World War Two veteran from Walney hails hero neighbours for their help during coronavirus.

[June 17, 2020:  The Mail]

Raymond Leeming, 97, lives by himself and says his neighbours Sheila and Jimmy have been so helpful to him during the lockdown that he believes they deserve special recognition for what they have done for him.

Mr Leeming said he was ‘just doing a job’ when he signed up to go to war at 17. He was trained in communications and was placed within the 6th Airborne Division who carried out multiple important operations during that time. The West Shore Park resident’s role in the division was to go out and fix the communications issues that arose.

“When the clampdown got more serious, my neighbour Jimmy really helped me out and that is something I think deserves recognition,” he said.

“My service in the 6th Airborne Division is just something that I did.

“I volunteered at 17 and I was proud to do it. But I was one of many thousands. “My job was being with the generals and keep them informed of what was going on, it was something I was trained to do.

“I think it was people standing up to do what needs doing, and local people have stood up and done that in recent time.

“In my case it was my neighbours who have done a lot for me. Life is tedious as you get older and people like Jimmy and Sheila deserve recognition alongside all the others who have received it recently.

“For us during the war it was a job, and we were frequently told that we were dispensable.

“We did it for each other and I could rely on someone else to give up their life for me and I would do the same for them. It was frightening at times.

“It was much like what is happening now, yes.

“When we we dropped into Normandy within the first hour the first coms set went.

“I was a rover and did what I needed to do to get the comms back up when they went down.

“If I had to, I would go through it again and do what I did. You had to fight, or someone who shouldn’t die would. “These people have helped me, and that is similar to how we were in the war in that regard. Thanks to Jimmy and many others like him, I am a different person. I was struggling an now I am not.”.... MORE

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