Jump to content


Old Soldier at Crystal Palace Remembrance Service

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 JuliaABM



  • Validating
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 10 November 2014 - 07:38 PM

I was just wondering if anybody knows who the (very) old soldier was, who was in a wheelchair and laid a wreath at the Remembrance Service outside Sainsbury’s, Westow Street on Sunday?  He was wearing a lot of medals and on his cap it said ‘Commandos’.  I would love to know more about this wonderful man.  I, and a few others went up to shake his hand at the end of the service, but I was too choked up to ask him anything, except to tearfully say “Thank you”.


Does anyone know who he was?

#2 ChewderOde



  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,965 posts

Posted 10 November 2014 - 09:39 PM

Sounds like Davros from Dr Who

#3 charlie



  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,623 posts

Posted 12 November 2014 - 08:56 PM

Jerry Green's very moving write up of the Remembrance Service on Sunday. I am sure, if you contact him JuliaABM, Jerry will be able to tell you who he was.



November 10, 2014 by jerrygreen85


MORE THAN 250 people attended yesterday’s Remembrance Day service at Upper Norwood’s War memorial on Westow Street yesterday (Sunday).


Upper Norwood Cllr Pat Ryan, a former mayor of the borough of Croydon, laid the wreath on behalf of the Mayor and people of Croydon.


A veteran helped from his wheelchair, wearing six medals including four stars, saluted after laying a wreath on behalf of the London branch of the Commando Veterans Association.


The 1st Crystal Palace Scouts wreath said: For our fallen scouts. ‘As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust’  from the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.


Other lines from Binyon’s poem were read out by ‘an older person and a younger person':


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Wreaths were also laid by representatives of Crystal Palace Chamber of Commerce, Crystal Palace Community Association, Crystal Palace Foundation, the Metropolitan Police Service local policing team, Norwood Society, the Phoenix Centre, Rotary of Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood;


The Salvation Army, Upper Norwood Library Trust, Upper Norwood ward councillors, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Churches Together in Upper Norwood and Upper Norwood Methodist Church.


There were several individual crosses including one for a Dunkirk veteran John Baxter of the Royal Horse Artillery and another which just said: “RIP from the Cook family.”


The Christian service, including hymns and prayers, was led by Captains Michael and Lorraine Kinnear from the Salvation Army centre on Westow Street with music from the Upper Norwood Salvation Army band.


Leaflets handed out included the Kohima Epitaph:


“When you go home tell them of us and say:
For your tomorrow we gave our today.”


The Burma Star Association website says: The Kohima 2nd Division Memorial is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on behalf of the 2nd Infantry Division.


The memorial … remembers the Allied dead who repulsed the Japanese 15th Army, a force of 100,000 men, who had invaded India in March 1944 in Operation U-Go. Kohima, the capital of Nagaland was a vital to control of the area and in fierce fighting the Japanese finally withdrew from the area in June of that year.


The Memorial bears the inscription:


‘When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today’


The words are attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958), an  English classicist, who had put them together among a collection of 12 epitaphs for World War One, in 1916.”  (Nagaland is a state in the far north-eastern part of India.)

#4 CapitAl



  • Members 1
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 13 November 2014 - 01:01 AM

I was at the service and was also very moved by the old soldier, as was my other half. I'm not quite sure what he'd done to deserve being called Davros, sorry IMHO an uncalled for comment.


I've been to most of the recent remembrance day services at the triangle and I always think the small scale of them makes it a more poignant experience. I wish though they'd close the road to traffic for the whole service and not just the few minutes either side of the 2 minutes silence.




#5 jerry



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 26 posts

Posted 14 November 2014 - 11:40 AM

Wearing one of my many hats I emailed the Commando Veterans Association and asked for information if they were able to provide it and received the following - nice - reply:


His name is Dougie Roderick, a founder member of the Commando Veterans Association.

Dougie, who is now 96 years young and soon to celebrate his 97th  birthday in January, volunteered for the Army Commandos when they were first formed in 1940. 

This was when all Commandos were volunteers from their Army Regiments, and two years before the first of the Royal Marine Commandos were raised. 

