Tony Bird (1924-). Royal Navy, Freshwater East

Born in Cowbridge in 1924 Ralph Anthony (Tony) Bird and was evacuated with his school to Lampeter, Ceredigion, during the first years of WW2. Tony joined the Royal Navy in 1942, serving as a Midshipman on the Destroyer, HMS Escapade, in both the Mediterranean and English Channel before been posted to the USA to undertake initial training as a Fleet Air Arm cadet pilot. Tony’s training was cut short and he was posted back the UK to join the Corvette, HMS Clematis, taking part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He was then posted as a Sub-Lieutenant to HMLST 3037, a Landing Ship Tank. Following the defeat of Germany, this LST was sent out to the Far East where it was heavily involved in repatriating civilian prisoners of war from Sumatra and Java and also British and Indian troops from Burma. Demobbed from the Navy in August 1946, Tony entered the family agricultural engineering business where he spent his career until retirement. In 2016 Tony was delighted to be made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur by the French Government and today continues to live in Freshwater East, Pembrokeshire. Interviewed January 25th, 28th and February 4th 2021.

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