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War Hero laid to rest in Fleetwood

Veteran Charles Rodaway, who served in the second world war has been laid to rest in the town he grew up and loved.

Charles died last year, aged 101 in his adopted home of Ontario, Canada where he emigrated in 1948 after serving with the Second Battalion Loyal Regiment of North Lancashire.

He grew up and lived in Fleetwood and Layton.

His dying wish was to be laid to rest along with his his mother Gertrude, first wife Winifred, sister Doreen and daughter Lynda.

In a memorial service, his niece, Christine Cole said Mr. Rodaway had intended to move back to Fleetwood for his last few years but sadly, was too ill to travel.

During the war he was captured by Japanese troops after the collapse of Singapore.

He once mounted an escape effort with friend William Smith by stealing a fishing boat.

They were re-captured 6 days later and were sentenced to death.

To this day, nobody knows why his firing squad was called off moments before pulling the trigger.

Back home, mother Gertrude had given up hope that he was still alive after the media reported that he was put infront of the firing squad.

He left for war as a 19 year old boy and returned to his mother a 29 year old man.

At the service flags were lowered as the last post bugle was played.

He was remembered by fellow serviceman Colonel Bernard Stam.

“He lived a very full life with some remarkable experiences."

“It’s unusual for man that went down to five-and-a-half stone at the hands of the Japanese to survive to 101. It shows amazing strength of character to survive and live on."

“He obviously had a very devoted family with lots of support both in Canada and here locally.”

Charles is survived by his wife Sheila, son Ken and daughters Sharon and Diane.

He also leaves behind six grandsons, six granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren.

 

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