Special event at The Dove to remember a Suffolk Regiment soldier

Doug `Buster' Beckett at The Dove, with the plaque which is going on display as a tribute to his lat

Doug `Buster' Beckett at The Dove, with the plaque which is going on display as a tribute to his later father, Private Doug `Joe' Beckett which is going on display in his local pub, The Dove, which has been associated with his family for many years. - Credit: Archant

`Buster’ hopes other pubs will follow suit and honour heroes

The life, times and war service of British Army private Joe Beckett are going to be marked at The Dove, on Friday July 31.

Private Doug `Joe’ Beckett, from Ipswich, had an eventful war service serving with the RAOC in the Second World War.

Joe, as he was known, left his job as a French polisher to sign up to serve his country in 1937, only returning in 1945.

Now his son, also Doug, but better known as Buster Beckett, has been researching his life story.

Joe Beckett was evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk in 1940, fought with the Desert Rats in Egypt, and was part of the ill-fated mission to Greece, where 10,000 Allied troopes surrendered and were captured in 1941.

Now Ady Smith, landlord of The Dove, has invited Buster to put up a plaque in his dad’s honour in The Dove, which was his own local.

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The plaque will be unveiled on Friday in the bar at the Dove, and the day will be marked by music from a local bagpipe band.

Bugler Doug Storey, will play The Last Post.

“We need to tell and record the stories of our war heroes,” said Buster, “before they are forgotten.

“I am writing a book about my dad’s life.

“He didn’t talk much about his war service for many years, not until he was quite old. And I have done a lot of research.

“He came home from the war with a terrible speech impediment, a stammer, and went back to work as a French polisher.

“I loved and lost my father nearly five years ago.

“I got talking to Ady in the Dove one night and said it would be nice to read the story of all the soldiers that returned, and those that did not.

“He said I want you to write a shortened version so we can hang it in a plaque on the wall of the pub, so people can remember the sacrifice that was made, not necesarily about the First and Second World Wars, but from other conflicts too.

“I am really grateful for Ady for allowing me to do this. It would nice to see other pubs doing the same for their local heroes. Ady is alreay planning to do it at the Gladstone Arms.”

Buster said his family had always lived nearby, and had been associated with The Dove.

“Mum and dad met in the restaurant at the Regent, when mum worked there as a waitress.

“They then did their courting in The Dove.”

Joe Beckett and Hilda Markwell were married after the war, in 1947.

“The family have always been associated with this pub.”

“My father’s mother was born next door, in Dove Yard. Grandmother Bessie worked as a part-time barmaid at the pub.

Joe Becket had joined the Territorial Army in 1936 and the RAOC in 1937.

He was captured in 1941 in Greece, and taken to Wolfsberg, Austria - Stalag 18A. He escaped three times, but was recaptured each time - finally being sent to a concentration camp.

“He escaped three times, but he never made it home,” said Buster,

Fortunately the war ended, and he then returned to life in Ipswich,

The special event at the Dove begins at 2 pm on Friday.

There will also be an exhibition put together by Buster.

Afterwards the plaque will remain on the pub wall - as a tribute to an old soldier and pub regular.

Buster added: “It would be nice if other local pubs could do something similar.”

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