RIP Wilf Shaw, Veteran, 6th Green Howards

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts.' started by 4jonboy, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Cheers for posting that warm tribute Paul.

    28 days - for impersonating an officer! That makes me smile. (My dad was involved in similar shenanigans - but he was the driver while his mate, who could do a better posh accent, sat in the back of the car dressed in the officer's coat, hat & gloves very thoughtfully left behind by the previous occupant.)
  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Just read the written tribute and then listened to your podcast, Paul. Great tribute, well done.

    I hadn’t realised that Wilf missed Mareth due to wounds received at the 2nd Battle of El Alamein, but that’s maybe a good thing as far as his WWII survival and longevity is concerned.

    He also landed on D+2, so missed D-Day. Again, probably a good thing...

    Could you please post a heads-up when Wilf’s last recording is released.


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  3. paulcheall

    paulcheall Private

    Hi Steve I've just heard that someone from the Green Howards will be attending Wilf's funeral and they asked for help with a few words. I gave them some of my own plus no small part of yours so I sincerely hope that was OK - you said it all so well it was very hard to improve!
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  4. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    You are welcome to use my words, Paul.

    It’s now over 6.5 hours since I listened to your podcast and something Wilf said in one of the clips resonates more than I expected it would. Generally speaking, the 50 Div regarded Mareth (Operation Pugilist), Wadi Akarit (Operation Scipio) and Primosole (Operation Fustian, Sicily) as the hardest scraps they were in. We know that Wilf missed Mareth due to him recovering from a prior wound and Primosole was mainly a 151st Infantry Brigade (6th, 8th & 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry) action.

    Wadi Akarit was hell for the 69th Infantry Brigade (5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, & 6th & 7th Bns Green Howards) and I expected Wilf to say that this was his worst experience in WWII. But he didn’t, he said the 2nd Battle of El Alamein (Operation Lightfoot) was the worst and the one he didn’t know how he survived (and nearly didn’t). Did he ever explain why it was the worst to you? I was just thinking it might be worth a reference?!


  5. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    RIP Wilf
    Thank you Lesley for sharing, what sad news.
  6. paulcheall

    paulcheall Private

    Ha! Loving that story.
  7. paulcheall

    paulcheall Private

    No problem Steve. I wondered why Wilf never mentioned Mareth! Yes I'll post a notification for the next ep, though it's going to be several months I suspect. I'll try to make it worth listening to when it does come though!

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  8. paulcheall

    paulcheall Private

    Pretty much everything Wilf has told me is in the podcasts Steve so I don't know why he found Alamein the worst. But possibly because he twice had to charge a position under heavy fire, one of which there was only him and an officer got through. I know he was shelled at Akarit but maybe he found that less concerning depending exactly where he was positioned, such as in the Italian trench he once had to dive in which had been used as a latrine! Maybe soft, warm and sheltered had its appeal at times - sorry couldn't resist that!

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  9. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Which ever way you look at, Wilf was alway in the sh1t. Such was the life of 50 Div.
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  10. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Wilf's funeral was yesterday and I am pleased to say it was a beautiful service and he had a really lovely send-off:).

    The service at St. Paul's Church was really dignified, at times very emotional and well attended. There were members of Oldham Royal British Legion in church with a Standard Bearer. There was a representative from the Green Howards Regiment, Bernard Bunting of Leeds, who read the tribute to Wilf, written by Paul Cheall (with some lovely words included by our very own Steve Mac:)). The Last Post was played.

    Four members of staff from Marks and Spencer's at Ashton Moss came to the funeral too, which was a really nice tribute to Wilf, as he had been visiting the café for quite a few years and the staff knew him well. A few people from the sheltered accommodation where Wilf lived were there, members of his extended family, and a few members of the public who had turned up to offer their condolences.

    Wilf's family invited us back to their home for food and drinks and it was lovely to finally meet Wilf's son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Elaine, as well as his grandsons, Leon and David. My husband, Steve and I were made to feel really welcome and it was a pleasure to talk to them about my memories and wonderful times I shared with Wilf.

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  11. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher Patron

    Lesley, thank you for telling us about Wilf's funeral.
  12. paulcheall

    paulcheall Private

    That’s fantastic Lesley thanks. So sorry I couldn’t attend. P

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  13. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much Lesley. A fine tribute to a good Man.
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  14. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    I was undecided whether to attend Wilf’s ‘funeral’ or not and I decided not, Lesley. Although I have exchanged a few messages with Wilf and I was upset by his demise, unlike you I have never met him face to face.

    Having informed my wife that should I pop my clogs before she does (likely) she is not to invite to my funeral any family member that has not bothered with me in life; such family members to be regarded as parasites, I applied that logic to Wilf’s funeral and decided it would be hypocritical of me to attend. He was in my thoughts though...

    You are wonderful; and your husband has a great first name!


  15. paulcheall

    paulcheall Private

    DBF thanks for this comment and with your permission I'd like to quote your great anecdote in my next podcast which I'm preparing now. If so do I refer to you as DBF or have you got a real name I could use please?
    Thanks again
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    No problem, dbf on ww2talk would be fine.

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