September 29th, 2016

Brave Bromsgrove Burma veterans to appear on German TV as part of station’s Remembrance Sunday coverage

BROMSGROVE war veterans will appear on German television this weekend as part of the station’s UK Remembrance Sunday coverage.

Tom Coulter, 99, Roy Hodge, 95, Eric Davis, 89, and James Cross, 94, were selected by ARD after three members of the Bromsgrove Burma Star Association were interviewed on BBC Midlands Today back in August for the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.

And last Tuesday Hanni Huesch, the London correspondent for the German station – the second largest state broadcaster in the world behind the BBC – came to Bromsgrove to interview the veterans who gave their vivid recollections of life in the armed forces.

Her interview with Roy Hodge covered life in Burma from 1935 with the Gloucestershire Regiment as well as his experiences of the first air raids on Rangoon by the Japanese.

James Cross commanded an ambulance transport unit in Assam and later became a liaison officer to the US Air Force in northern Burma.

At just 19 years old Eric Davis, a leading aircraftsman (LAC) with the Royal Air Force, recovered vital spare parts from British aircraft that had crashed in the jungle.

As a SNCO in the Royal Artillery Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Tom Coulter was a SNCO.

He also remembers the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6 1945, which was his 29th birthday.

The correspondent for ARD and producer Sarah Preitzsch filmed the veterans at the Burma memorial in Crown Close, the largest memorial to that particular campaign.

They were also interviewed in the recently refurbished Amphlett Hall for the TV feature.

Lt Colonel(Retd) Mike Hyde, the chairman of the Bromsgrove branch of the Burma Star Association, said: “It is indeed indicative of our Bromsgrove veterans, that their contribution to the defence of our country in the Burma campaign of 1943 to 1945 has been recognised both at home and in greater Europe.

“Their example to us all, in this, Remembrance week, will not be forgotten.”

The Association also wants to set the record straight over a recent statement that the VJ Day commemoration service was ‘due to be discontinued’.

“The commemoration service will continue to be held on the closest Saturday to VJ Day (August 15, 1945) for as long as is


“The 71st Burma Star Association commemoration service will be held at the campaign memorial in Crown Close on August 13, 2016,” added Lt Col (Retd) Hyde.