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The Obituaries

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Lieutenant-Commander Tony Bentley-Buckle

Lieutenant-Commander Tony Bentley-Buckle, who has died aged 88, spent the last 18 months of the Second World War as a prisoner-of-war in Germany, when he and his fellow inmates of Marlag-O, a PoW camp for naval officers in northern Germany, built a man-sized dummy called “Albert RN”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/7982962/Lieutenant-Commander-Tony-Bentley-Buckle.html

 

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Able Seaman Arthur Collins

Able Seaman Arthur Collins, who has died aged 90, was on board the British destroyer Sikh when she was sunk in a disastrous raid on Tobruk in September 1942 – thought lost at sea, he subsequently made a celebrated "return from the dead".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/7968465/Able-Seaman-Arthur-Collins.html
 

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Michael Burn

Michael Burn, who died on September 3 aged 97, was one of the last survivors of the naval commando raid on St Nazaire, after which he was captured and imprisoned at Colditz. A Nazi admirer (who later became a communist), he had met Adolf Hitler in pre-war Germany.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/books-obituaries/7985475/Michael-Burn.html
 

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The Reverend Robin Roe

The Reverend Robin Roe , who has died aged 81, played rugby for Ireland and the British Lions and was awarded an MC for his courage in Aden while an Army chaplain

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/religion-obituaries/7971834/The-Reverend-Robin-Roe.html
 

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Keith Batey

Keith Batey, who died on August 28 aged 91, was one of the leading codebreakers working on the German Enigma machine ciphers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/special-forces-obituaries/7978325/Keith-Batey.html
 

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Joe Fowells

Joe Fowells, who has died aged 94, was ordered to torpedo and sink the British cruiser Edinburgh, which was laden with the 465 ingots of what became known as “Stalin’s gold”.

In April 1942 Fowells was torpedo officer on the destroyer Foresight, which was part of an escort under the command of Rear-Admiral Stuart Bonham-Carter in Edinburgh, for the 17-strong convoy QP-11 from Murmansk. The cruiser was carrying a payment, in gold, for supplies which the Allies had shipped to the Soviet Union.

On April 28 the German submarine U-456 torpedoed Edinburgh twice, blowing off her stern and leaving her to stagger drunkenly around the ocean on her two outer propellers. For the next three days attempts were made, under constant air attack, to tow her back to Russia. After the line broke twice, it was found easier for Foresight to be towed by Edinburgh and substitute for her lost rudders.

At dawn on May 2, three German vessels attacked, led by the large destroyer Hermann Schoemann. Casting off her tow, Edinburgh could only steam in circles, and in the ensuing mêlée Foresight’s sister ship Forester was hit and stopped.
In Foresight, Fowells recalled that the freezing weather meant that the ship and crew were probably at less than half their fighting efficiency. The wind ripped through duffel coats and icicles formed on the men’s ears, while guns repeatedly iced up and the spray froze on shells as they emerged from the hoist so that they would not fit in the breech. The German ships emerged intermittently out of the mist to fire a few salvoes, and both sides fired torpedoes, until Edinburgh ran into a torpedo aimed at the helpless Forester.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/7995240/Joe-Fowells.html
 

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Wartime secret agent's life comes to light after her death
By Estelle Shirbon, Reuters

LONDON - A reclusive old lady who died alone in her flat in southwest England and had no one to pay for her funeral has posthumously shot to fame after it emerged she was an intrepid World War Two secret agent.

Eileen Nearne died aged 89 at her home in the town of Torquay on Sept. 2. In the absence of any known relatives to make funeral arrangements, authorities entered the flat to take charge several days later, a local council spokeswoman said. A search for documents that might help locate relatives instead yielded a treasure trove of medals and papers that revealed the life of a woman once known as "Agent Rose," who defied the Nazis as a wireless operator in occupied France.

British media compared her death to that of the fictional Eleanor Rigby, who died alone in a Beatles song.

"She was to be buried, like Eleanor Rigby, along with her name," said the Times newspaper, which published on its front page a large black-and-white photo of a young Nearne in a beret.

"That may now change. It ought to, given Eileen Nearne's service to her country ... Her courage was capped only by her humility. Her life deserves to be sung about every bit as much as Eleanor Rigby's," said the Times in an editorial.

A member of the secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE), the 23-year-old Nearne took a night flight into France in March 1944 to work as an undercover agent helping coordinate a network of resistance fighters and spies.

She was arrested by the Gestapo four months later but was able to hide her true identity thanks to her fluent French, acquired during childhood when her family lived in France.

