The family of a Monifieth Second World War veteran who died suddenly after contracting Covid-19 have spoken of the “sadness” of not being able to go into hospital to see him before he died.
Susan Evans, whose father Ron Bruce took part in Operation Infatuate at Walcheren, off Holland, more than 75 years ago, said they had all been “knocked sideways” over his death – and this was compounded by the strict quarantining in place around Covid-19 patients.
Susan told The Courier: “He was a wonderful kind and loving father and we all miss him very much. We have all been knocked sideways over dad’s death and feel sadness that we were not allowed to go into hospital to see him.”
The Courier told on Saturday how 95-year-old Ron, who had been getting increasingly frail, was taken down to England by his daughter before the coronavirus lock down to stay with her.
However, he had a fall there and ended up in hospital where he contracted Covid-19. Although he seemed to be getting through it, he suddenly passed away a fortnight ago this weekend.
Six months ago, The Courier sat down with Mr Bruce in his Monifieth home for an exclusive interview to mark the 75th anniversary of the former 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry trooper’s participation in the Walcheren Landings.
The then 19-year-old former Perth Academy pupil, who grew up in Inchture, was part of the Anglo-Canadian operation that got under way on November 1, 1944, to open the Belgian seaport of Antwerp to shipping and relieve logistical constraints.
The 94-year-old relived those events from the closing months of the war, and told of the lasting, sometimes haunting, impact that conflict has had on his life.
Locked inside a tank on board a landing craft as enemy shells rained down and blasted nearby troop ships to smithereens, he recalled how they splashed onto the beach only to find that the invasion planners had underestimated the consistency of the sand meaning that the vehicle immediately become stuck fast on the beach.
To make matters worse, after hunkering down in their trapped tank for the night, the young crew awoke next morning to discover that their supposedly watertight compartment had filled with seawater up to their knees.
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