A tribute to Bert

PUBLISHED: 11:39 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:17 06 May 2010

May I pay tribute to the late Bert Hodge - British Legion stalwart, who passed away on May 21 this year. Bert was part of a generation to whom we are forever indebted. He worked tirelessly for the British Legion and helped many an ex-serviceman or war wid

May I pay tribute to the late Bert Hodge - British Legion stalwart, who passed away on May 21 this year.

Bert was part of a generation to whom we are forever indebted. He worked tirelessly for the British Legion and helped many an ex-serviceman or war widow with payments they might not have realised they were entitled to.

Every day he would visit the local betting shop in which I worked and place his bets, whilst having a chat and a joke with the staff. I often thought where this man got his energy and enthusiasm from, he was probably fitter than a lot of men, 10 maybe 20 years his junior, and would put of lot of my generation (30 something) to shame.

He would often tell us stories of when he was captured and forced into hard labour in the Far East during the Second World War and how he watched a young man no older than 20 die in his arms, whilst working on a railway bridge.

He also mentioned that he was a member of the Chindits, who were the forerunners to the later formed SAS in jungle warfare. This is where I think he got his strength from - his selflessness, inner strength and dedication to helping others, right until the end.

As each year passes, there remains less of that generation who fought for the freedom we enjoy today. We would all do well to learn a humble lesson from Bert and aspire to what he thought was important, which was helping others.

May I offer deepest condolences to Bert's family, he truly was a remarkable man. Rest in peace.

ADAM PAWLOWSKI, Hallmead, Letchworth Garden City

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