October 31 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, April 12, 2014
As she sits there carefully going through the photographs and memories of her late husband Ted, Val Skoulding knows he will be remembered by many.
Family and friends paid tribute to Mr Skoulding, 88, of Stowupland, who served during the Second World War, at his funeral last month.
He went to France in June 1944, following the D-Day landings, as part of an airfield construction and restoration team at the age of just 18.
But his wife, Val, 70, said his skills in organisation and an attention to detail, honed in his time as a clerk in Halesworth and Leiston railway stations, meant officers quickly wanted him to work with them in an admin role. Mrs Skoulding said: “After a week they were moved to the outskirts of Caen, near Carpiquet Airfield, they were about three miles behind the front line in France, with the Canadians between them and the Germans. They were under canvas right through France to Belgium.
“In Belgium they had to go on extra sentry duty because of the German outbreak during the Battle of the Bulge.”
After he was sent back home Mr Skoulding then set sail with 15,000 other troops from Liverpool to Japan in 1945. But on the way news broke of the atom bombs which the USA exploded over the country. The ship was diverted to Singapore where he stayed until 1947.
Following the war he worked at Stowmarket rail station for the next 40 years.
The couple married in 1965 after meeting at the station, to which Mrs Skoulding would deliver news stories and advertisements during her time working for the East Anglian Daily Times. The couple had two sons, Andrew and Mark, who gave them three grandchildren.
Mrs Skoulding said: “I think he enjoyed his time in the forces, 18, 19, 20 – you do not fear anything then – you never think it would happen to you. I think he liked the travel.
“I was very surprised by the turnout to the funeral, the church was full in Stowupland, nearly 70 people so he was very well liked and he got on very well with people, he had quite a lot of friends and acquaintances.”
She said although his real name was Edwin, everyone knew him as Ted.