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Tributes paid to Norfolk D-Day veteran Charles Greves

Charles Greves during the Second World War. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves

Charles Greves during the Second World War. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves

Archant

Tributes have been paid to a Norfolk D-Day veteran, who has died at the age of 97.

Charles Greves at their platinum wedding anniversary in December 2016. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves Charles Greves at their platinum wedding anniversary in December 2016. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves

When Charles Greves left to join the war effort in 1941, nothing could have prepared him for the events of the next few years.

Born in Hindringham, a farmboy from north Norfolk, he spent three and a half years training for the D-Day invasion.

His son Malcolm said: “He sailed from Newhaven on the first day of the assault across an extremely rough channel and had to wade ashore at Hermanville in chest high water.

“Their job was loading and unloading ammunition, but after just three days the Germans bombed the supplies. The task ahead was the capture of Caen. “Paratroopers landed and frightened the Germans into trenches where tanks buried them alive. I am sure this left an indelible mark on his memory for he was never keen to return to those beaches.

Charles Greves with his sisters Ivy and Elsie - circa 1938. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves Charles Greves with his sisters Ivy and Elsie - circa 1938. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves

“Clearing up and ensuring stability post defeat of the Germans, he spent his final days of 1945/46 in Belgium and Holland and returned to Hindringham from Nijmegen in March 1946.”

He married Edna Mace in December 1946, and Malcolm added: “He was now playing football for Hindringham and such was his enthusiasm he returned home midway through his honeymoon to turn out for the team.”

They set up home at Ash Farm, Field Dalling where he worked for his uncle Sidney Massingham.

In 1962 he secured a council house in Hindringham and then worked for Jack Ramm with the threshing team on farms. After working at Sculthorpe airbase, he worked in the housing maintenance department with Walsingham RDC, before it became North Norfolk District Council. He retired at the age of 63.

Charles Greves as the head waiter at a wedding reception - 1965. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves Charles Greves as the head waiter at a wedding reception - 1965. Picture: Supplied by Malcolm Greves

Throughout his life he attended Sunday services at the Methodist chapel in Hindringham. He also served on the parish council and was a member of Hindringham Players and Singers.

He leaves his widow, Edna, two children, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

He died at Eckling Grange care home in Dereham on December 6. A service of thanksgiving will be held at St Martin’s Church, Hindringham on Saturday, January 6, at 11am.

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