Page 215 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 215

ATKINSON, Ken. Born on 1 November 1949 and died on 5 December 2018 age 69 years. Ken was a member of the 1st Cadet Battalion Durham Light Infantry South Shields and a member of the South Shields Branch of the Durham Light Infantry Association.
ATKINSON, Richard. Died 25 April
2019. DLI Chevalier of the Legion of
Honour. At 98 years of age the death of
Dickie Atkinson, DLI Hero and President
of the Gateshead Branch DLI Associ-
ation came as a surprise to everyone
as Dickie was determined to reach his
100th Birthday and get his card from
the Queen. Dickie was probably one of
the last member of the DLI alive to have
taken part in the D-Day Landings. He
lived with his wife Joan who he married
in 1944 while awaiting the assault on
Normandy. He died in hospital on 25
April 2019 after being taken ill at home
on Easter Saturday just before his 75th Wedding Anniversary. Richard Atkinson had been born in July 1920 in Jarrow on Tyneside, where his father worked on the railways. He went to school in Felling and left when he was 14 years old to work as a delivery boy, before he became an apprentice bricklayer. In March 1939, Richard Atkinson decided to volunteer for the Territorial Army and joined the 9th Battalion DLI at its Headquarters at Gateshead. When the Second World War began, 9 DLI was sent south to the Cotswolds to train for war before it was sent to France in January 1940, as part of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. During the fighting in May 1940, Private Atkinson was a driver in the Motor Transport Section and took part in the failed counter attack at Arras. On his return from Dunkirk, Dickie was sent with 9 DLI to the south coast of England on defence duties but, after the threat of a German invasion faded, the battalion sailed for the Middle East in May 1941. Over the next two years, Private Atkinson served in Egypt, Cyprus, Iraq and the North African Desert, seeing action at Gazala, Mersa Matruh (where he was wounded), El Alamein and Mareth. Richard Atkinson took part in the Sicily landings in July 1943 and saw action at Primosole Bridge before 9 DLI returned to England, along with the rest of the 50th Division, to prepare for D-Day. On 6 June 1944, Private Atkinson drove his lorry off a landing craft and onto a Normandy beach. During the fighting near Mont Pincon in August 1944, he was wounded by friendly fire and spent time in hospital. After recov- ering, he re-joined 9 DLI and the final advance towards Germany. At Nijmegen, he drove his lorry full of wounded soldiers across the bridge under heavy artillery fire. At the end of the war, Richard Atkinson served with 9 DLI in the Army of Occupation in Germany. He was finally demobilised from the Army in 1946 and returned to civilian life. After the war Dickie participated in a number of Battle- field Tours and spent a lot of time visiting schools to tell youngsters about the war. Richard Atkinson was awarded the Legion of Honour in Durham Cathedral with others who had taken part in the Battle for France in 1944.
BAMBURGH, Ronald, Major. Born 15th March 1925 in West Pelton, County Durham. Died 15th July 2019 aged 94 years. During the war joined the Royal Marines in 1943, being commissioned as 2nd lieutenant in 1944 and left in 1947. On return to the North East, his commission was trans- ferred from the navy to the army where he joined the 8th battalion of the DLI, he remained with the 8th finally retiring his commission at the rank of Major in the 1960’s. he was in receipt of his war medals plus the territorial decoration. He was immensely proud to have served with the DLI.
BAMFORTH, Thomas. Died on
the 30 May 2019. Tom was born in
Spennymoor, County Durham on 14
November 1920. He enlisted into the
Army on 11 August 1939 and joined
the Territorial Army and posted to the
6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry at
Spennymoor and when the Battalion
were moved overseas he was posted
to the 10th Battalion DLI. He deployed
with them as part of the British Expedi-
tionary Force to France via Le Havre in
April 1940 and in May 1940 during the
counterattack at Arras in Belgium he
was captured and taken as a Prisoner
of War and moved to Stalag XXIB in Poland before being transferred to Stalag IVC in the Sudentenland. He remained there until released by the advancing Russians in May 1945. He made his way towards the west and ended up in Nuremberg and was flown by Dakota to Brussels and from there he was flown by converted Lancaster Bomber to the UK and was hospitalised at Shenley due to a lung injury received as a POW and he was eventually discharged on 9 February 1946 having served for six years in the rank of Private. Following his Army service he was employed in various jobs around the UK at Middlesbrough, Filey, Bicester and finally with Remploy in Spennymoor before retiring aged 60. Tom joined the Royal Hospital on 23 August 2005 and was posted to Long Ward 15 as part of Number 4 Company.
Although Tom was happy to lead a fairly quiet life he attended a number of separate reunion events organised and hosted by the Durham Light Infantry Association and attended the Queen’s Birthday Parade in June 2014. Following his move into the Infirmary in March 2017 Tom stayed active and he enjoyed taking part in a number of activities and he particularly enjoyed the trips out to the theatre. Tom died in the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary on Thursday 30 May 2019 aged 98. Our prayers and thoughts are with Tom, his family and his friends.
       BARRON, R A Robert (Bob).
Died 28 July 2019 aged 76. Bob served in 8DLI (TA) and 32 Fld Sqn Royal Engineers in Germany and Singapore. He was a life time member of the Chester-le-Street Branch of the DLI Association.

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