How many British WW2 Veterans are still around ?

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

  1. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    I had a good chat again with my Dad's mate Charles Ward yesterday...he's off to Anzio/Cassino next week so hope to have a chat with him there.

    Charles joined the London Irish Rifles in October 1939 and was demobbed in March 1946... he served with 2 LIR in Algeria/Tunisia, SoE in Algeria/Italy and the Royal Signals in Italy.

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  2. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Sad to say my dad passed away in February age 93
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Very sorry to hear that. :poppy:
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    In the latest issue of Dekho magazine the Chindit Society discovered a new potential member, who celebrated his 100th birthday this spring. This is Alec Clarke who served with the 1st Essex in 23rd Brigade.
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  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Sad to report that Alfred Cook died on 13th October at the grand age of 99 years and 10 months. Alfred's funeral will take place next week in Plaistow and a London Irish Rifles' piper will play a final farewell.

    Quis Separabit

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  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Sorry to learn that Alfred Cook has recently passed away so near his 100th birthday and I send my sincere condolences to his family.

    Whilst writing, may I remind fellow members to kindly point out to me when an ex- member passes away in order that their name is included in the Forum Roll of Honour
    Many thanks

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
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  8. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    As part of the 1st Battalion in Italy from July '43 to May '45, Sgt Alf Cook was attendant at 18 of the locations that led to battle honours being added to the annals of the London Irish Rifles' illustrious history. Of course, he wasn't alone.


    Attached Files:

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  9. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Happy birthday today to Charles for making it to 101...spoke to him on Friday last and he's booked with the RBL to attend the VE commemorations in London in May.

    Quis Separabit
    Faugh a Ballagh !

    We met up with Charles at Cassino in May and he laid poppies at the final resting places of some of his friends and comrades.


    Charles is front left in the picture below with Major Colin Gibbs and the rest of the NCOs/Officers of G Coy, 2 LIR at Goodwood House in the summer of 1941.. my Dad, who joined up on the same day as Charles, is in the third rank - as is Nigel Stock, the actor.

    Dad0007 - Copy (2).jpg

    Dad0007 - Copy.jpg

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Just a heads up to say that four of our remaining Chindit veterans have now or are just about to reach their 100th birthday:

    Peter Heppell: Royal Engineers, attached to 1st King’s Regiment, 82 Column, 77 Brigade. Flew in by glider on his 24th birthday, March 5, 1944. Helped prepare a jungle airstrip for Dakotas flying in the main force.

    Colonel Charles Mercer: 7th Battalion, The Nigeria Regiment. Mentioned in Despatches for gallantry.

    John Riggs: 16 Column Recce platoon leader during Operation Thursday.

    Kulbahadur Gurung: 6 Gurkha Rifles on Operation Thursday.

    Well done and congratulations to all four. :cheers:
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of not one, but two Chindit veterans over the recent period:

    Former Major Thomas Mack Hermiston, who assisted in the leadership of No. 34 Column (4th Borders). This column was part of 23rd Brigade, which used its Chindit knowhow in harassing the Japanese lines of communication around the perimeter of Imphal and Kohima in March/April 1944.
    Thomas died on April 3rd and was 103 years old.


    Corporal Lester Hudson, who fought with the 1st South Staffs at places such as White City and Mogaung. Lester passed away on 17th April and was 99 years old.

    RIP gentlemen. :poppy::poppy:
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  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Since the post to which I replied above has been removed, could one of the mods please remove my own posting which no longer makes sense ?


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  13. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Sadly, Ron it seems that the forum is being hit by spammers as I've received several notifications of replies to threads over the last few days which have been deleted by the mods before I even get there.
  14. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    I spoke this morning to Charles Ward who seems to be going well at his home in Bexhill and appreciating that the sunshine has again emerged from behind the clouds... I flippantly remarked he must by now be in the top 1,000, or thereabouts...he's 101 years and 7 months old on Friday.. good work, Charles.

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  15. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Just been reminded that it was 4 years ago today, on 16th November 2016, that I met up with Ron Goldstein (and his daughter) for the first time...

    There's been a couple of pleasant meetings in leafy north London since and now a monthly Zoom update.

    I think I still owe Ron a lunch (or two).and I'm also not quite sure if my Dad and his mates paid a proper tip for the lift that Ron and the lads of 4th Hussars gave to them in northern Italy in April 1945

    IMG_4922.JPG IMG_4930.JPG

    best wishes to Ron.
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  16. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    My Dad's 97th birthday today...The strangest of times and he'd normally have been here with us, completely at home in the Europe that he helped to liberate. It came down to raising a glass via 'Facetime' and he certainly poured himself a large one !
    Dad Birthday.jpg

    Uniform 4.jpg

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  17. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    My father's service comrade, Charles Ward, celebrated his 102nd birthday today, 16th December.

    I was able to speak to Charles on Monday and pass on my personal best wishes, reminding him that it was 81 years and 2 months ago since he joined the London Irish Rifles as "7015946 Rifleman Ward C" in London.

    Sadly, visits to Charles's RBL home place in Bexhill is currently restricted due to a Covid outbreak amongst staff but it seems that he is in healthy good spirits as usual and I believe that the champagne was flowing today in Sussex.

    Seasonal best wishes to everyone and a fervent hope for an improved 2021.

    IMG_8913 (2).PNG gibbs2.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
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  18. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Sadly, Charles's caubeen was in storage yesterday...

    Quis Separabit. Faugh a Ballagh !!

    IMG_9366.PNG IMG_9367.PNG IMG_9368.PNG
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  19. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    And so say all of us !!!!!!!

    Best regards

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  20. CL1

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

    Great to hear from you Ron hope all is well


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