How many British WW2 Veterans are still around ?

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

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I've had a bumper week this week. So far I've met a Pte from RASC that drove Austin K2's in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Austria for a Field Ambulance unit, a Pte that joined the Prince of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment and then went on to serve with 4 Parachute Regiment for most of the war and today a member of the Home Guard.

    I can't wait for tomorrow :D
    4jonboy and CL1 like this.
  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Had another really good meeting with Wilf Shaw and Paul Cheall in Manchester yesterday.
    Paul brought in a WW2 helmet which he purchased on an online site and decided to have a bit of fun with it. Wilf was a really good sport and really had us laughing. Goodness knows what the people in Debenhams coffee shop thought:D.

    So Paul says to Wilf "Just hold the helmet over your face; then pull it down a bit; just a little bit more so we can see your eyes; then look surprised " :) . Looking good Wilf.

    Wilf April 2017.JPG Wilf April 2017 (2).JPG Wilf April 2017 (3).JPG Wilf April 2017 (4).JPG

    Couple more of Wilf with Paul

    Wilf and Paul April 2017.JPG Wilf and Paul April 2017 (2).JPG

    A lovely day:)

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  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hehe, that's really funny. :) I enjoyed Paul's interview with Wilf on his podcast.
    4jonboy likes this.
  4. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Just by chance I was also out yesterday at my local U3A monthly meeting.

    I was chatting to someone about a talk I hope to give next year and was asked what the title of the talk would be.

    When I replied " I was a D Day Dodger" I was asked if that meant I was a conscientious objector !

    If nothing else, it has confirmed my original feelings that it will be a story worth telling.

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  5. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Former WW2 Flight Lieutenant Douglas Newham, LVO, DFC has been in the news because he was caught in what is effectively a hospital car park charges 'trap' recently, as reported here:

    War veteran's parking fine for over-running Carlisle hospital appointment

    The mean-spirited characters issuing and upholding the the ticket for the overrun are evidently not interested in any extenuating circumstances!

    I gather Mr Newham was a navigator with 156, 150 and eventually No 10 Squadron (Lancasters). On a happier day in June 2015 he was presented with one of a replica WW2 secret pencil kit that was issued to airmen during the war, as reported here:

    Second World War Bomber Command veteran honoured
  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    For the misdeed of being a D Day Dodger (for which there are no excuses), I know you were sentenced to another 11 months of hard labour in Italy..with no parole possible..I hope you learnt your lesson.

    best wishes
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Whilst writing about my visit to the U3A I realised that it would have been better to have placed my comments on a "I was a D-Day Dodger" thread so I am going post haste to find a suitable one and continue my musings there.

    bexley84 likes this.
  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I hope that you put the person well and truly in their place
    (Son of another "Day Dodger")
  9. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

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  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Well it's been a while since I've met a WW2 vet, their ranks are clearly thinning but yesterday I had a double whammy by meeting a married couple both in their late 90's. The lady was a Plotter for Fighter Command and the chap was in the RAOC, later REME and served in France during 1940. We only had a brief time for a chat but he told me he was based at a village near Rouen with his Workshops unit during May 1940 and their retreat westward towards St. Nazaire and how he avoided boarding the Lacastria. Yesterday was a good day at work :D
    kopite, geoff501, Rich Payne and 3 others like this.
  11. popeye1975

    popeye1975 Junior Member

    Had the honour and the privilege of meeting many of these fine old sweats at Whitehall a few days back. I was handing out fliers in the hope - however forlorn - that just one of them may have remembered my Dad. I also posted on the fb pages of as many RBL branches as I could find. It was a truly inspirational experience meeting up with fellow veterans, although with no gongs on show i did feel a touch under-dressed:D
    dbf likes this.
  12. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Another great meeting with Veteran Wilf Shaw and Paul Cheall in Manchester yesterday.
    Still looking good Wilf, 97 going on 98:)
    Wilf Dec 2017 (4).JPG Wilf Dec 2017.jpg

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  13. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Best wishes to my father's mate, Charles Ward, as he celebrates his 99th birthday today (16th Dec 2017)...Charles joined the London Irish Rifles with my Dad at Liverpool St station on 18th October 1939. ... I was interested to read Charles' memories of 75 years ago when 2 LIR spent their first few weeks on the Goubellat Plain, south of Medjez-el-Bab in Tunisia....

