Since The Formation Of The Somerset Branch in January 2008
We Have Sadly  Lost The Following Members


Colin John Criddle

1925- 2017
Died 27th January 2017

Jim Fenner
1 Glosters 1950-54
4 Wilts 1955-67

Died 01 December 2013

John Buchanan
1 Glosters  1958-64

Died 2011

David Ayres
served 1 Glosters 1965-1988  

Died 3rd.
September 2014

Derek Simmons
1 Glosters 1952-55
Died 2009

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Cpl. Jim Fenner - 6.9.31 - 1.12.2013
It is with much sadness that I have to tell you that fellow Branch member and our very good friend, Jim Fenner passed away at 0.30hrs 1st. December. 2013, His wife Mary with daughters Paula, Peta and family were with him.

In his early civilian life Jim worked for the East coast railway (LNER) on the footplate as a Fireman. hauling express passenger trains between London Liverpool Street station and his hometown of Harwich, frequently working the famous ‘Scandinavian’ boat trains.

He joined the army 5th January 1950 and received his basic training with the Essex Regt. On completion transferring to the Beds & Bucks (now the Anglian Regt.) .

It was whilst Jim was serving at Nook Camp, Warminster with the Beds & Bucks that  he  volunteered  to join the Glosters for their forthcoming deployment to Korea.

Jim fought with the Glosters during the epic  Battle of the Imjin River. The Glosters having held their position against overwhelming odds and their ammunition exhausted the order  was given to break out. The UN forces had withdrawn seven miles to the rear making it almost impossible for the Glosters to rejoin them. Many were killed the majority captured. Fortunately Jim evaded capture. He was with a group led by Captain. Harvey who took a route north and then west. They survived a hail of fire to reach friendly lines, at total of fortysix men made it.

Returning to the UK Jim was posted to the Regimental Depot at Reservoir Camp, Gloucester  as a Corporal Instructor training the intakes of National Servicemen. One of which was yours truly Phil Miller! ( I count myself fortunate to have had Jim as my Platoon Cpl. A true professional soldier fresh from Korea. He was firm but fair and enjoyed a good laugh with the rest of the platoon. In ten short weeks he turned boys into men and men into soldiers…Phil).

Later he served with 4 Wilts TA from 1955 until disbandment moving through the ranks to WO2. Jim was an excellent marksman and as a regular competitor at Bisley he won many trophies for the Wiltshire Regiment.

In civilian Life Jim was an Insurance salesman living in Bristol with his wife Mary. He finally retired in 1988 and moved to Yeovil to be near his family.

Jim was a keen golfer until, as he said his knees gave out. He took up bowls and he was an avid supporter of Yeovil Town Football Club, a season ticket holder for many years.

Colin John Criddle 1925-2017

Colin enlisted into the Army in June 1942 and after training with the 15th Infantry Training Centre, at Gloucester, travelled to Dover and reported to 4th Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry.

Following long periods of defence duties as well as hard training he sailed, with his Battalion, to Normandy on 18th June 1944. Soon they played their part within Operation EPSOM. Hill 112, to the South West of Caen, was a further objective for a further offensive, Operation JUPITER. Colin’s own thoughts and impressions of this costly battle can be seen and heard within the Somerset Military Museum.

Battlefield Casualty Replacements enabled the unit and formations to fight on. After crossing the Seine Colin was sent to a Field Hospital having been injured by shrapnel. He re-joined his unit as Belgium and Holland came into sharp focus. Having fought with the 4th Battalion until the end of the Campaign.

 Corporal Criddle, following the accidental discharge of a sten gun belonging to another soldier, had his left leg amputated. He was discharged from the Army in March 1946.

For over thirty years he worked as a carpenter in North Petherton and thereafter at Haygrove School, Bridgwater, while also being a pivotal member of the Association. In late 2015, accompanied by Joyce, family, friends and comrades Colin was awarded the Legion d’Honneur.

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