How many British WW2 Veterans are still around ?

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

  1. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Happy Birthday, Hoolig
    Many Happy Returns!
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Belated best wishes Bert
  3. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Thank you, 17thDYRCH
    Thank you dbf
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Happy belated birthday wishes Bert

  5. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Thank you Clive
  6. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Had a really good meeting with Wilf Shaw and forum member Paul Cheall yesterday in Manchester.
    Looking good for 96, going on 97 Wilf :)

    Paul and Wilf.jpg
  7. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Three old chaps I had the privilege to meet in August 2014. The old boy in the middle, is no longer with us. The guys on either side, are knocking on a
    bit. They are still sharp in mind, but there legs are not keeping up. If you only do it once, then its a moment to treasure.

    Regards Stu.
  8. RRTB

    RRTB 145 Fd Regt (Berkshire Yeomanry) RA

    I have been reading through much of this thread and I yet again must say thank you to members such as Ron, Sapper and Hoolig for what they and others like them of their generation did for us who are living today.

    Ron, I quote here something you said in an earlier post:

    "You could do a lot worse than encouraging your dad to write his stories down whilst they are still floating around inside his head."

    My father never really spoke about his wartime experiences, but after he passed away I was handed a rather large envelope of items by my mother, some of the content of which had come from my aunt (Dad's sister). Within this envelope was a veritable treasure trove of wartime items including a number of handwritten pages on which Dad had detailed a timeline of his war years, where he was and what he had been involved in. I had had no idea whatsoever that he had taken the time to do this for me, but I was so grateful that he had.

    I guess what I'm saying is that encouraging a veteran to "write his stories down" is something that folks should really consider doing, as a lot of history is bound up in those men (and women) and it will be lost to us once they are no longer here. I lost my father 13 years ago and with my newly reinvigorated interest in WW2 I wish I could ask him things but that cannot obviously happen.

    Charley Fortnum, 4jonboy and CL1 like this.
  9. red ling

    red ling Member

    My fathers brother Bernard Blake served on HMS Colossus. He is now 93.
    Charley Fortnum and CL1 like this.
  10. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Again, thanks to the Forum,
    I am now in touch with another regt veteran Frank Hicks, BSM 83rd Bty,10th Med Regt RA, who is in his 90's & blind I'm afraid, through his grandson Steve who is now a member here
    They were both very pleased to obtain from me a copy of my regt history book, which is now out of print .
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
    CL1 likes this.
  11. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Good to meet again over the past 2 days IMG_4852.JPG with Sgt Charles Ward (probably you spotted him parading with the Special Services at the Cenotaph on Sunday) and Sgt Alfred Cook who both served in the London Irish Rifles - a combined 195 years.of life experience...Quis Separabit
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  12. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    IMG_4894.JPG Alfred served in Iraq (Kirkuk), Egypt, Sicily (Fosso Bottaceto) and on the Italian mainland (Camino/Garigliano/Anzio/Gothic/Senio) before ending his war near Trieste - by the time he got back to his wife, he had been away from home for 4 years. They were married for 74 years before her recent death. Quis Separabit
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  13. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    At one of the 2016 Remembrance Sunday commemorations I attended (13 November 2016) at Whitehaven Cenotaph (Cumbria) I was able to catch up with former Gunner George Cottier, R.A. (born August 1924) who took part in the Normandy Landings of 1994. He was later posted to serve on the Khyber Pass before Indian partition, then on the India / Afghanistan border, leaving the army in 1947. After the war he became a bus driver. Now a widower, George lives in his home town of Whitehaven.

    George has recently received the French L├ęgion d'honneur awarded by the French Government to surviving British veterans of the Normandy campaign and was wearing this at the ceremony (see attached photograph).

    To read a brief interview with George about his wartime experiences from 2011, click on the following link:

    Attached Files:

  14. LIR Geezer

    LIR Geezer New Member

    I love this photo of a brave London Irish Rifleman standing by the LIR Memorial.
    Quis Separabit.
    hoolig and bexley84 like this.
  15. Mathsmal

    Mathsmal Senior Member

    Really pleased to see the photo of Charles Ward. I met him and interviewed him for the Second World War Experience Centre a number of years ago. A very nice gentleman.
    bexley84 likes this.
  16. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Yes, thank you.

    I read the transcription of the interview...superb. Charles' words are very powerful, recounting the disastrous events north of Bou Arada on 20/21st Jan 1943 and of course quite a number of his/my Dad's mates are buried at Thibar, Beja, Massicault and Medjez CWGC cemeteries

    Charles is 98 next Friday.

    best wishes
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
    Mathsmal likes this.
  17. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Sending out best wishes to Charles Ward, who celebrates his 98th birthday today (16 Dec 2016)'s a couple of photos of Charles in his younger pomp... that being said, he still drives.

    First photo is of G Coy 2 LIR at Goodwood House during the summer of 1941. gibbs2.jpg ward0001.jpg

    (Charles is sitting on the left as we look). The OC is Major Colin Gibbs MC, who, as Adjutant, witnessed Charles'/my father's attestation statements on 18 Oct 1939. My father, Edmund, is in the third row, second from right and you might also recognise that well known "Great Escape-r", Nigel Stock (thrd row, second from left).

    Quis Separabit
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  18. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    This picture taken at an open day when 4th Bn. Para Regt returned to Romford earlier this year to establish a new detachment. The last time the Paras where in Romford was when 10th Batt.. left in 1964.
    Jimmy Knox President of the local branch of the Parachute Regiment Association joined the Army in this very Drill Hall in 1940.He went on to serve with 4 Para in Greece ,Cassino and South of France.
    He is still very active and recently revisited Cassino ..

    Attached Files:

    4jonboy likes this.
  19. Mathsmal

    Mathsmal Senior Member

    Thanks for sharing these photos - happy birthday Charles!
  20. janine 15

    janine 15 Member

    Hope you don't mind me joining in my neighbour is 95 and attends all the reunions and has written his memoirs. .Frank Yate ..A lovely kind intelligent gentleman.. and he's still driving !!
    My grandfather in law was with 101 squadron and he is the only surviving firefighter from the sheffield blitz.. I have asked lots of questions and he as told some wonderful stories and some very heartbreaking ones ..He is 98 yrs old quite sound of mind but has he puts it "mi legs have gone ..If I were a horse they'd av shot me". His name is Douglas Lightning. .i feel very lucky and honoured to have such great people to chat with

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