    Wednesday Dec 16th 1942.
    Reached the ripe old age of 24. I am getting old. First air mail letter card issued to us. Guaranteed to reach home for Christmas.

    Thursday Dec 17th.
    Plenty of air activity this morning. Constant rumble heard in distance all round.


    Thursday Dec 18th.
    Best day yet. Saw three dive bombers but long way off.

    Saturday Dec 19th.
    Cloudy today with occasional showers. Warned to move off at dusk. Moved about 9 miles back to rest.

    Sunday Dec. 20th.
    Settling down in new position. Cold and showery. Orders to pack up ready to move again at 11.30. Took up fresh positions and dug in.

    Monday Dec 21st.
    Moved again after breakfast nearer road. Stayed there rest of day and moved up towards Medjez-el-Bab in evening. Stayed night in farm. Slept in haystack.

    Tuesday Dec 22nd.
    More air activity. Moved into building. Good sleeping quarters. Rained like hell during night.

    Wednesday Dec 23rd.
    Still bad weather holding up attack.

    Thursday Dec 24th.
    Still raining. Warned to move up and stop Germans taking Skins (Enniskillen Fusiliers) prisoners. Averaging eight a night. Moved up into position after dark. No sign of enemy at all. Dug in. Rained hard all night.

    Friday Dec 25th.
    Still occupying positions in hills. Still no sign of enemy. Suspected to be occupying farm. Attacking tonight.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  15. bookwormwmb

    bookwormwmb proud daughter of a 56 Recce/78 infantry vet

    my dad is 93 formerly of the 56 Recce. we were fortunate to spend christmas with him today. wonderful that you could visit with these veterans !
    4jonboy and CL1 like this.
  16. CL1

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

  17. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I still visit Arthur Pickard aged 95, Veteran of 5th (Scottish) Paras, who I met around 2013. He is now in a local nursing home with his wife, and although he doesn't go out now, he has always a smile and they both are very welcoming.

    It was quite emotional today when I visited them; his wife was doing a crossword and asked for the name of an Italian city, seven letters, starting with a B and third letter L. It must have triggered something in Arthur's memory and he started singing the D-Day Dodgers song; he remembered every line, every verse. It was lovely to hear him sing and took me quite by surprise. A lovely couple of hours spent with them.
    D-Day Dodgers - Wikipedia

    Here is a picture of Arthur originally posted on the forum in 2014

    (of course the city was Bologna;))

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  18. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    My dad is still going great, Sgt Bill Brooker. He will be 93 this year. he was in the Home Guard as a lad and then went in the RASC Air Despatch at the end of the war, helped drop food in Op Manna. Then went to HongKong after the war, then Suez when it hit the fan and Cyprus, came out of the army 1957 or 58.. He is coming out to Portugal to see us this year.
    He went to Holland this year with the London taxis. Last photo he is on the far left.
    dad home guard ww2.jpg Ariel dad on bike ww2 (2).jpg duck 3 with dad cleaning duck.jpg 31154301_1913930468679007_7338513273794330624_o.jpg 31939717_1913932232012164_3575440156569632768_o.jpg
    kopite, 4jonboy, mcan and 8 others like this.
  19. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Jimmy Knox .
    At open day with 4th Bn Para Regt .
    Jimmy signed up in that Drill Hall in 1940 and served at Cassino, Southern France and Greece with 4th Battalion Parachute Regiment.
    He is still very active, President of the local Branch of the PRA and recently revisited Cassino.

    kopite, Chris C, Guy Hudson and 3 others like this.
  20. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Happy 100th Birthday to my uncle Fred Brooker today.
    any one make out the cap badge and what medals he has.
    Keith Brooker
    Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 12.47.18 2.png

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