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Fiona Warton Obituary

Fiona Warton, widow of Flight Lieutenant Keith Warton (seconded to SOAF 1966-

68 and an enthusiastic early member of the SAF Association), died peacefully in hospital on Friday 13th May 2022 after a very short illness.

Fiona’s lasting legacy is the audio-visual recording project which she started after

completing Keith’s own family history project by recording interviews with his

former colleagues. That was the beginning of an audio-visual history project that

Fiona pursued with characteristic determination for five years. She had no clear

aim at the beginning of what was to become an enormously time consuming

project, but with financial support from the Anglo Omani Society and from

individual SAF veterans, the scope of her work evolved into recording for posterity,

an audio-visual history of the Dhofar campaign through the voices of surviving

members of SAF and of the Special Air Service, who participated before they and

their memories faded away. Her individual style was such that many veterans

found the recording experience cathartic.

Professor Eugene Rogan, Director of The Middle East Centre at St. Antony's

College, Oxford gave the project his personal endorsement, when presented with

the recordings:

Fiona Warton (L) handing over recordings to Professor Eugene Rogan and Archivist Debbie Usher at the Middle East Centre Archive Feb '17.

"I am so impressed by all you have achieved, and so grateful to you. Clearly, your

own links to the veterans is encouraging a degree of candour that no one else could match.”

"The Dhofar Campaign Oral History Project is a remarkable achievement,

preserving the first hand experiences of those who served in the Sultan of Oman’s

Armed Forces in a crucial moment in the country’s history. Filling the gap between

the private papers held in Oxford’s Middle East Centre Archive, the Imperial War Museum, and the public record held in the U.K. National Archive in Kew, these unique interviews form an historic collection and will stand as an essential reference for researchers for generations to come.”

A former Trooper of 22 SAS said: “Sad to hear that Fiona has died, but she has left behind through her efforts a unique collection of interviews on the Dhofar War which otherwise would never have been recorded”.

Daughter of a wartime RAF pilot, Fiona MacDougall was born in Boscombe,

Hampshire in 1949. Fiona followed a secretarial career which culminated in serving

as the Personal Assistant to Professor RV Jones at Aberdeen University. Jones was

a scientific colleague of Prime Minister Winston Churchill during WWII and

foremost in the development of radar guidance systems for RAF’s bomber

Command and disrupting the Luftwaffe’s own radar guidance systems. Fiona had

developed an interest in all things and people aviation at an early age. This

included several seasons as an 18-19 year old “wing-walker" standing on the upper

wing of a Tiger Moth biplane as it swooped around at summer air shows. Soon

afterwards, Fiona met young RAF pilot Keith Warton and they were married in

1969. Based mainly in Aberdeen, they brought up two daughters and Fiona served

on several local councils. When Keith retired from the RAF after twenty two years

service, they settled in Storrington, West Sussex. With characteristic gusto, Fiona

and Keith established a flourishing B & B business and achieved a “Best in South

of England” award on more than one occasion, whilst at the same time raising in

excess of £30,000 for RAF charities.

Although not formally a member of the association, in 1985 she set up the SAF Association Scottish Dinner at Douneside House, near Aberdeen and subsequently attended almost all annual dinners including that held in 2021. When Keith died in 2010, a cherry tree was planted in his memory at Douneside. SAF veterans will plant a second tree in Fiona’s memory on the same day, 20th May, as her funeral is being held in Storrington.

Fiona is survived by two daughters and five grandchildren.

Details of her funeral arrangements have been published separately. See Fiona Warton Funeral Details

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