Family and Southam care home staff pay tribute to 102-year-old Second World War hero Ron Trenchard
A "true gentleman" and "hero", Second World War veteran Ron Trenchard will be greatly missed by his loved ones.
Ron died at the Royal British Legion care home Galanos House in Southam on April 11.
He was 102 years old.
His family have said: "In recent weeks due to the COVID-19 epidemic Galanos House, like many other care homes in the UK, closed to protect its residents with the result that we were unable to visit him.
"The Galanos family of carers, nurses and volunteers took over that role and ensured that Ron was well loved and had the best of care in his final days.
"They will never forget their “true gentleman” and “hero” who, with his enduring optimism and sense of humour, entertained them with stories of his long life and military career.
"He will be greatly missed by his daughter Diane and sons Mike and Richard as well as four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren."
Ron was born in 1917 in Highbury in North London.
The family moved to Dagenham in Essex in 1925.
Following school, Ron worked in the grocery trade, initially in Butler’s Market in Barking and then for the International Tea Company’s Stores.
He moved to Warwick with his parents in 1937 and worked for the International Stores in the town before enlisting for war service in the Royal Engineers in 1939.
In the Royal Engineers he was posted to various docks operating companies taking supplies off ships for the army.
At the time of Dunkirk, he was in Le Havre where he and others in his unit were left stranded as the navy ships sailed away, the Germans moving very fast towards the town from Belgium.
He was posted as missing for three weeks but managed to hitch a ride on a steamer from Brest to Dover.
He was then posted to Port Said in Egypt and was there at the time of the Battle of El Alamein.
In 1943, Ron’s father passed away and he came home on compassionate leave, Ron marrying Elsie May Rodenhurst at Holy Trinity church in Leamington in the same year.
Elsie disliked her first names and for most of her life she had the nickname Micky.
Ron then took part in the D-Day landings and spent six months on the beach at Arromanches, France taking supplies off the ships on the Mulberry Harbours.
Ron and Micky lived with Ron’s mother in Warwick after the war, but Ron found that he was unable to return to his previous job with the International Stores.
During the War, Micky had worked for the Army Records Office in Warwick so after his return she managed to get Ron a job as a clerk there.
He worked for the civil service for the rest of his working life.
When the Army Records Office moved to Exeter he was posted to work at the military establishment in Long Marston.
Following promotion, Ron served as the chief clerk at the Army Recruiting Office in Coventry.
When he was promoted to executive officer, he was transferred to Stanmore in Middlesex to deal with the administration of translation services including language laboratories.
In 1971 he transferred to HM Customs & Excise with the start of VAT.
He was posted to the office in Coventry and retired in 1977.
The family had been members of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity, Friendly Society from the 1890s and Ron and Micky were both past provincial grandmasters of the society.
After Ron’s retirement, Micky became the secretary of the Dudley Lodge in Kenilworth where they lived for a number of years.
Micky sadly developed dementia and Ron cared for her for many years, enjoying support from the Kenilworth branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Micky at the Rehabilitation Hospital in Leamington in 2007 after a short illness.
Ron then lived on his own in the family home in Kenilworth supported by Diane until he was 98.
He spent his final years at Galanos House for which he was a leading member of the Bow Tie Choir and enjoyed outings including a couple to the Severn Valley Railway and gave many talks and interviews to children and schools.
In 2018, Ron was awarded the Légion d'honneurby the French Government for his services in the D-day Landings at a ceremony in Birdingbury attended by the senior French general in the UK, the French Consul in Birmingham and the Lord Lieutenant for Warwickshire.
In 2019, Ron’s participation in the D-Day landings was commemorated with a photographic portrait of him displayed in an exhibition at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.