Strange question..

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by ARMY_MAD, Jan 9, 2010.

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  1. Recently I was watching the film 'we were soldiers' im sure those of you that have seen the film know that the Sgt Maj in this film is said to have served in the Second World War, this got me thinking, when did the last soldier who served in WW2 leave the British Army?

  2. Not such a strange question but youngest, oldest, first, last, are always tricky to determine, there are usually many claimants.

    However, at the time of Field Marshal the Lord Bramall's retirement in the early eighties, I remember that he was credited with being the last serving soldier wearing WW2 medals.

    But of course, nothing is ever that straightforward: As Field Marshals officially don't retire, he may well share the honour of being the last serving WW2 veteran with the Duke of Edinburgh.
  3. But wasn't he a sailor? So that makes it Liz, as she's still a Colonel.

    But did she have broken service between 1945 and 1953?
  4. DofE is a Field Marshal
  5. My uncle joined as an apprentice in 1942 and retired as a Major in 1986.
  6. But he wasn't during WWII, he was a naval Lieutenant in 1947.

  7. That's right , he wasn't a FM in WW2 but all I said was ;
    DofE is a WW2 veteran
    He is a FM
    Therefore he is still serving.

    The Queen is also a Field Marshal, by the way, as is the Duke of Kent.
    They may have had some pretty fast-track promotion but as I understand it, the rank they have is actual and not honourary.
  8. Granted all that, but the OP asked about a soldier serving in WW2. So ATS qualifies but RN doesn't. The Duke of Kent was only 10 years old at the end of WW2.
  9. Ok, you're convinced I didn't understand the original question, I'm convinced that you haven't grasped the meaning of my responses and are now clutching at straws

    Let's save everyone from more boredom and finish up-

    You can have the last word if you wish
  10. No let me have the last word Tawahi.
    You served alongside some of my old mates from Kenya and Aden,
    I don't think any of us could have answered those questions. Good on yer.
    That's from Joe B, Cookie and myself.
    Good luck. :D :D
  11. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Didn't Farrar - Hockley Jump in WW2 and was still going in the '80s?

    Here we go

    Anthony Farrar-Hockley was born in Coventry the son of a journalist.[2] He was educated at Exeter School, at the age of 15 he ran away at the start of World War II and enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment, the fact that he was underage was soon discovered and he was discharged and had to wait to be re-enlisted in 1941. He was promoted sergeant while still aged 17 and only 18 when he was commissioned into the 1st Airborne Division in November 1942 and fought in Italy and France. Later he won the MC in 1944 while fighting the communist rebellion in Athens.[1]

    After a period commanding the Army's GOC South East District (1977-1979) he was appointed commander in chief of Nato's Allied Forces Northern Europe. He held this appointment until his retirement from the army in 1982.[2]

    Other positions held by Farrar-Hockley included: ADC General to the Queen (1981-1983), Colonel-Commandant of the Prince of Wales' Division (1974-1980) and of the Parachute Regiment (1977-1983). He was colonel of his Gloucestershire Regiment 1978-1984.

    He must have been one of teh last surely?
  12. Puttees may remember our old pay sgt, Tucker.

    He wore his WW2 medals until he was retired in 1983.

    The PSAO at the time also had a WW2 medal (joined R Sigs boy apprentice in 1945) and he retired sometime after 1991.
  13. Remember him well. "Just sign here and you'll get paid for tonight" - I didn't realise that they were enlistment papers.

    But what happened to the Chef, Tommy M? I was reliably informed by dodgy sources that he had re-enlisted under an assumed age. (Ably assisted by the said Sgt Tucker, no doubt). He must have had WW2 service and was about 63 when I left, but probably 45 on the books.
  14. Tommy had to retire after his little meeting with throat cancer.

    Den P##k and myself went to see him in hospital - I was bricking it but Den set the scene by opening with the words 'That's shut you up you old bugger'.

    Last saw Tommy in Richmond in about 1995. He talked like Jack Hawkins, impressed my Mother in Law by calling me sir, and conned £20 out of me - just until bounty time you understand.

    One of the gungiest cooks one could ever imagine - but then again you could pull him out of his pit at midnight and in very short order he would whip up a hot meal for two hundred men.

    Tommy looked very old (beer-fags -fags - beer) but he was actually about 40 when he got the Big C in 1981.
  15. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    OC HQ Squadron 15/19H retired about 1980, having come ashore on D-Day as a Pte in the Cheshires IIRC.

    Obviously not last, but he was wonderfully well received on his last day.