This coming Thursday, 11th November, is Remembrance Day, and we will remember them. UKCS are proud to support The Royal British Legion, who are holding their annual Festival of Remembrance in our headquarters town of Felixstowe, as well as other towns across the U.K.
The Royal British Legion are one of many organisations that we support in Felixstowe, where our 100+ people are involved with a variety of community, charity, and sporting associations.
Our operations director, Ross Gosling, made the following comments on the decision to support The Royal British Legion and their mission to remember them:
“When choosing organisations to sponsor, The Royal British Legion was right at the top of our list.
Although our main office is in Felixstowe, which has a rich history of servicemen and servicewomen from when Landguard Fort was in operation, we also have offices in Glasgow, Nottingham, and Dover, that The Legion have a presence in.
Most, if not all, of our families have a member who has been in the military. By sponsoring The Legion, we represent the shared wish of all our people to remember and celebrate the courage shown by those who have served, and support those that need our help today.
We all stand behind The Royal British Legion and wear our poppies with pride.”
UKCS remembers them
Some of our people have been kind enough to share photos and stories of themselves and their loved ones from their serving days. Please remember them by reading their stories here:
Lance Corporal Wilfred Harrold
Pictured above is Wilfred Harrold, formerly of 58 King Street, Felixstowe, Lance Corporal 5831672, 17th/21st Lancers, Royal Armoured Corps.
Son of Henry William Mark and Gertrude Evelyn Harrold. Brother of Barbara, Brian and Clive Harrold.
Died 09/04/1943. Age 23. Commemorated on the Medjez-El-Bab Memorial, Tunisia, Felixstowe Cemetery and Walton Church.
Wilf along with his family were active members of the Felixstowe Salvation Army.
This is a brief excerpt of the battle in which Wilf was to lose his life, when his tank hit a mine on 9/4/43:
It was after the encounter in the Kasserine Pass that the Regiment was withdrawn from the line and re-equipped with the American Sherman tank, mounting a 75mm gun. This represented a great improvement on the old ‘Tommy Cookers’ (Valentines), both in terms of firepower and armoured protection.
The stage was now set for the Battle of Fondouk, on the 8th and 9th April, in which the Regiment was to play a leading role. The Fondouk Pass was a flat, open plain, 1000 yards wide, dominated on both sides by steep rocky heights. The plan was for the Regiment to break through the pass and cut off the retreating German forces.
During a reconnaissance on the evening of the 8th, the Regiment lost four tanks. At 09.00 a.m. on the 9th the 17th/21st was ordered to force the Pass at any cost. The area was mined, and covered by artillery and anti-tank guns positioned in the pass and on the high ground.
For two hours the Regiment tried to break through the Pass, sustaining such heavy losses that only a handful of tanks were left in action. Information that the dry riverbed to the left might prove to be a way through was passed to Brigade Headquarters.
At 11.30, 6th Armoured Brigade ordered the 16th/5th Lancers to try that route, which despite a number of losses to men and tanks, proved successful.
Wilf is survived by one remaining sibling, Clive.
SAC Tony Stubbs
Above are photos of current UKCS staff member Tony Stubbs and his comrades.
Tony gave the following recount of his military days when providing these photos:
“I have attached two photos taken just before and during the 2nd Gulf War.
At the time, I was working as a Landing Point Commander for the Joint Helicopter Support Unit based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire. Our role was to run Helicopter landing points for regular military units and to rig up and attach underslung loads, primarily to the Chinook heavy lift Helicopter.
We flew out to Gibraltar, where we joined HMS Ark Royal and the recently arrived Chinooks and set sail for the Suez Canal along with the rest of the task force, with a final destination of the North Arabian Gulf.
Along the way we carried out numerous exercises with the Royal Marines, ensuring all of their vehicles and associated equipment were appropriately prepped for under slinging to the underside of the Chinook, while they themselves were familiar of the emplaning drills onto the helicopters. This was all in preparation for their assault on to the Al Faw Peninsula and the taking of the oil storage facilities.
In total, we spent 3 months at sea and (once the Marines were all dispatched) we deployed on land where we continued to support UK forces but also provided support to the American deployment working with their Sea Stallion helicopters.
We remained in the desert for a further 6 weeks enabling the constant turnaround of personnel and equipment from one operating base to another.
All in all it was a hot, dusty, and incredibly intense environment. With the added threat in the early days of the invasion of the potential of a chemical attack from Iraqi forces.”
Remembering them in Paisley
Derek Murray, of our Paisley office, has shared the stories of his relatives: Hugh Cameron Smith (pictured right in the left picture) and Historian Jim Smith (pictured in the right picture).
Hugh Cameron Smith sadly died at 17, in Guillemont at the Battle of Somme, the final battle of the 1st World War that involved over 3 million soldiers, and left over 1 million killed or wounded.
Jim Smith dedicated his life to ensuring that we remember them, collecting stories of fallen soldiers from Paisley and adding them to previous research to compile a book on their heroics.
Jim passed away from cancer a couple of years ago, but his book was published for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. It is now available for free in the Paisley library so that people of the town will remember them for years to come.
Join Felixstowe in remembering them
If you are in the Felixstowe area, you can remember them at The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance. The celebration is at the Spa Pavilion at 19:30, Friday 12th November. Tickets are available here.