John died on 19 December 1999, aged 81.

LCpl J Vincent
LCpl J Vincent

He enlisted into the Cavalry of the Line at Kingston on Thames on 12 July 1938. He was posted to the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars and joined them at Aldershot. He moved with them to Tidworth in October 1938, then to Yorkshire, Leicestershire and six weeks at Newmarket. He was appointed lance corporal in June 1939.

He sailed with the Regiment from Liverpool on 18 November 1940 to Egypt (El Kantara), arriving on 28 January 1941, having sailed around the Cape. On 9 March he sailed with the Regiment from Alexandria to Greece, arriving at Pyreaus.

He took part in the Greek campaign and was posted missing on 23 April 1941. He was confirmed as a prisoner of war on 7 November 1941. From 23 April he was on the run in the mountains for two months, being looked after by Greek peasants. After two months he was captured by two ‘Blackshirts’. He was then sent to a PoW Camp in Italy (Sulmond).

He was transferred to Aguila, which was a working camp. He escaped from there and after five weeks he reached the Allied lines on 13 October 1943. He sailed for the UK on 11 December 1943.

After some leave, he joined the 1st Royal Gloucester Hussars. On 29 September 1945, he was put on the Y List and released to Class B Reserve on 19 October 1945. He had served seven years and 100 days. He was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the Africa Star (with 8th Army Clasp), the Italy Star, the War Medal and the Defence Medal.

He married Gladys at Surbiton on 25 September 1940 and they had one son Peter.

John and Gladys were two of the most loyal and concerned members of the Regimental Association, known to nearly everyone.

They attended all Regimental events in England, and two in Germany. On the formation of the Southern Counties (Balaklava) Troop in September 1992, they were among the first to join it.

On returning to civilian life, John took up his trade as a carpenter. He and Gladys enjoyed many an hour on the ex-WD boat John converted into a very smart cruiser.

He presented several items to the Regimental Museum at Eastbourne, including a whip and bandolier.

Related topics

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  2. Timeline: Middle East (Greece and Crete)