Had the absolute pleasure of meeting and photographing, World War 2 Veteran Gordon Drabble recently...
How this portrait / meeting came about was all because my Uncle Jeff happened to be watching the TV footage of the Normandy 75 events when he happened to spot a gentleman on the Royal British Legion ship wearing a beret with a Staffordshire Regiment cap badge. With no idea who this gentleman was he texted me a screen shot of the recording which I then posted in the Normandy Veterans Family and Friends Facebook group and literally within 5 minutes I had a name and contact details; thanks so much to Chris Barker.
Gordon served with the 59th Div. 1/6th South Staffordshire Regiment, and my Grandad served with the 7th South Staffordshire Regiment. Sadly my Grandad passed away over 30 years ago, so to meet and photograph Gordon kind of felt like a connection with my Grandad.
Coming from Staffordshire, and with my Grandad having served with the South Staffordshire Regiment it felt wonderful to see the Staffordshire Knot on Gordon's cap; made me think of my Grandad a lot!
Super happy with the results of taking his portrait and afterwards we recorded a short (30 minute interview). One account Gordon spoke of was when in Normandy his unit were detailed to take Bordel Wood which resulted in 3 Sergeants and 2 Corporals being killed by automatic fire; this resulted in Gordon at just 19 years of age having to lead a unit of 12 men and push on. "Of course we were all scared to death but you just have to control it and carry on"
Proud to give him a copy of a book written by my Uncle (Jeff Elson) that details honours and awards for the Staffordshire Regiments; was wonderful seeing Gordon scouring through the pages and recounting memories of several soldiers included in the book.