Thanks to Jim Drummond, Spalding for sending this in, and to Jeremy Ransome for granting permission for us to include it here, on behalf of "The Spalding Guardian" newspaper and Iliffe Publishing.
Poignant visitors for veteran Tom
30th June 2011
Copyright: Spalding Guardian, www.spaldingtoday.co.uk
World War Two veteran Tom Fowler (92) was reunited with friends from Norway at his Spalding home.
Mr Fowler was one of the brave 4th Lincolns involved in the first land fight of the Second World War between British and German troops at Norway’s remote Krog's Farm in April 1940.
Last year he was invited back to Norway to honour five wartime friends who did not escape with their lives from that ferocious battle. Tom had been contacted by Lincoln author John Benson and by English ex-pat Paul Kiddell.
Paul and his wife, Brit Schei, hosted Tom’s visit. Tom and his wife, Gwen, returned the hospitality on Friday as Mr and Mrs Kiddell toured the UK.
Tom said: "It was short but sweet, shall we say. It was really wonderful."
There was a gift for the Kiddells from Spalding branch of The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, whose secretary Janet Doy had made an iced cake bearing the Union Flag and Norway's flag.
France's top military honour for Spalding hero Tom
25th January 2016
Recognition for the ultimate responsibility of fighting for king and country has finally come for Spalding D-Day veteran Tom Fowler (96).
Tom Fowler receives the Legion d'honneur from Jean-Claude Lafontaine at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding.
The former milkman who served with the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment during World War II was presented with France's highest honour during a ceremony at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding, on Saturday. Mr Fowler, of Wygate Road, Spalding, was joined by his wife Gwen, family and guests for the presentation of the Legion d'honneur by French honorary consul Jean-Claude Lafontaine. The Legion d'honneur, established in 1802 by French military leader Napoléon Bonaparte in recognition of both military and civilian service, is the equivalent of an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the UK.
Mr Fowler, who served in Norway and Iceland before he was wounded by a mortar shell during the Battle of Fontenay in June 1944, said: "It was special to have my family here with me and to have seen so many people here as well made me so proud. It brought back a lot of memories of 1944 and I'm pleased to see that the memories are being kept alive by me being given this medal. The thing I probably remember the most was when our craft landed in Normandy and, within a short while, we were fighting the Nazi German army. The mortars came over the trenches six at a time and one of them landed near me which put me in hospital."
Mr Fowler was one of the brave 4th Lincolns involved in the first land fight of the war between British and German troops at Norway's remote Krog's Farm in April 1940.
Guests at the medal ceremony included South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, South Holland District Council leader Coun Gary Porter, deputy leader Coun Nick Worth, chairman Coun Francis Biggadike, vice-chairman Coun Rodney Grocock and Spalding town centre manager Dennis Hannant. Mr Hayes said: "People who risk their lives in a noble cause are heroes and how wonderful it is that the government and people of France have recognised this." Coun Porter said: "It's really good that the French people have recognised the sacrifice men like Tom Fowler made and it's a day Spalding can look back on for a few years to come." After presenting the medal, Mr Lafontaine said: "It's an amazing opportunity to say thank you to Tom Fowler who came to France nearly 70 years ago and was ready to give his life in a way that we will never forget."
Norwegian honour for Spalding old soldier Tom
27th April 2016
Pictured above is the proud moment old soldier Tom Fowler received his medal from the Norwegian government in recognition of his part in helping restore their freedom during the Second World War.
Spalding war veteran Tom (97) was one of the brave 4th Lincolns involved in the first land fight of the war between British and German troops at Norway’s remote Krog's Farm in April 1940.In January this year, the D-Day veteran was presented with France’s highest award – the Legion d'honneur – for helping to restore freedom to France. Tom was presented with his Norway medal by Norwegian attach&eaccute; Andy Surfleet at a special lunch yesterday attended by members of his family and Spalding branch of The Lincolns regimental association.