Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Newport County natter & football chatter.
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papajohn

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Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby papajohn » May 8th, 2020, 7:19 pm

On a day like today, V E Day 2020, I will mention my uncle Mervyn (Lewis) who used to accompany us to watch County until he had a nasty little accident.
Whilst running to catch the Newport bus, about to depart, Merv slightly overstretched himself and fell over, injuring his face. He was 94 at the time! Running for a bus!
Merv served in the 8th Army in Burma for four years as a young man. He fought the Imperial Japanese Army who, unlike their rather benign offspring, were a very nasty bunch of *******.
At one time he had to cross the Irrawaddi River, which was fast-flowing and half a mile wide, with supplies and equipment on the backs of mules. As they did Japanese Zeros of the Imperial Japanese Air Force strafed the river, killing many. His mule was called Scotty.
Scotty bit uncle Merv on first meeting. Merv punched him on the nose. Scotty behaved himself after that!
Today Merv is safely isolated in his small apartment in Pontnewydd. His grandson's bring provisions every week and he remains as sprightly now as when I remember him as a 5 year old in 1950.
God Bless you Merv and all your companions who fought and died to keep the world safe and allowed us youngsters a future worth having,and the opportunity to watch and enjoy County in recent years.
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pembsexile

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Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby pembsexile » May 8th, 2020, 8:51 pm

Great story that. Heroes one and all. Definitely Britains greatest generation in my opinion.

My uncle also served in Burma fighting the Imperial Japanese Army as well. He never spoke about it to me but he did tell my brother in law one story.

He was in the RA and they were captured by the Japanese. They were tied up with barbed wire to trees where they were going to be used for bayonet practice the following morning. Unbeknown to the Japanese one of his colleagues had a pair of pliers in his trouser overalls. This had been part of his tool kit and they hadn't been searched properly. He managed to get the pliers and cut the barbed wire and they escaped.

There are a number of people that would not have been alive today had it not been for that colleague and a pair of pliers.

He had previously been at Dunkirk and was successfully evacuated. He didn't tell me that story but my mother told me the story of what happened after he got home. As an 11 year old boy I got 10/- for getting the story in a boys magazine. Victor I think it was called. God bless them all.
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Percy plunkett

Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby Percy plunkett » May 8th, 2020, 9:44 pm

Wow,some story that Pembs,my grandparents had a dislike of Germans and Japs to their dying day,you can understand why with stories like that.s
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JonD

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Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby JonD » May 9th, 2020, 5:22 am

Hell, that was a close run thing.

And fair play to Uncle Merv.

My grandad was actually in the RA during 1st World War but after he died my Nan married a guy who fought in WW2. Len had been captured by the Japanese and spent two years in a POW camp. I knew from a very young age never ever to mention the war. Or Japan. So consequently I know naff all about his wartime experiences other than it messed Len up.
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Stan A. Einstein

Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby Stan A. Einstein » May 9th, 2020, 7:28 am

pembsexile wrote:Great story that. Heroes one and all. Definitely Britains greatest generation in my opinion.

My uncle also served in Burma fighting the Imperial Japanese Army as well. He never spoke about it to me but he did tell my brother in law one story.

He was in the RA and they were captured by the Japanese. They were tied up with barbed wire to trees where they were going to be used for bayonet practice the following morning. Unbeknown to the Japanese one of his colleagues had a pair of pliers in his trouser overalls. This had been part of his tool kit and they hadn't been searched properly. He managed to get the pliers and cut the barbed wire and they escaped.

There are a number of people that would not have been alive today had it not been for that colleague and a pair of pliers.

He had previously been at Dunkirk and was successfully evacuated. He didn't tell me that story but my mother told me the story of what happened after he got home. As an 11 year old boy I got 10/- for getting the story in a boys magazine. Victor I think it was called. God bless them all.


Morning Mike,

My uncle was killed in north Africa in 1943. I visited his grave in 2007 and it was truly moving. I am grateful to have lived in a generation which hasn't had the opportunity to prove itself the greatest, I can only hope that is also the case for the generations which replace us.

However cynical of politics and of politicians we are, perhaps rightly, the machinations of democracy are so much better than the alternative.
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whoareya

Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby whoareya » May 9th, 2020, 8:17 am

JonD wrote:Hell, that was a close run thing.

And fair play to Uncle Merv.

My grandad was actually in the RA during 1st World War but after he died my Nan married a guy who fought in WW2. Len had been captured by the Japanese and spent two years in a POW camp. I knew from a very young age never ever to mention the war. Or Japan. So consequently I know naff all about his wartime experiences other than it messed Len up.


