking meant that the club’s finances were in very safe hands.

David’s interest in radio was sparked when he was 9 years old and the older brother of a school friend showed him his shed, which was full of government surplus radio gear and parts. They spent hours listening to foreign stations around the world and David’s love affair with radio had started.

On HF in the club shack

Eventually using an old broadcast receiver with short wave bands he discovered amateur radio transmissions and he started studying for his City and Guilds Radio Amateurs exam which he passed in 1962. However David struggled to pass the mandatory 12 words per minute morse test which would have enabled him to gain his licence.

A few years later, a ‘B’ licence was introduced which would have enabled David to transmit on VHF and higher frequencies without the morse test. David decided to hang on until he had mastered the 12wpm morse so he could talk to radio amateurs around the world on the short wave bands. 

Around 1984 David read about Wythall Radio Club running slow Morse training evenings, and, as he had just left Round Table, he had an evening free so he popped in to see what the arrangements were. David asked at the bar where he could find the Radio Club members and was directed in the direction of Colin G6ZDQ (now SK) and a few others. They advised him that club president Lew Williams (also SK), who was an ex WWII radio signaller, would soon be there and he would send Morse for as long as we wanted. 

With Lew’s perseverance, David eventually passed his Morse test on 28 July 1987 and obtained his “A” licence on 6 August 1987 and received his G0ICJ callsign. This is a good example of David’s determination, persistence and patience. It took 25 years from passing his RAE until he went on air with his own callsign.

Wife Jackie in happy times with David

During the early years of his interest in radio David  constructed a wide variety of projects from crystal sets, one valve receivers, multi valve receivers, direct conversion (TRF) transistorised receivers, transistorised superhet receivers, test gear and a top band and 80m AM transmitter.  His last project was some years ago when the club organised a project for members to construct the PW Marchwood 20/30 amp 13.8 volt power supply. About 12 club members built these and used them as their main supply for many years. I have no doubt some are still in use today. 

Naturally David was a stalwart at many radio club events, leading the Bring and Buy team at the Wythall Radio Rally for nearly 30 years, and helping out at many of our radio operating and social events. David was my partner in the annual Christmas DF Fox Hunt for many years, usually with me driving, and David doing the DF’ing. We always had great fun until eventually Anno Domini took effect and we no longer found it easy to get in and out of the vehicle or control our bladders for the couple of hours that the exercise took.

David was known to newer members of the club through his work invigilating radio amateur exams.  He was also a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain for over 50 years and appeared in the Society’s journal RadCom, for his notably long membership of the RSGB.

We will remember David because was a true warrior who always clung to life. He never gave up, despite the illness he suffered. David left us a great legacy which taught us to fight on no matter the circumstances.

He served Wythall Radio Club well and helped make it what it is today.

73s OM, your station is now QRT and you are Silent Key.
It was my great privilege to have known you and to have been your friend for all these years.


Chris Pettitt G0EYO