Posts Tagged ‘aged’

Hero who led D-Day landing craft dies aged 95

August 13th, 2014

Mr Purser, who was 95 when he died, defined his life by his time in the Royal Navy, according to his family.

He joined HMS Raleigh in late 1940 for training and later HMS Vanquisher, a 1918 Destroyer, for convoy duty in the North Atlantic from Iceland to the Azores.

He was then commissioned in May 1942 and undertook training to sail landing craft capable of taking infantry ashore – vessels that would play a crucial part in the D-Day landings.

Mr Purser trained by sailing from Scotland for beaching exercises on the mud in Chichester Creeks.

Before the D-Day landings, Mr Purser also took command of Landing Craft that were used in th eSicily landings and also helped to relieve the Channel islands.

He later married Pam, who was a wren in the Royal Navy, but was only allowed to be away from his ship for half an hour.

Following the war, Mr Purser, who became an accountant, continued sailing as part of a club in Topsham, Exeter, where he lived with his family.

The couple had two children, Simon and Stephen. One of their grandsons, Mark, has also seen active duty with the army in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.


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Dame Vera Lynn breaks chart record aged 97 with album of wartime hits

June 8th, 2014

An early version of We’ll Meet Again was played at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday, in a “duet” with singer Katherine Jenkins. Dame Vera appeared on screens in black-and-white footage, with her daughter watching on from the audience.

On being told of her achievement, Dame Vera said: ”I am delighted of course. It is wonderful to hear these songs again that were at the top of the charts so long ago, and it’s warming to think that everyone else is listening to them too.”

The veteran singer’s last major chart feat was five years ago when, at the age of 92, she achieved a number one with an earlier best-of release.

Dame Vera – who made her professional debut at the age of seven – already holds the record as the first British artist to top the US charts in 1952 and as the only artist over 90 to top the UK album charts.

Elsewhere in the chart, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran achieved his first UK number one single with Sing, while fellow British solo star Sam Smith remained at the top of the album chart with In The Lonely Hour.

Sheeran’s single, which was co-written and produced by US star Pharrell, sold nearly 124,000 copies over the last seven days, according to the Official Charts Company. It knocked Sam Smith’s Stay With Me off the top spot, with the 22-year-old’s track slipping to number two.

A charity single inspired by teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton also reach ed the top 20. Hope Ain’t A Bad Thing by The Neon Brotherhood finished in 16th place.

Tom Drover from Neon Sound Studios, who played guitar on the track, said: ”The idea was hatched when Stephen posted his thumbs up picture. We all decided to come together to do something for Ste, one of the things on his bucket list was to have a charity single.”

Stephen, 19, raised millions of pounds for Teenage Cancer Trust before his death last month and all the profits from the song will go to the charity.


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