How many British WW2 Veterans are still around ?

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by 51highland, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    I am likely to be visiting an elderly couple soon,both well over 90.He was an RAF long range Mosquito pilot in Burma.She volunteered with the then WVS to go with a Lady Parke to visit ex Japanese POWs,and was based at Comilla after VJ Day.Looking forwards to hearing their story
  2. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Ron and other old timers, I've been missing for a bit.
    No shortage (yet!) in my family! There's still just about three of us. ‍‍ Me and my two exRAF bruvvers. It occurred to me, with all of this Anniversary stuff going on, that we're still a bit lucky to BE around - but perhaps not too sharp now at GETTING around . Harry 95, on the left, served 5yrs in Far East and ended up with the Chindits in the Burmese jungle. Stan 92, in the middle, drove AirSea Rescue boats out of Sierra Leone, mostly for burials at sea. But was unlucky enough to choose SS Duchess of York to travel out there, so was glad that HMCS Iroqua was at hand to pluck him from the briny in the dark (Google Wiki). Me 90, on the right, didn't quite miss Omaha or the Rhine crossing; but that's already well covered elsewhere.
    Truth is we don't get together too often these days, as all three of us live 130 miles apart. So I had to codge the photo. It's the same chip bag hat, and Harry had to find his Burma Star in a drawer to wear for the first time; and Stan couldn't make it on the day, cos he was in A&E elsewhere at the time. So I copied his medals from my own, without the F&G Campaign medal, of course. Although the poor bugger spent hours floating in it, coincidentally picking up a War Pensionable lifetime injury, he didn't qualify for an Atlantic Star!
    Just pray that I'm not pushing our luck with this, as we 're all living day by day on borrowed time; so please keep everything crossed for us.
    Kind regards

    Attached Files:

    gpo son, Fred Wilson, 4jonboy and 3 others like this.
  3. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Forgot to mention, the background I used is a picture I found on the Internet of the microlight I used to fly, that I flogged 15 years ago. Seems still to be in good nick! Happy days!
  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Brilliant !

    My heartiest congratulations to the three of you and well done for staying in touch :)

    (Who was originally one of 5 serving brothers but who now, regretfully, holds the fort on his own)
  5. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    Ron & Les (+ Bruvvers)

    I take my cap off and salute each one of you, greatest respect and thanks.

  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    As mentioned in another thread, I had the pleasure of meeting up today with my father's comrade and friend, Charles Ward and his wife Margaret when they shared their memories from over 70 years ago with a group of primary school pupils in Hemel Hempstead..

    7015946, Rfn Charles Ward joined the London Irish Rifles 76 years ago this week, along with 7015972 Rifleman Edmund O'Sullivan and 7015959 Rifleman Edward Mayo. (See photos attached).

    All three men spent their first three years in the army in various locations all around England, Scotland and Wales before heading off to Algiers in Nov 1942. and would spend 6 months fighting their way forward from Bou Arada to Tunis.

    Charles was injured during training in Algeria in June 1943 and would join SoE, being based at Massingham, Bari and Siena (amongst other places) for the next 2 1/2 years. He met Margaret in Algeria - she was with the FANYS.

    My father struggled from Tunis over to the Salso/Simeto rivers, then from Termoli up to the Sangro, over to Castel di Sangro, up to the top of Monte Castellone, through the Liri Valley and onto Lake Trasimene, finally got onto the Senio floodbanks and then his first view of the River Po at the end of April 1945. He eventually had some time spare at Villach. My father was pretty tired by the time he got home in March 1946.

    I shouldn't forget my dear mother, Patricia, who joined the ATS in September 1942 and spent the next 3 1/2 years working for Southern Command in Salisbury (and various other locations) and ended her war at the War Office in Whitehall.

    Edward Mayo was wounded - at Heidous in Tunisia - and for his actions that day was awarded the Military Medal. He would join my Dad in Italy from Sept 1943 to May 1944 and they would spend the night of 15th May in a trench together discussing their possible future post war plans. On the afternoon of 16th May 1944, Sgt Eddie Mayo MM was killed by a neberlwerfer stonk at Casa Sinagoga, 2 miles from the town of Cassino and is buried at the nearby CWGC cemetery. Eddie's grandson's wife is a teacher at the school we visited today...

