Camelon old soldier in VE Day tribute
A proud old soldier stood at the door of his Camelon house to salute and remember brothers-in-arms who never came home.
At 105, Walter Sharp is Falkirk district’s oldest resident, and he was still keen to mark the day that the war was won in Europe in 1945.
Although celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day were cancelled as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic, people were still being encouraged to commemorate the occasion in their own homes.
And Walter was determined to play his part.
He was working at Carmuirs Iron Works before joining the Army at the age of 26.
Walter earned a clutch of medals in recognition of the service he gave to his country over a six-year period, including France’s Legion of Honour – one of the first Scots to receive it – and the African Star, and toured several countries such as Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy.
During his career in the military he would also meet his wife, Doris, who died in 1990, while serving in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Surrey.
On May 8, 1945 he was in Holland and took part in a Victory in Europe Day parade to celebrate the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces.
He said: “It was a great celebration.”
Recalling his wartime service, he added: “We thought we would be eating just vegetables in Africa but it was meat and vegetables every day!
“In Italy, there were 12 at a table and if it was good you used to wash the dinner set and go back and join the queue again!”
However, he does admit to witnessing various harrowing sights in the line of duty, including 20 men being killed when a bomb landed in Portsmouth on his very first night in the Army.