Centenary for Skegness soldier praised for his service

Harry Lloyd of Skegness celebrating his 100th birthday. Pictured with family members Front L-R Richard Lloyd - son, Patricia Foulstone - daughter. Back L-R Catheryn Edwards, Nighel Pettit - grandson, Louisa Perkins - grand daughter, Connor Moore, Jaye Perkins - great grandson, Adam Lloyd - grandson, Andrea Lloyd - daughter-in-law, Neil Pettit - grandson, Ian Foulstone - son-in-law.

Harry Lloyd of Skegness celebrating his 100th birthday. Pictured with family members Front L-R Richard Lloyd - son, Patricia Foulstone - daughter. Back L-R Catheryn Edwards, Nighel Pettit - grandson, Louisa Perkins - grand daughter, Connor Moore, Jaye Perkins - great grandson, Adam Lloyd - grandson, Andrea Lloyd - daughter-in-law, Neil Pettit - grandson, Ian Foulstone - son-in-law.

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Hero soldier Harry Lloyd has seen more in his life than most people could imagine.

He grew up with no electricity or gas and in a time when the weekly wage was just 35 ‘bob’(or £1.75.)

When he was born on October 24, 1916, television did not exist and mobile phones, tablets and laptops were something that could only be dreamed about in science fiction novels.

The Skegness army veteran has just celebrated his 100th birthday, and his active life saw him serve as part of an important platoon in the Second World War that managed to prevent German tanks coming from Holland into Belgium.

While positioned at Nijmegen in the Netherlands his actions that day saved the lives of many soldiers and, while he was praised for his part in the operation, he said that not enough medals were available to go around so he was instead promoted to sergeant.

His daughter Trish Foulstone, 73, said: “Dad has always been very active. He has a bit of dementia now but has written down bits from his life and said he was proud to serve in the army and in World War II.

“He joined in 1940 training at Lichfield Barracks (in Staffordshire), then went to Scarborough, then Northern Ireland before travelling all over.”

He was also based in Normandy, and took part in the ‘Falaise Gap’, (known as the Falaise Pocket) which was described as the ‘decisive engagement’ of the Battle of Normandy.

There, a pocket was formed around Falaise, Calvados, in which German troops were encircled by the Western Allies.

The term ‘gap’ was the name given to the corridor which the Germans aimed to maintain to allow their escape. Mr Lloyd and his comrades helped to close this gap and defeat the German troops.

Trish said: “After the war he worked in the building trade for a while but wrote that the money was poor and had heard there was money in the mines.

“He worked various jobs in the mines, including making the funnels safe, and later helped my brother build his bungalow.

“He met my mum (Frances) at a fair and wrote that they spent quite a bit of time courting. He went to the Church of England, while she was a Catholic.

“I was born in 1943 but as he went to war he wrote that he did not see me until he came back from the war.

“Mum and Dad were married nearly 60 years. Mum died in 2000 and Dad lived on his own for a couple of years until we brought him to Skegness with us.

Mr Lloyd, who lives in the Beacon Park estate, has five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.