Dougie was attached to No 3 Commando, and remained with them throughout the war during raids and operations across Europe including Vaagso, Dieppe, Sicily, and of course NW Europe in 1944.(Information courtesy Commando Veterans Association)

#6 charlie



  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,623 posts

Posted 14 November 2014 - 08:46 PM

Thanks Jerry, Andreas and I are very glad you found that out. Amazing.


I had a look on the Commando Veterans Association website and found this photo taken last June 2013.



Edited by charlie, 14 November 2014 - 08:46 PM.

#7 JuliaABM



  • Validating
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 70 posts

Posted 14 November 2014 - 08:47 PM

Thank you so, so much for your replies Charlie, CapitAl and Jerry.  I’m not sure what ChewderOde’s reply was all about... (a bit sadly disrespectful in my opinion, if I’m honest).


I am SO pleased to find out about Dougie.  Nearly 97 – wow!  That means he was only 22 when he volunteered.  I love it when such brave people get acknowledged.  A local Hero!  And daft as it may sound, I feel better for knowing more about him – so thank you, Jerry!


I, too, get very upset about the traffic.  Sometimes the traffic is so loud you can’t hear the service.  I always wish they would either stop the traffic for longer, or turn the microphone up louder – preferably so the whole street can hear!  It’s sad when even during the Silence, there are people noisily walking past.  I know not everyone knows the significance, or even cares, but it would be nice if everyone understood and reflected about the occasion.


The Salvation Army always sound great and I think we are very lucky.  I remember when I was very, very young, they sometimes used to play in my, or a nearby road, on a Sunday morning and the neighbours came out to listen.

#8 jerry



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 26 posts

Posted 18 March 2016 - 12:13 PM


SECOND WORLD WAR VETERAN Dougie Roderick, who in a moving moment laid a wreath in memory
of fallen comrades at the Upper Norwood Remembrance Day ceremony in
2014, has died at the age of 97.

Dougie died on the 19th January this year just a few days before his
98th birthday. The funeral was on Thursday 18th February at West
Norwood Cemetery.

Sadly this was only four months after the death of his daughter Sylvie
Townsend. Sylvie was secretary of the London branch, and an ardent
supporter of the Commando Veterans Association helping organise events
and in fund raising at those events.

The following tribute for Dougie was written by Major Geoff Murray,
former Commando Veterans Association National Secretary :

“Dougie was an absolute legend, serving with No 3 Commando from the
very early days, sustaining wounds during Operation Archery in Vaagso
in December 1941.

"He was such a sparky character, always fully aware of what was going
on, and always ready with a wise-crack to cheer you up.

"He was an ardent supporter of the CVA and the larger commando family,
as was his close family who have given sterling support over the
years, particularly his beloved daughter Sylvie, who we all know sadly
passed recently. "

Our thoughts are with all of the family during this very sad time.
Rest in peace Dougie my friend, you will be missed and certainly not
forgotten.” Major Geoff Murray.

Major Murray also wrote a most moving tribute to Dougie’s daughter
Sylvie after she passed away last year,

“Although she had suffered far more than her fair share of pain and
illness throughout her life, 'our Sylvie' was by far the most
charismatic and proactive associate member (and later honorary member)
that the CVA could have ever wished for.

"Daughter of the enigmatic Dougie Roderick (No 3 Commando/Vaagso
Raid), Sylvie has not only helped raise many, many thousands of pounds
for the good and benefit of our wartime Commandos, but she has also
brought immense amounts of laughter and joy at our annual events
whilst doing so.

"Sylvie's passing will leave an immeasurable void in the lives of her
family and also in the lives of her many CVA friends, who grew to love
her dearly over the many years that she has been involved.

"Our annual events at Fort William, Alrewas, the Royal Hospital
Chelsea, Elmwood School, to name but a few, will be all the more quiet
without our Sylvie."

 It is so sad that the biggest heart in the world has stopped beating.
We love you very much Sylvie - rest in peace you beautiful Lady. Xxx.”

(Many thanks to Pete Rogers, website archivist, Commando Veterans Archive
www.commandoveterans.org for the above information)