VIDEO: Military band perform outside bedroom window of 94-year-old Northamptonshire war veteran
A bed-ridden 94-year-old war veteran from Wellingborough was given an afternoon to remember when a military band performed outside his bedroom window.
Fred Carrington, who celebrated his birthday yesterday (Monday), joined the Royal Marines in 1941 and served in Africa, the Adriatic and Italy as part of 43 Royal Marines Commando.
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth were in town on Saturday for a concert but Fred is unable to leave his house - so the band came to him.
Fred’s son Mike said: “He confided in us that he would have loved to have seen the band perform but because he’s been bed-ridden for five years he can’t.
“We’re very proud of his achievements and we’ve always known about the Marines.
“As kids we were carted off up to Scotland to where they did the training.
“He’s always been part of the Royal Marines Association but prior to being bedridden he was quite active.
“The Marines very much live on the motto of Once a Marine, Always a Marine and that’s why they’ve turned up, it’s a lifelong thing.
“I’ve got to say thanks to all of those who came and made my dad very happy.”
During the war Fred had a lucky escape when on the Isle of Wight after a billet he had left that morning was hit by a German bomb, killing four of those inside.
He was also tasked with the job of finding a typewriter so a citation to recommend a Cpl Thomas Hunter for a posthumous Victoria Cross could be typed up, after Cpl Hunter cleared three German machine guns from a farmhouse.
Fred was set to go to the Far East to fight the Japanese until the dropping of the atomic bomb, but was badly injured in an accident and spent years in hospital.
Sgt Bugler Chris Mace said: “Fred knew the Royal Marines band were coming to town so he would have liked to have gone to the concert under normal circumstances, but because he’s bed-ridden he can’t.
“His sons got in touch with us and it went from there really.
“We don’t often do this sort of thing but we were so close that we could come down and do it.
“It’s really nice to make Fred happy and there’s a lot of respect for his generation in the Royal Marines.
“He’s a Second World War veteran so it was great to come along and play for him.
“Hopefully he’ll remember it and feel a bit better about the fact he can’t go down the road and watch us for real.”
The buglers took time after playing a few calls to meet Fred and donated a CD of songs for him to listen to.
Fred went on to marry Wellingborough’s 1947 carnival queen Iris Smith and has three sons – Mike, Mark and Ian.