Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners
Tributes as Southport World War II Royal Navy hero dies aged 86 Remembering WWII Veteran Ken Sims (1922-2008) December 5, 2008 Article in The Southport Visitor (UK) By Lyndsay Young A WORLD WAR II Royal Navy hero from Southport who dedicated his life to the air service has died. Ken Sims, 86, who was secretary of the Telegraphist Air Gunners (TAG) Association, passed away at Southport hospital after developing a stomach tumour. The widower lost his wife Eileen nine years ago and leaves his daughter Maureen Fear, his grandchildren as well as great- grandchildren. Ken was born in Fulham and served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, where he trained as a telegraphist air gunner in 1939. Among his duties were air gunnery, communicating by radio using Morse code and from the aircraft to ships by Aldis Lamp. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for participating in torpedo attacks against enemy ships off the Albanian Coast in 1941. In 1944 he met Eileen at the Scarisbrick Hotel when stationed at Woodvale and the pair married a year later. Ken served for 12 years, while Eileen remained at their Southport home. In 1953 the couple moved down south when Ken left the Royal Navy in 1953. Here he worked for a company designing radar equipment for the Royal Navy. On his retirement the pair moved back to Southport living at Emmanuel Road. When Eileen passed away Ken moved to Granville Road in Birkdale. He was a founder member of the TAG Association, where he became secretary as well as archivist. Ken also wrote and published ‘Telegraphist Air Gunner.” His good friend Edward Carter, 84, who lives in Westbourne Road, had grown up streets away from Ken in Fulham and had served in the Navy but the two met when they retired. Edward, who knew Ken for 15 years and was also a member of the TAG Association, described Ken as a “well respected” man. He said: “I shall miss him. He was almost one of the family. “He always sent my wife a great big bunch of flowers at Christmas and her birthday. “He was kind-hearted and generous. Nothing was too much trouble for him.” His funeral will be held today (Friday) at St Patrick’s RC Church in Churchtown, followed by a reception at the Hesketh Arms, which will be attended by friends and members of the TAG Association.
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