Fallen Heroes

July 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm 1 comment

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A couple of weeks ago my Uncle Les died. He had just turned 80. Not a bad age, but, unfortunately, he had been quite ill and increasingly dependent on others for help during the last five of those years.

When I was young he was my hero. He was strong and had film star good looks and was a former Royal Marine Commando. He gave me my first alcoholic drink from a collection of miniatures that he had assembled over the years, and, a mighty collection of Marvel and DC comics….

I was very proud to discover that my Aunty insisted that his Green Beret and campaign medals be given to me. And so, I am now in proud possession of his beret. It is surprisingly small. In my memory he was a giant of a man. I also have his three campaign medals – Korea, the Canal Zone, and Malaya. He was seventeen when he joined and served for seven years. He must have seen some things in those seven years and in those places.

The role of the Royal Marines and other British forces in the Korean War is little known and poorly documented. I know that he served on HMS Belfast, but little more than that.

I would be grateful to receive any more information about the action seen by the Royal Marines in any of these zones during the years 1948 to 1955.

His medals will join another treasured possession – the certificate awarded to my granddad by Winston Churchill. My granddad was mentioned in dispatches for gallantry when serving in North Africa in the First World War.

Heroes all……

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. dannyllama  |  July 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Middle Man,

    Currently charging my glass to your Uncle Les. My Grandad shocked me a few years ago. He started talking Gujarati…much to my surprise. He told me that he learned it during WW2 after spending time with Indian officers. Quite surprised by it !

    It’s funny, in the US veterans are celebrated and honored. Here, they are caste aside. Not in my eyes…

    Well done Uncle Les !

    Like

    Reply

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