Celebrating our ancestors this VE day

The theme of pulling together to overcome adversaries is particularly relevant during these challenging times. Examples of strength, resilience and kindness have kept us all going throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The positivity and hard work from the team here at Romero is something we’re very grateful for. 

As the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May, we thought it was apt to celebrate heartwarming stories of determination and bravery. Our people have shared exceptional stories of the unsung heroes of WWII, and we hope you enjoy reading more about the individuals who’ve inspired us. 

Wearing his medals proudly

Dawn and Shannon’s Grandad and Great Grandad respectively, Charlie Tomlinson, was one of the many inspirational soldiers who fought in Dunkirk. Charlie lost some of his family during his time at war, but bravely continued fighting to eventually come home to his children. Charlie always found Remembrance Sunday an emotional day, and would polish his boots and wear his medals. We’re sure the 75th anniversary of VE Day would be a special day for him, too. 

Dawn says, “I was very proud of my grandad and still miss him to this day.” 

Finding love during the war

Emma, our Senior Account Handler, has shared the story of her Polish grandparents (known to many as Brenda and John). The couple met during WWII and spent months travelling by boat to find safety. They docked in Scotland before travelling to Bradford, which they have now called home for many years. 

Travelling from Britain to Tunisia

Lewis Jackson’s Great Grandad, Frank Whetzel, served in the 6th battalion (Lincolnshire Regiment) of the 8th Army. He bravely fought in North Africa, travelling as far as Tunisia.

The 8th Army defeated Rommel in the decisive Second Battle of El Alamein, a huge boost for the British Army at the time. 

Brave souls shall never be forgotten

Bob Thompson, Head of Risk Management Services, remembers the story of his Uncle, Leonard Henry Matthews. He was a Pilot Officer in the second world war and flew Lancaster Bombers with the Canadian Goose Squadron. 

In September 1943, Leonard and his six fellow crewmen took flight on a secret bombing mission over Germany, one in which, heartbreakingly, the crew would never return.

Tributes to Leonard and the rest of the crew are stored at Elvington Airfield Museum York with photos displayed at Bradford Cathedral.

Reuniting after the war

Account Handler, Deborah Wood, tells her grandparents’ story. Her grandad John was originally the Shop Manager at a major food store in his home city of Bradford. He was proud of his role, supplying the nation with food. However, following the recruitment campaign to win the war John joined the army as a Lance Corporal. Following the war John stayed in Germany, where he met Lieselotte (Deborah’s grandmother), a nurse. They returned to be married in England in 1946 and shared many years of memories together.

We will never forget our ancestors who helped to protect our future. Who are you remembering on the 75th anniversary of VE Day? Get in touch or head over to Twitter or Facebook to share your stories with us.

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