How many British WW2 Veterans are still around ?

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

  1. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Long may the old buzzards of WW2 continue. I love to see them around....Keep going lads........We only pass this way once

    Brian, I am aware of an ex 3rd Division Sherwood Forestor who is not living on Poole, so you may not be alone.

  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi To my knowledge there were no foresters in the Third div.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Phil don't know if this helps the Sherwood Rangers (Notts Yeomanry) landed on Gold beach under 50th Inf Div. As far as I'm aware most Foresters were in Italy.

  4. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    The only other Sherwood Foresters I can find in Normandy/NW Europe in 1944 were either the 6th or 7th Battalion which had been coverted to 40 Searchlight Regt, RA. By the time Normandy came they had been converted again to 149 LAA Regt, RA under command HQ Anti Aircraft Brigades.
  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Certainly not on Sword... Nor under command. Maybe under TT Gold?
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    There are 9 'declared' Veterans of the war registered with the site, and a few others (that I know of) who are not listed in that public group.
    A year since this post, there are now 20 veterans 'declared' here.

    On Ron's original query; has anyone found any more on how many UK Veterans are still with us?
    I thought some demographics might have been thrown up by the recent hoohah about returning to the Normandy beaches.

  7. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    How many British WW2 Veterans were still around ?....... perhaps someone will let me know

    Hi Ron

    According to the papers, during the recent Daily Mail initiative to raise funds, a figure of 500 was quoted for the number of British Normandy Vets eligible for qualifying for financial support towards travel and accommodation costs to return for the 65th D-day anniversary. Of course many Normandy vets were also Desert Rats. I can't imagine how a true figure an be arrived at, e.g. I just found out after an Electoral Roll search for his new address, that an RAF oppo of mine handed in his notice two years ago (his wife was still listed but he wasn't- and it's not likely at 88 and 68 years married that they've decided to live apart! I've got a brother of 86 and another of 89, both exRAF and not affiliated to any ex-service organisation, so praps the score is 503 minus one.
    Shamus on his deathbed handed his old pal a bottle of whiskey, asking him if he would sprinkle it on his grave when they buried him. Sure, his pal agreed; "but you wouldn't mind an old pal filtering it through his kidneys first, would you Shamus?"
    Not feeling too well myself, so I'm off to bed! Think I'll just finish the bottle just in case ..... Les
  8. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    I think that figure of 500 are veterans who are members of, or are known to, the NVA. I would estimate that 70+% of the Normandy veterans I have met have never been members of the NVA. No idea why, but I am sure this figure is very low indeed.
  9. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    a large Japanese Zip Manufacturer who had opened a factory locally

    Nip Zips, eh? Who'd be caught in one? ;)

    On a more seriously on topic note; I've just sat and read this entire thread with one thought nagging at the back of my mind; Mum hasn't long since died. Dad, as I just very recently realised, fought in WW2. Thus, I was pondering if he may have still been around, had not a motor accident taken him away some forty years ago.

    Then it hit me; Uncle 'George'. He was a year or two my Dads senior. He'd have been in it too. And he's still around. As is Uncle 'Bill' (Forgive the parenthesis, only half my rellies were one thing on their birth certificates and then known by another name all their lives. Seemingly not an uncommon thing of their time?)

    Sadly, these octogenarians are now out of physical reach of me. They have no interest in the on line antics of the world. Nor have I ever heard any of them mention their war time experiences. I doubt I'll now ever have any chance to probe.

    One (since deceased) Uncle, who was most definitely in the Paras, showed me a scar on his leg, when I was a kiddie. Explained how he got it during a drop. Skinned by fire from a German plane. That tale left my little head filled with visions of Uncle John, drifting down over Arnhem as a meschershmit (forgive my attempt at the spelling) pilot opened up on them.

    That idea lasted till some indeterminate point in my own maturing, by which time I'd somehow concluded that all my parents generation must have been too young to have served. I'm not certain how I came by that conviction. My own inability to count, perhaps? But it stayed with me all my life. Until only this year when, prompted by a thought about my Dads old photo, in army uniform, led me to using a calculator ..... and freaking myself out completely!

    Anyway, forgive my rambling. My original point was that; I believe there must be a whole lot more WW2 Vet's left than the handful of 'registered' names on here might suggest.

