EX-PARATROOPER Alf Bradshaw dropped in at Billinge St Aidan’s CE Primary School to explain the role he played in the Second World War.
Eighty-nine-year-old Alf and his wife of 64 years, Thelma, aged 90, visited the school along with Captain Elaine Overend, a Billinge resident who is secretary of the City of Liverpool branch of the Royal British Legion.
The WW2 veteran lied about his age and joined the army in 1943. He served with the Parachute Regiment and Royal Army Service Corps for 12 years delivering vital medical supplies, food, ammunition and equipment to the troops. He was a motorcycle dispatch rider for part of his wartime service in France, Germany, Holland, Norway and Palestine.
“Alf made more than a hundred parachute drops without the luxury of a reserve parachute!” said Elaine.
“Staff and children alike were spellbound as they related their wartime experiences.
“Thelma worked preparing food for service personnel and was bombed out of her local cinema – with her hair on fire – and also out of her home. Thelma’s mother's house on Gresham Street, Liverpool, was the only house never to be rebuilt as the damage to it was so bad.”
Captain Overend led a special assembly after which the 'Last Post' was sounded and the Rev Alan Overend closed the gathering with a poignant prayer.