Joe (Joseph) Burke, RASC, PoW, died 10 January 2018, aged 98. The following notice was sent to us by Joe’s son.
Unclassified Report – For general circulation
Joseph Patrick Burke, Pte 134496. reported in dispatches from the far North as having successfully escaped to a better place on Tuesday 10th January 2018. Whilst his departure appeared to have been unplanned, and despite increased close personal observation, Pte. Burke was able to slip away quietly and peacefully at 0200 hours GMT. 3 Now believed to be happily reunited at an undisclosed location with his commanding officer and lifelong companion, code name Betty. Final debrief and remembrance planned for 1st February 2018 – further details to be announced. END
Joe was a great character. Generous, good company, wonderful sense of humour. He joined us in Kalamata a couple of times and Lichfield on several occasions. He never failed to make us laugh. Another man we feel very privileged to have known.
This year we had an excellent turn out with 70 people attending the service. Fortunately, we had booked the chapel as the weather was very much like April – sun one minute and showers the next. After the service, between showers, we were able to take wreaths to the Greek Grove and lay them at our altar.
Father John and Father Theodoros conducted the service, accompanied by three other members of their church. All very moving as usual, and beautifully sung. We were delighted to once again to welcome representatives from the Australian, Greek and New Zealand Defence staff: Major David Rocco, Australian Army; Major Kostas Farmakis, Greek Army and Commander David Crossman, New Zealand Navy.
Our party included two 98 year old veterans – Frank Gill, our President, and Joe Burke. Jock Watt had planned to attend but, unfortunately, due to ill-health, was unable to join us. We were also very pleased to welcome a very sprightly 102 year old Mrs Dora Cooper, widow of L/Cpl Francis Cooper, of the 4th Q.O. Hussars, PoW, Stalag 18A.
Standards were carried by Alec Hamilton, Thomas Morgan, Colin Pleavin and David Sanderson. In addition to the wreaths laid by our special guests (see above) poppy tributes were also laid by Elizabeth Matthews, – Widows; Joe Burke – Prisoners of War; Frank Gill – Fallen Comrades; Geoff Swinnerton – Deceased Members and Mark Buttery on behalf of the Brotherhood. Geoff Swinnerton gave the oration. Len Cook, the bugler, played last post and reveille and Barry Parkin acted as Parade Marshall. Many thanks to all for their contribution.
We now have records for 444 Greek veterans on our website, supplied from our archive. See the section headed ‘Greek Veterans’ for a list of all the names and links to their records. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more about the veterans listed or you would like to provide us with information on these or other veterans (not mentioned here). We will forward all requests and any new information to our Archivist Noah Scott for his attention.