Hi Guys, this afternoon Lez and I attended the funeral of a former member of the XXI Indep Para Coy. Sadly we never got to meet David, but attended his funeral in order to represent his Old Comrades who could not attend due to their advanced years. I edit the Vets Newsletter. I provided a Red Beret for the coffin.
Born in 1925. David was nicknamed "Sledge" by his comrades as a pun on his surname. David joined the Royal Tank Regt in 1942. He then volunteered in 1944 for the Parachute Regt and was hand picked to join the Pathfinders of the XXI. He served as a wireless operator in No3 Platoon in Arnhem. He was one of the lucky ones who escaped over the Rhine. He also served in Norway in 1945 and later served in Palestine until 1948.
He was a talented musician: during the battle of Arnhem, he and a mate discovered a guitar in a house where they were fighting. David struck up a tune and sing -song ensued, and the Dutch family, who had been hiding in the celler, came up to listen as an appreciative audience. They were interupted by a message coming in on the wireless. This was from Major "Boy" Wilson, the Company CO. Apparently he could hear the music in his HQ, and he told David in no uncertain terms to shut up!
David was laid to rest in the village where he grew up.