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Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

Article about: Hi Guys, I had the very sad news that a friend of mine, Walter Freegard passed away yesterday, aged 97. I had known Walter for 10 years. He was born in Middlesborough on 29th January 1916. H

  1. #1

    Default Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    Hi Guys, I had the very sad news that a friend of mine, Walter Freegard passed away yesterday, aged 97.

    I had known Walter for 10 years.

    He was born in Middlesborough on 29th January 1916. He was educated at Stockton Grammar school. Prior to the outbreak of war, he worked in the family bakery. Walter joined up on 4th Sept 1939, the day after Britain declared war on Germany. He served with 3rd Corps Transport Col, Royal Army Service Corps. Like many men who later became Pathfinders, he initially volunteered as a Glider Pilot, but like many, failed the course. These men became a rich source of recruits for the Parachute Regt.

    Walter became a Para, passing No.57 course on 22/3/43 at Ringway. He was described as "keen and efficent and an average jumper". He joined the XX1 Indep. Para Coy (Pathfinders) in 1943 at Larkhill.

    He served in North Africa, Italy, Southern France, Greece and Palestine. When the Coy was posted back to the UK, a platoon was left behind in the Med to provide training for US Pathfinders and to provide Pathfinder support for British Airborne operations in Italy, Southern France and Greece. He served as a Clp.

    Walter was nicked named "Free" by his comrades. He left the Company upon their disbandment at Latrun in Sept 1946. He left the Para's with the rank of Sgt.

    Post war he took up teaching and was awarded the OBE for his services in 1978. He retired in 1980.

    Walter attended the re-unions of his company, which is where I met him. He was a very modest man and when I asked for a photo of him said "Why would you want a photo of me?" As well as going to the reunions in the UK, Walter even traveled out to the South of France for the commemorations there each August. I was with him there in 2004. But he continued to go until 2011 Despite his years he had a good memory of his wartime service. He very much enjoyed going to France where he had an eye for the ladies and the red wine!

    Along with several other comrades, he was honoured with the award of the French Croix de Guerre a couple of years ago by President Sarkozy.

    He is survived by his Son.

    RIP Walter!

    Cheers, Ade.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    RIP indeed!.....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    And we lose another one. R.I.P., what a shame.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    RIP. a eye for the ladies and a glass of red what a champion. and served his mother land with great distinction. adrian you must fell honored to have met him.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    Another one for the Ages. Rest in peace.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    Reunited with his chums!

    RIP

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    Sorry to here of the loss of your friend.
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    R.I.P. Walter
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    R.I.P. Walter.
    JEDEM DAS SEINE

  10. #10
    ?

    Default Re: Sad News: Walter Freegard OBE, 1st Indep. Parachute Platoon. (Pathfinders)

    Every man an Emperor , rest in Peace after the final drop Walter .
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

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