However, Nearne was arrested again weeks later and was imprisoned at Ravensbrueck concentration camp before being transferred to a forced labour camp in Silesia. She escaped in April 1945 but was re-arrested, before escaping one last time.

After the war, Nearne was awarded an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, in recognition of her services. She lived for most of the rest of her life with her sister Jacqueline, who had also served in the SOE.

Since her sister's death in 1982, Nearne had lived alone and never spoke about her wartime exploits.

"Isn't it ironic that this lady, with her Special Operations Executive training, carried this through for the rest of the life and remained under cover, so much so that we're talking about her with such surprise just after her death," said John Pentreath, of the Royal British Legion, in a BBC interview.

The Legion, an organisation dedicated to the welfare and memory of members and veterans of the British armed forces, has taken over preparations for Nearne's funeral, which will take place next week. "We began to realise that a large bit of our history has just left us and it is hugely important to us that even now, after she's died, we do something about it, which is what we're going to do at her funeral," Pentreath told the BBC.

"We will pay her the honour and respect that she deserves."

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Features/2010/09/14/15345556.html
 

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Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Symonds

Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Symonds, who has died aged 95, took part in 22 attacks in the north-west Europe campaign and was awarded an MC and Bar.

On February 15 1945, Symonds was in command of “A” Company during the Battle of the Ardennes. They were east of the Forest of Cleve and it was estimated that the enemy had more than 300 guns in support of the sector. Their objective were some fortified farm buildings at the top of a dominant feature and, as they formed up, they came under very heavy fire.

The CO wrote afterwards: “I shall always carry a vivid picture of the tall figure of Major Symonds standing up, blowing his whistle, and bowling his steel helmet in the direction of the Germans. The Company appreciated this typical gesture by its commander and followed him to a man.”

They soon ran into very tough opposition from German paratroops but, disregarding the accurate Spandau fire and intense mortar and shell fire, put in three attacks before finally taking the strongpoint. Many of the Germans decided to run, and in the subsequent pursuit no quarter was given.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8007540/Lieutenant-Colonel-Joe-Symonds.html
 

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Group Captain Mike Judd

Group Captain Mike Judd, who has died aged 92, was a veteran of the fighting in the North African desert campaign, and recognised as one of the RAF's outstanding fighter-bomber pilots.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/air-force-obituaries/8016807/Group-Captain-Mike-Judd.html
 

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Captain 'Mickie’ O’Brien, who has died aged 89, was awarded an immediate MC at Normandy.

In the early morning of July 23 1944 O’Brien, commanding Y Troop of 47 (RM) Commando, was leading a patrol on a covert raid on the German lines east of Sallenelles, behind the beaches, when a man trod on a mine and surprise was lost. The enemy lit the battlefield with flares and opened fire with heavy machineguns. O’Brien, with total disregard for danger and by his personal example and determination, rallied his patrol and charged forward to quell the enemy.

When he returned to his own lines with an officer prisoner, O’Brien learned that some of his patrol were missing and immediately returned through defensive fire into the minefield. He stayed there until daybreak to supervise the rescue of the wounded.

Asked later how he coped with the horror and destruction around him and the prospect of imminent death, O’Brien replied he had the perfect temperament: a strong sense of fatalism and no imagination.

He was awarded an immediate MC.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/8042171/Captain-Mickie-OBrien.html
 

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Tugwell, Maurice Arthur John

TUGWELL, Maurice Arthur John Died peacefully on Oct. 10, 2010 in Victoria, BC. He is survived by his wife Claire, their children Andrew and Julia, and his children Belinda, Justin and Gail by a previous marriage. Born on the Isle of Wight in 1925, he attended Bedford School, and enlisted in the British Army in 1943. He was commissioned in the Parachute Regiment in 1944, and in the course of his career served in Germany, India, Palestine, Malaya, Cyprus, Bahrain, Aden, N. Ireland and Iran. In 1973 he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his service in N. Ireland. He retired with the rank of Brigadier in 1978, and was awarded a PhD from the Dept. of War Studies at the University of London in 1979. After emigrating to Canada with his family in 1978, he co-founded the Centre for Conflict Studies at the University of New Brunswick, and six years later established the Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda in Toronto. He retired in 1990 and moved to Victoria with his family. He wrote Airborne to Battle 1971; Arnhem, A Case Study 1975; Skiing for Beginners 1977; Peace with Freedom 1988; Herzl Street 1998; and contributed to The Unquiet Peace 1957; Armies in Low-Intensity Conflict 1989; Deception Operations: Studies in the East-West Context 1990; and Democratic Responses to International Terrorism 1991. Maurice was an avid skier, hiker and traveler, a keen music lover, and a prolific reader. He suffered from Parkinson's for the last few years of his life, and will be sorely missed by his family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic. A memorial service will be held at 3:00pm Monday, October 18 at St. Luke's Anglican Church, Cedar Hill X Road, followed by a reception. 606885
Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist from 10/14/2010 - 10/16/2010

http://www.legacy.com/can-victoria/Obituaries.asp?Page=SearchResults
 

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daftandbarmy said:
Tugwell, Maurice Arthur John

