Reginald 'Mickey' Read; 1914-2008; soldier, postman; Fakenham, Norfolk

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Reginald 'Mickey' Read; 1914-2008; soldier, postman; Fakenham, Norfolk

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Reginald Read (1914-2008). As a baby, Reginald 'Mickey' Read was found abandoned in Clapham and taken to the local Barnardo's Home. Aged four, he was adopted by a couple in Ely and in 1928, when his adopted-mother became ill, he was sent to the Gordon Boys' School in Woking, Surrey. In 1930, his adopted parents having both died, Reginald Read joined the army as a trumpeter and drummer in the Royal Tank Regiment. In 1934, he volunteered for service in India and was involved in rescue and relief work following the Quetta earthquake, 1935. In 1939, Read returned to England and married Vivienne Dent. During the Second World War he served as a tank commander in the North African Desert and was captured in 1941 and made a Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft IVB, Germany. As a bugle player, he often sounded domestic calls at the camp and sounded the 'Last Post' as prisoners' funerals. Some of these funerals were photographed using the secret camera he had at the camp. In April 1945, Read was liberated by the advancing Russian army and eventually returned home to Norfolk. On leaving the army he worked in the Fakenham Ordnance Depot, RAF West Raynham, RAF Sculthorpe and as a postman. Following Vivienne's death in 1987, Read re-established contact with David Taylor MBE, his former Troop Leader from the Tank Regiment, following Taylor's letter in 'Tank' magazine concerning the battle in which they were both captured and made Prisoners of War. There are further notes on Reginald Read's life, from which this brief biography has been adapted, in the records. The Italian cargo ship Sebastiano Veniero (also known as the SS Janson or Jason) was carrying about 2,000 British and Commonwealth prisoners of war off the coast of Greece and was under a German Naval escort when the vessel was torpedoed by the British submarine 'Porpoise' on 9 December 1941 (information from Wreck Site <> accessed 8 January 2014).


Fakenham, Norfolk

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soldier; postman

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Created on: 10/01/2019 by Catherine.Collins




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