2019 saw one of the areas real characters pass away. Ralph was an Ex Company Director, local Council Committee member and writer to the press, to name but a few. He was a big supporter of us, the Armed Forces Support Group. Even in his 90’s he was very astute.
He was a Royal Navy Sailor in WW2 and took part in Day One of D-Day landings for which we was later awarded the Legion-of-Honour by the French.
His detailed description of D-Day is both fascinating and amusing, starting with his disbelief that it was actually happening, the fact that he was in the middle of it, and his comment about the whole episode was, ‘Crikey, they are bloody serious’!
Following on from D Day and returning exhausted to Portsmouth, the ships crew were told to clean up the ship which was now filthy following the Invasion action, they had to sail back again to the beaches the following day to take the King and Winston Churchill, to have a look.
An Honour Ralph did accept, he told us, was the French Légion d'honneur, but that was much later.