Oldest Welsh Guardsman/Normandy Veteran dies at 94


Normandy veteran dies at 94
Last Updated: 06 September 2007 11:44 AM

THE man who was thought to be the oldest Welsh Guardsman to have survived
the Second World War has died, aged 94.

Tom Alford, of Perth Road, Stamford, died at Thorpe Hall hospice on Friday.
Tom, who was known as George to family and friends, was born in London on
February 15, 1913.

His father had been a sergeant in the Shropshire Light Infantry, and George
was 17 and working for the famous horse racing Scudamore family in
Herefordshire when he enlisted in the Welsh Guards.

In a Mercury interview in November last year he recalled: "It was April 8,
1931 and I remember the date exactly because I had to travel to the Guards'
HQ at Caterham in Surrey and nearly ended up at the wrong building. When
the bugle sounded to go on parade I didn't know what it was and ignored it
until one of my mates shouted 'Hey George, we're on!' And that's how the
name stuck."

He was proud to take part in pre-war Trooping the Colour ceremonies and to
be a member of the royal guard at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle where
he remembers seeing the future Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and Princess
Margaret at play.

George was fortunate to have survived the war. He was evacuated from Dunkirk
in 1940 and, four years later, landed on the Normandy beaches with 2 Sqdn.
He was hit by shrapnel during a tank battle near Caen, in which his senior
officer, the artist Rex Whistler, was killed by a German sniper, and was one
of only two survivors of a shelling attack near Minden.

After demob he worked for the Harrods in London, drove a bus and worked as a
He had married his sweetheart Josephine just before the outbreak of war.
After her death, he moved from London to be with his son John in Stamford
where he was the oldest member of the local Royal British Legion. He was
also a popular member of the Welsh Guards Association.

The funeral has yet to be arranged.