TUGWELL, Maurice Arthur John Died peacefully on Oct. 10, 2010 in Victoria, BC. ........He wrote Airborne to Battle 1971; Arnhem, A Case Study 1975; Skiing for Beginners 1977; Peace with Freedom 1988; Herzl Street 1998; and contributed to The Unquiet Peace 1957; Armies in Low-Intensity Conflict 1989; Deception Operations: Studies in the East-West Context 1990; and Democratic Responses to International Terrorism 1991. Maurice was an avid skier, hiker and traveler, a keen music lover, and a prolific reader. He suffered from Parkinson's for the last few years of his life, and will be sorely missed by his family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic. A memorial service will be held at 3:00pm Monday, October 18 at St. Luke's Anglican Church, Cedar Hill X Road, followed by a reception. 606885
Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist from 10/14/2010 - 10/16/2010

http://www.legacy.com/can-victoria/Obituaries.asp?Page=SearchResults

He was a great writer - really led you through the Airborne Story in Airborne to Battle. I suppose he had seen the big stick down to the end of the Empire and I remember he looked past the end of the Cold War with a thought that ran "The Day of the Airborne may be longer than many have thought."
 

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Brigadier Dennis Rendell

Brigadier Dennis Rendell, who has died aged 89, had an adventurous career in the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Military Police, rising to become Provost Marshal, one of the most ancient of Crown appointments.

In November 1942, 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment (2 PR) dropped at Depienne, Tunisia, with orders to destroy the enemy landing ground at Oudna. During the initial attack Rendell, then a lieutenant, led his platoon under heavy fire from armoured vehicles. Ignoring the dangers, he went forward alone to ascertain the best approach and played a notable part in the capture of the railway station.

After four days and nights of fierce fighting, Rendell's platoon covered the battalion's withdrawal. Despite being surrounded and virtually out of ammunition, with Rendell wounded and most of his men casualties, they fought on, enabling the remnants of the battalion to disengage. Rendell and the survivors were captured and taken to a German regimental aid post. Rendell was subsequently awarded a Military Cross.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8081640/Brigadier-Dennis-Rendell.html
 

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A Kamloops boy who dun good....


Wing Commander 'Butch' Barton

Wing Commander 'Butch' Barton, who has died aged 94, became a fighter ace during the Battle of Britain and went on to lead his squadron with distinction during the fierce air battles over Malta.

Barton was flight commander of the Hurricane-equipped No 249 Squadron based in Yorkshire when it was transferred to Boscombe Down on August 14 1940; the aim was to reinforce the hard-pressed fighter squadrons in the south. He was immediately in action, and the following day shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter and damaged a second.

On August 16, Barton's deputy, Flight Lieutenant JB Nicolson, was attacked and his Hurricane caught fire. Despite suffering burns, Nicholson immediately attacked another German fighter before baling out. He was later awarded a Victoria Cross, the only pilot in Fighter Command to receive the supreme award for valour.

Over the next three weeks, Barton's successes mounted. On September 3, now flying from North Weald in Essex, his Hurricane was hit by return fire from a Dornier bomber and he was forced to bale out. On his return to the squadron later in the day he was ribbed by his colleagues for allowing himself to be shot down by a bomber.

When his CO was wounded, Barton led the squadron into battle during the most hectic phase of the Luftwaffe's onslaught, sometimes flying four times in a single day. On September 15, the day of the greatest air battle, he shot down a Dornier bomber over the Thames Estuary and damaged a second.

By the end of the Battle of Britain on October 31, Barton had accounted for two more enemy fighters and damaged two others. He was awarded a DFC for his "outstanding leadership".

The son of a Canadian civil engineer and a Scottish mother, Robert Alexander Barton was born on June 7 1916 at Kamloops, British Columbia. He was educated in Vernon, requiring a weekly journey by steamship to and from his home at Penticton. When he was 19 he went to a recruiting office in Vancouver and was accepted into the RAF. He travelled to England to take up a short service commission in January 1936.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/air-force-obituaries/8074133/Wing-Commander-Butch-Barton.html
 

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Major Don Low

Major Don Low, who has died aged 90, won an MC as a field gunner in 1943.