    Together with a very knowledgeable group of boys and girls, we spent a very moving hour today recalling some of the actions of Edward, Edmund, Patricia, Charles and Margaret and made sure we didn't forget the millions of other men and women who came from all over the world to fight tyranny.. a very humbling day all in all...

    Quis Separabit...

    Attached Files:

    CL1 and 4jonboy like this.
  7. JPP

    JPP Junior Member

    Godfrey Yardley

    I spent a day with Godfrey Yardley earlier this week and found him in fine form. Godfrey who is now 90 was a member of 18 platoon 2 OXF & BUCKS on Operation Varsity travelling in glider CN2 being alongside CN1, the first two gliders to reach their coup de main objective. CN1 received a direct hit killing all on board. Godfrey's glider had the port wing blown off and crashed into a wood half a mile beyond the objective. Two thirds of the platoon were killed in the crash; Godfrey was one of the survivors.

    Platoon Commander Lt. R S Preston who was one of those killed was my uncle.

    Godfrey's account of events is included in Stephen Wrights excellent book 'The Last Drop'

    Godfrey's memoirs written a few years ago can be viewed in the Biographies section of The Pegasus Archive web site.

    For a number of years Godfrey has been trying to make a list of all those members of 18 platoon who were in glider CN2 for Operation Varsity. Over the years he has consulted former comrades but now thinks he is the last surviving member of 2 OXF & BUCKS who took part in Operation Varsity.

    I wonder if any of the experts on this board could find out if there exists a nominal roll which would provide Godfrey with the names of members of his platoon and how we could obtain this.
    CL1 likes this.
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I met a 90 something year old chap yesterday who was a air gunner with Coastal Command flying on Wellingtons out of Northern Ireland. He eventually got posted to Egypt at the end of the war.
    CL1 likes this.
  9. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Very pleased to say that Wilf Shaw received the French Legion of Honour in the post a couple of weeks ago. He received a letter stating that he could have it presented to him if he liked, but Wilf didn't want any fuss and was just very pleased to receive it.

    He said he felt very proud to receive it but felt quite emotional thinking about his mates who never received it. Here is a picture of Wilf with his medal taken recently when I met him in Manchester. It is a beautiful medal and quite a weight too.


  10. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing Lesley,

  11. 281664

    281664 Active Member

    Hello Gents,

    My grandad served on HMS Templar and HMS Tally Ho in thr Far East and is still causing trouble to this day at the seasoned age of 92. He exchanges stories for pints!

    My great uncle who is 100 this year. Joined up in 39 and was captured at the fall of Dunkirk. He escaped and fought with the resistance until 1942/3 and got back to the UK. Only to be back in France a year later. A very humble and happy man.
    dbf likes this.
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Do you know what unit he served with? What's his name? I suspect he would have completed a Escape and Evasion Report.
  13. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Is there any way that you could facilitate - if necessary - their contributing to this site?
    I, and, I've no doubt, many others, would be fascinated to hear of their experiences first hand,
  14. 281664

    281664 Active Member

    Drew: I will privately messege you his name,unfortunatly i don't know his unit or much else about his time away as he doesn't talk much about it.

    Charlie: I know my granddad would be happy too talk and answer questions,it would have to be through me though. My great uncle is quiet man so i would have to visit and double check with him.

    If there is enough interest in putting questions to them,i shall make a thread and respond to questions for them as when i pop over to visit.
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Have a look at the website below. He should be listed if he managed to Escape and Evade in WW2. He may have even got a gallantry award for his efforts as I believe all got some recognition for escaping by way of a medal or MiD
  16. 281664

    281664 Active Member

    Thanks Drew, I shall look over the website properly asap.
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I met a 95 year old officer today who served in the Royal Signals from France to North Africa to Italy to France to Belgium to Holland to Germany. Sadly he couldn't remember anything other than the Divisions he served with.
    dbf likes this.
  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Getting a bit thin on the ground, I fear, and just wondering how many. Veterans of ww2 are still active on the forum.

  19. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    I read the posts on here every day
    Regards Hoolig
  20. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    That's good to learn and therefore makes 2 of us ! :salut:

    Keep taking the tablets !


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