Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Old soldier will still be on parade
RONALD Belcher may be 101 years old, but his support of the Poppy Appeal and determination to take his place at this year’s Remembrance Day parade remains strong.
Mr Belcher, who now lives in Kennington, was born in Sunningwell Road, South Oxford, in 1912, and left the Wesleyan School in New Inn Hall Street at 15 to join Greening and Co, the Cowley cabinet makers.
But in 1930 he joined the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, also known as the Oxfordshire Yeomanry, along with his four brothers, enlisting at Manor Road to learn gun skills.
The boys followed their father into the services – Frank Belcher had served with the Royal Engineers in the First World War.
Ron said: “I joined the Territorials in 1930 and served throughout the war in France, Belgium and Germany.
“I joined the Yeomanry with my four brothers, Reg, Eric, Bert and Lawrence and later became Regimental Troop Sergeant.”
After the war Mr Belcher returned to Greening and Co, where he worked for a total of 27 years, later becoming a handyman at Trinity College.
He and his wife Sybil, who died three weeks ago just a fortnight short of her own 100th birthday, had three sons.
Michael died from cancer in 2011, but Anthony and Peter are still alive and Mr Belcher has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Until last year Mr Belcher and his only other living sibling, his brother Lawrence, now 96, and living in a care home in Oxford, had attended every two-monthly Turning the Pages ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral, since it began more than 20 years ago, but called it a day due to their deteriorating mobility.
The ceremony remembers the war dead.
Ron, a long-standing members of Littlemore Royal British Legion Club remains committed to attending the annual Kennington Remembrance Day parade.
This year’s parade in the village is on Sunday, November 10, between 10.30am and 11.30am at the War Memorial, Memorial Field.
Comments are closed on this article.