obituary

WWII veteran  Henry ‘Harry’ Rawlins, 98, who served with The King’s Royal Rifle Corps died on Monday 10 June at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. His niece, Angela, and her husband Andrew were at his bedside. Harry joined the army at the age of 18 and was posted to the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. At Operation…

100 year old WWII veteran William ‘Bill’ Gladden, who flew into Normandy on D-Day, died at home in Haverhill on 24 April. William ‘Bill’ Gladden was born on the 13 January 1924. His parents were both from Yarmouth in Norfolk, but they raised him in Woolwich; his mother having worked in the Arsenal during the…

Tom Schaffer, from Mill Hill, who was affectionately known as the poster boy of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans died on 16 March, he was 97. Tom was a regular on Taxi Charity trips across the UK and to the Netherlands and Normandy and for over 30 years. After enlisting during the war and…

On 16 November former Essex Regiment and Glider Pilot Regiment veteran Captain Ron Johnson died at home aged 102. Ron Johnson was called up in September 1939 and as the only grammar schoolboy in his group he was sent on many courses during training.  Scoring 100% on an aircraft recognition course he was fast tracked…

WWII Veteran Alec Hall from Southend-on-Sea, died at home on Monday 16 October with his family by his side. Alec Hall, served with the 181 Field Ambulance (Airborne) as a medical nurse and was part of Operation Market Garden in 1944. He returned to the Netherlands on several occasions with the Taxi Charity for Military…

WWII Normandy veteran Roy ‘Smudger’ Smith from Sittingbourne in Kent died in hospital on Friday 23 June, he was 97. Roy Smith is survived by his two daughters, Linda Harvey and Teresa Rising, five grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Roy was born in November 1925 in Sittingbourne, Kent, the second youngest of seven children. From…

In September 1944, at the age of 19, Frank Ashleigh was the youngest airman to take part in Operation Market Garden. Frank Ashleigh from Kingsbury, who served in WWII with the Glider Pilot Regiment died on 18 June 2023 after a short stay in hospital, he was 98. Frank is survived by his wife Mavis…

100 year old WWII veteran Tommy Parkinson from Gospel Oak died on 2 June 2023. WWII Veteran Tommy Parkinson was born on 6 March 1923 and celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Tommy volunteered for Air Crew when he was 17. Having passed his health and aptitude tests but failing his maths, he joined the Rifle…

Born on 21 June 1924, WWII veteran Robert ‘Robbie’ Larnach from Lybster near Caithness in Scotland died on 26 February 2023 aged 98. One of seven brothers he was conscripted  in 1942  and served with the 25th Field Regiment Royal Artillery. He landed on Sword beach on D Day +15 on his 20th birthday and…

WWII naval veteran Len Hobbs, 98, died peacefully at home on Monday 31 October with his daughter Elizabeth at his side. Born on 1 August 1924, Len Hobbs from South Woodham Ferrers, near Chelmsford, joined the Royal Navy in 1943 and after completing his basic training at HMS Ganges was sent to the Isle of…