    Put simply; Not everyone who served maintained any interest in that time. And, of those who have; How many even have a PC in the house?

    Shame. But, there it is. So many, clamouring for so much information. So few in a position to provide it. What ever the subject matter; So much personal experience of history is slipping away.

    Perhaps those of us who can should simply turn away from our key boards and try visiting and Talking To our older remaining rellies? If it seems an awful inconvenience not being able to e mail them now? Give it another decade, then try phoning or calling in on them!

    The clock's ticking, people. No putting the big one back either.
    von Poop likes this.
  10. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Stretching Ron's original thought, I often wonder how many vets are left that began their military journey's on day 1 in 1939 ?
  11. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Vets.
    A great many of these Vets association have now closed. (Frail and departing members) The colours laid up in the Branch churches. Is it surprising? I was just nineteen at the time of D Day I am now 84; so the age range (Roughly) is between 84 and realistically 98 or perhaps a 100.

    That there are so many left is quite surprising really,

    NOW can you imagine if we all got together? I bet we could swing the lamps, and make the ground tremble from the distant gun fire of our youth.

    So with that in mind; let me send my very best wishes to all you. Keep your buttons clean and Bash on lads.
    Sincerely Sapper
    von Poop likes this.
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    The reason why there are still so many of us floating around is that IMHO they made them tougher in those days :)


    I've replied to you on your other thread (re the Heroes Return offer) but would only comment here that, being the eternal optimist that I am, I have decided to leave my Lottery treat until 2010 as this year is fairly well booked and I like to conserve my strength :) :)


  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    If I was to return Ron. It would have to be like a travelling hospital, I need constant care. an ambulance and a nurse. Stone me I think I will stay home!
    Best wishes.
    keep your head down away from those 88s.
  14. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Stretching Ron's original thought, I often wonder how many vets are left that began their military journey's on day 1 in 1939 ?

    I think very low indeed. Just starting on some preliminary work for a TV programme about 1940, and there appears to be very few BEF members left, sadly.
  15. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Yes, Paul, you're right. I only joined the NVA myself five years ago, to go for the 60th anniversary but I was the only one interested so I went by myself. I was appalled that nobody, certainly not the Yanks, there new about my unit (or any other RAF) landings on Omaha. Not surprising I suppose with my mates' remains being reinterred at Bayeux. So I resolved to see they're no longer forgotten by arranging for local French schoolgirls there to visit their graves in Bayeux, and by presenting a 2ndTAF shield to be competed for annually by my local ATC Squadron. The NVA branch closed after two years of my membership (p'raps it was something I said:)). So I joined the RBL and nearly got lumbered with the chairmanship this year (I should live so long!)


    I decided to (hopefully) take the money while it's still on offer. I don't like the phrase saying applications from individuals may be considered, so I live in hopes. I hope you keep fit for next years visit.

    Regards to all

  16. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    My Grandfather is still alive and kicking. Indeed he seems to have had a new lease of life in the past few years and looks to be with us for year to come.......

    or maybe it is because he has pickled hismself over time :D

    I wonder how many vets of Bomber Command who flew over Germany are still with us.
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    It may tell us something about the difficulty of getting a reliable figure that this thread appears on the first page of a Google for 'Surviving ww2 veterans'.

    The commonwealth's a wider thing too, this charity has 65,000 registered eligible Veterans from assorted Commonwealth nations, again it's only an indication as the implication is that they're far from including everyone:
    RCEL - Background -
    As they point out; 5 million Commonwealth citizens signed up.
  18. sakdlaww

    sakdlaww Banned

    I hope body's forgetting Gerry on purpose。
  19. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    I see you say:
    I hope body's forgetting Gerry on purpose

    Firstly, welcome to the forum !

    Secondly, may I respectfully suggest you read this thread from the start (March 2008) and in particular Adam's comment on #9 ,repeated below, and then my own response.

    I do hope nobody's forgetting Gerry on purpose :wink:.

    There are 9 'declared' Veterans of the war registered with the site, and a few others (that I know of) who are not listed in that public group.


    Enjoy your stay !

  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    His stay was rather brief Ron.
    Spam in the signature, & I'd say selectively quoting from previous posts to attempt to look legit.
    (Cheers to CL1 for the heads up.)

    BTW, Membership of the 'Veteran' usergroup now stands at 42.


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