Early that year Low was in Tunisia, serving with 72nd Anti-Tank Regiment RA (72 ATR). On March 3 his troop was deployed near Sedjenane. They were on boggy ground on either side of a road which was bounded by deep ditches and ran through a clearing in a heavily wooded area. They had been shelled all day and that night no one got any sleep.

The next day he was ordered to hold the line until 3pm, when all the infantry in front of him would have withdrawn and established a new position a mile behind him. He was then to pull back his four 25-pounder guns and join them.

As the deadline approached, shells began falling in the clearing. Low realised that he could not order the drivers of the quads (gun tractors) to cross the open area to hook up the guns and decided to drive each of them himself.
As he charged along the road with the first quad, two shells burst in front of him. He wheeled left and slammed the vehicle at the ditch. It scrambled across and bounded on with Low bouncing up and down in his seat like a rubber ball.

He got close to the waiting gun team but had to stop because of the boggy ground. No sooner had he jumped out and begun to run towards them than a shell fell and knocked out the quad.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/8232376/Major-Don-Low.html
 

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Squadron Sergeant Major Tom Parnell

Squadron Sergeant Major Tom Parnell, who died on January 11 aged 92, was a Chelsea Pensioner and former cavalryman who rescued Lippizaner horses of the Spanish Riding School in war-torn Austria.

In 1945 his regiment, the 10th Hussars, was at Graz. When his colonel sent him to collect four horses, Parnell, remembering the Hussars’ pre-war reputation for polo, assumed he was adding to horses already acquired for that purpose.

In fact they were Lippizaners from the Spanish Riding School which had been dispersed to secret locations because of the war. Unbeknown to Parnell, General Patton, a cavalryman, wanted to get to the horses before the Russians – whom he feared might eat them – and had enlisted the help of the 10th Hussars .

Parnell and a fellow NCO set off with two three-ton lorries; the drivers were armed, and they were joined by a guide. Two hours out of Graz, in mountainous country, they pulled off the road, following a forest track leading to a camouflaged and guarded cave. Inside was a makeshift stable and, to the men’s astonishment, four Lippizaners in good condition.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8289396/Squadron-Sergeant-Major-Tom-Parnell.html
 

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Mario Traverso

Mario Traverso, who died on January 4 aged 94, was a leading officer in what is generally considered to be the last successful battlefield cavalry charge, on the Russian front at Isbuschenskij on August 24 1942; after the war he created a highly successful knitwear company

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8334018/Mario-Traverso.html
 

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Knew him fairly well. A genuine gentleman.


Friends pay tributes to one of country's top-ranked ex-Army officers

FRIENDS and family have raised a glass to bid a final farewell to one of the country's highest-ranking former Army officers.

Hundreds of mourners packed into Beverley Minster yesterday to pay respect to Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray.
Known for his "generosity of spirit", the distinguished officer had one last gift for them.

And so the congregation celebrated his life by sharing the last of his stocks of Champagne, that he had hidden away for the event.

http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/news/Remembering-officer-generous-end/article-3397820-detail/article.html
 

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The old soldier who kept D-Day memories alive: Paratrooper who helped win at Pegasus Bridge dies aged 94

Among the list of those who bravely parachuted into the dark skies over Normandy on D-Day, the name of Major Jack Watson always stood out.

He returned to the scene of the Allies’ greatest triumph year after year to preserve the memory of those who took part in Operation Overlord but never made it home.

And yesterday, after his death at the age of 94, Major Watson was finally added to that illustrious roll call.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377031/Major-Jack-Watson-dies-aged-94.html

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377031/Major-Jack-Watson-dies-aged-94.html#ixzz1JYIYdf8k
 

daftandbarmy

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daftandbarmy said:
Knew him fairly well. A genuine gentleman.


Friends pay tributes to one of country's top-ranked ex-Army officers

FRIENDS and family have raised a glass to bid a final farewell to one of the country's highest-ranking former Army officers.

Hundreds of mourners packed into Beverley Minster yesterday to pay respect to Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray.
Known for his "generosity of spirit", the distinguished officer had one last gift for them.

And so the congregation celebrated his life by sharing the last of his stocks of Champagne, that he had hidden away for the event.

http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/news/Remembering-officer-generous-end/article-3397820-detail/article.html

Tory-graph obit....

Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray

Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray , who has died aged 78, combined wide operational experience and first-rate organisational skills with great energy and an exceptional gift for getting on with people; these qualities took him to within reach of the top rank in the Army.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8444071/Lieutenant-General-Sir-Michael-Gray.html
 
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