My wife's grandfather spent the war in Changi prison after Singapore fell, he didn't talk about it either. Her mother has virtually no information about it, which is a real shame as, like many other children of veterans, she probably needed to understand why he was so detached about it all.
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UPTHEPORT

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Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby UPTHEPORT » May 9th, 2020, 10:40 am

My Grancha Jessie Price Ruddock wasn't allowed to join up he was a miner he and his other butties never got reconision for the work they did

He served under ground for nearly 40 years starting at just 14 he was a very bright man had the chance to go to grammar school but his Dad died and with no welfare state at that time he became the bread winner he spent the last 6 years in the lamp room because he'd had so many injuries under ground

Grancha I miss you x
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UPTHEPORT

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Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby UPTHEPORT » May 9th, 2020, 10:48 am

My old neighbour in Ailesbury Street can't remember his surname but he served in middle East was a prisoner of war twice not many can say that managing to escape the Japs was taken on leave but returned to action and the poor bugger was captured again

During the 80s when he lived next door to us you could hear military music most days from his house and you could hear him marching bless him he had terrible skin cancer on his body from his time in the sun

We moved never knew what happened to him but he was a lovely man never showed any bitterness

God bless you Albie
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ajs

Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby ajs » May 9th, 2020, 10:53 am

My uncle was killed on the HMS Repulse when it was sunk on the 10th December 1941by Japanese aircraft, his daughter was born in July 1941, he never held or saw her. How wives managed to survive these events I will never know.
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phil_in_npton

Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby phil_in_npton » May 9th, 2020, 12:23 pm

Good Afternoon

Some real emotional stories, a reminder to all how privileged we are today. My contribution is about my uncle, who passed away some years back. He also has a sporting connection.
My dad is 92, now with dementia and mobility issues, ironically spent most of VE Day at the hospital with my wife. I stayed with my Mum, and we watched the tv, I never knew before but she told me she was in that crowd outside Buckingham Palace, as a 16 year old girl. Back to Dad, just missed the war but he idolised his elder brother George. Twice a prisoner of war, in Italy. I recently saw and read his diary of his days on the run, days without food, or stealing potatoes and eggs from farms, occasionally sympathetic villagers helping them out. Dodging German patrols, and getting sick from eating too much goats cheese!
It’s a fascinating read , knowing each day he wrote his entries, in tiny neat writing in some kind of religious booklet, might be his last.
He came through it and went on to play for Northampton Saints as a full back ( declining an offer from the Cobblers!)
He also became club president for a good while and I even recall seeing him on TV running the line, this of course before the sport became professional.

Never actually googled him before but a quick search threw up this reference on a rugby forum discussing recent player behaviour issues ...


How times have changed. George Adkins, former Saints player, was notorious for riding his motorbike up and down the dance floor at the Salon on a Saturday evening. Or climbing out on the flagpole on top of the team's hotel when away on the Easter tour of Wales. It was seen as good fun then. But now...?

We miss Uncle George.

Phil in Northampton
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pembsexile

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Re: Uncle Merv, County Supporter

Postby pembsexile » May 10th, 2020, 9:15 am

Stan A. Einstein wrote:
pembsexile wrote:Great story that. Heroes one and all. Definitely Britains greatest generation in my opinion.

My uncle also served in Burma fighting the Imperial Japanese Army as well. He never spoke about it to me but he did tell my brother in law one story.

He was in the RA and they were captured by the Japanese. They were tied up with barbed wire to trees where they were going to be used for bayonet practice the following morning. Unbeknown to the Japanese one of his colleagues had a pair of pliers in his trouser overalls. This had been part of his tool kit and they hadn't been searched properly. He managed to get the pliers and cut the barbed wire and they escaped.

There are a number of people that would not have been alive today had it not been for that colleague and a pair of pliers.

He had previously been at Dunkirk and was successfully evacuated. He didn't tell me that story but my mother told me the story of what happened after he got home. As an 11 year old boy I got 10/- for getting the story in a boys magazine. Victor I think it was called. God bless them all.


Morning Mike,

My uncle was killed in north Africa in 1943. I visited his grave in 2007 and it was truly moving. I am grateful to have lived in a generation which hasn't had the opportunity to prove itself the greatest, I can only hope that is also the case for the generations which replace us.

However cynical of politics and of politicians we are, perhaps rightly, the machinations of democracy are so much better than the alternative.


Morning Brendan,

A famous politician once said that Democracy is the worse form of Government except for all the others that have been tried from time to time. He didn’t invent the phrase but he certainly expanded on it and said it in Parliament. It is certainly not perfect. What Democracy does give us is insurance. What insurance do people in those in totalitarian regimes have. Nowt.

Democracies weak spot is that someone has to lead a democratically elected government. All political leaders to me seem to have an element of narcissism about them. It seems to be in their nature. Churchill included. I have yet to see an altruistic democratic leader. Lucinda Aherne of NZ (think that is her name) comes close. Hope no-one mentions Ghandi. He wasn’t a democratic leader but a leader of a movement. Oops, seem to have gone off topic. :?

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