Ipswich Veterans

 

December 2016

Stanley Chambers a born-and-bred Ipswich veteran who flew Spitfires during the Second World War.
Stanley celebrated his 100th birthday in December and seen here holding his French Legion of Honour medal.
Stanley spent some time at RAF Martlesham. Fighting over the coast of England protecting England from German bombers, then later in the war shot down two doodle bugs. Stanley also took part in the D-Day landings and the liberation of France, protecting the sky’s from fighters as the landings took place.
Stanley despite being one hundred years of age is very active, living independently ,loves good company as well as a wee dram. I have met a number of 100 year olds and will say he is one of a kind.!
After the War he joined the navy. Stanley has lived in Ipswich all his life going to school at Northgate high. His earliest memory was seeing horses ,artillery and soldiers filling the streets of Ipswich during the First World War.
Stanley is very proud of his military career and will never forget the bravery of so many of his friends who made the ultimate sacrifice.
His parting words were “as a 100 year old I can say what ever I like! but take this with you.. So many men gave up their lives for our freedom.. please don’t give your freedom away!”

 

2016 (RIP 2017) Lest we forget..

Cyril Nixon aged 92,an Ipswich WW2 veteran who served with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, played a key role on June 6, 1944 D-DAY, by riding in a support lorry used to refuel tanks heading into France.

Driving around a half mile behind, the fuel lorries were often targeted by the Germans as the tanks would be left stranded without them.

But Mr Nixon, who travelled with the convoy all the way to the River Seine, said he was ‘just playing his part’.
“We all had our little contribution,” he said.
“I was only 18 and back then I was 6ft 4ins and was judged too big to go into the tanks so my job was to go along with a big lorry full of fuel.

“The majority of people in my regiment were transferred from cavalry to tanks so were much smaller men. I was one of the fresh ones so was much bigger.
“On D-Day night they were trying to blast away at us, the bullets were coming down like rain.”
“It had taken a lot of training but on the day everything went berserk because of the weather.

Before leaving France Cyril decided to try and protect his cab of the truck by adding a sheet of corrugated iron onto the roof. The truck was designed to carry fuel but remain light weight with the cab being very sparse with only canvas doors and roof. To refuel the tanks he would have to drive up along side the tank sometimes under heavy fire which was a very risky task. The Germans would choose the truck as a better target rather than the tank.

“They had to think on their feet whoever was in charge.”
Cyril had a few close shaves while fighting in France.
“I did get a Tiger tank shell right through the lorry front to back once,” he said.
“All the army stuff was canvas on top and the fuel wasn’t as high as the metal sides.
“I was in the lorry and it just went right through the canvas. There were lots of incidents like that.
“We had occasions where we were machine gunned and they were after us because they knew the fuel was important.”

 

2016

Harrold Farrow (Dick) an Ipswich WW2 hero receiving the Légion d’honneur Medal earlier this year at Rock barracks Woodbridge 2016.

Harold Farrow who was born in 1924 joined the Army aged just 18 in 1942, being transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment in 1943
He served in Britain in preparation for D-Day until getting loaded with his Regiment on a ship ready to sail for France on 3rd June 1944 where he landed on D-Day itself 6th June 1944
Harold was with his Regiment throughout the campaign in North West Europe surviving many scrapes when under fire by a desperate German Army but was lucky enough to come through unscathed.
He was promoted Lance Corporal and was qualified on Bren Gun Carriers whose job was to push on ahead and make contact with the enemy and give fire support to the infantry. Bren Gun carriers were only lightly armoured and would have been an easy target for enemy Tanks or Guns.
Discharged from the Army shortly after the war he had enjoyed the comradeship so much he returned to the Army and served until 1953.

 

2016

Mr Reginal Snowling a brave Ipswich resident who served during WW2 with the 24th Lancers and received the Legion d’honneur medal this month, Reg landed in France on D-Day day one, serving as a gunner on the third tank on the beach under heavy fire became bogged down in the sand, the first and second tank being knocked out Reg still continued to fire. Under air attack Reg recalls jumping out of the tank taking cover on the opposite side the tank, moving from one side to the other. Once off the beach his tank was engaged in the attack on the heavily fortified towns and villages of Normandy confronted with the legionary German Tiger tank . Reg was wounded and continued to fight in Belgium and Holland. Reg also holds a record for knocking out two German tanks with one shell. Reg first landed in France with a Sherman tank then moved onto the lightweight Comet tank, this is a real Ipswich hero, age 95.

2016

Mr Arthur Scoffield on his 100th birthday party. Arthur a D Day veteran of the Royal Engineers bomb disposal team who cleared Juno beach while under fire allowing the 3rd Canadians to take Juno sector and push on into Normandy. Arthurs uncle FREDERICK HENRY SCOFFIELD died in 1916 on Christmas day and is commemorated on the Ipswich War Memorial. Arthur produced one of his treasured items, a cigarette case from his uncle sent home with his personal effects collected from his body.