Warm tributes to Navy war veteran

editorial image

A decorated Royal Navy veteran, who served with distinction during the Second World War, has died.

Reg Berrill was Chief Petty Officer aboard the battleship HMS Arethusa, which was torpedoed in 1942, killing 136 of his shipmates.

Reg Berrill with medals for Chron medals'071109TC6'Features Anna

Reg Berrill with medals for Chron medals'071109TC6'Features Anna

He signed up for the Navy aged 18 and rose through the ranks, with his final posting coming during the Korean War.

Mr Berrill, of Ecton, died aged 90 on November 27 after a short illness.

He is survived by his second wife, Phyllis, children Linda and Ross, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mrs Berrill said: “People absolutely loved him to bits in the village. He was so kind to people and was a true gentleman. He loved to dance. He had his 90th birthday at The Three Horseshoes and he was dancing there.

“Everybody knew him and everybody spoke to him. I don’t recall him falling out with anybody.”

Once he left the Navy, Mr Berrill worked for rubber company, Long and Hambly, in Great Billing, and the family business, Mick Berrill Motorcycles, in Henry Street, Northampton.

Mrs Berrill added: “He loved looking after other people’s dogs in our home. He liked gardening and he loved horse racing. His maximum bet was always £5 a week, but once, when we were on holiday, he put £13 on an accumulator and won £3,000. We had a nice holiday in Jersey with some of that.”

A service to celebrate his life took place at Three Counties Crematorium at Milton Malsor on Thursday. Mr Berrill’s coffin was draped with a Union flag and decorated with a floral anchor and his nine war medals.

Mrs Berrill said: “When you are 90 you have lived a good life. We were very happy. We were real soulmates.”