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GATFORD, D L (21006014) (V)

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Year: 2011
Branch: Sussex

Sgt Donald (Don) Gatford (21006014) was born in Brighton, Sussex on the 10th February 1930 and enliosted into the Regiment as a Regular soldier on the 20th August 1947 abd after the usual training period at The Guards Depot and the Guards Training Battalion he was posted to the 3rd Battalion in Maylaya, indeed he was mentioned by name in Oliver Lindsay's book "Once a Grenadier" albeit incorrectly , as a National Serviceman. Afetr the Battalion returned to England it was decided that a draft be sent from the 3rd Battalion to the 2nd Battalion at that time stationed at Nehaus in the large Sennelager Ranges are in Germany and Don was included in that draft. He stayed with the 2nd Battalion serving in the UK with a duty company as Company Clerk until he went into the Orderly Room. The Battalion then went to Cyprus for six months during 1958, just a few weks after returning to Lydd in kent the Battalion returned to Germany again this time to Hubblerath. He was then posted to the 1st Battalion before ending up as the Orderly Room Sergeant of the General Office at Regimental Headquarters in Wellington Barracks. He left the Regiment on the 31st December 1965. After he left the Regiment Don was employed by ESSO as a storemanand after some initiation he joined an oil rig off Stavanger, Norway and from there to other parts of the world and at some time he joined Global Marine eventually becoming the area manager for stores in East Africa. He continued with the company for some years but eventually had to give up full time working because of heart problems which meant he could not fulfill the necessary health and safety checks for working on the rigs that were required although he was called upon many times for consultancy work. Don passed away on the 19th January 2011 just three weeks before his 81st Birthday, near his home at Cobn, County Cork, Eire and leaves his widow Evelyn to whom he had been married for 34 years.


Tribute by: ROY WALKER

We first met when we worked together in the stores at moores garage in  Brighton-this was not the normal type of garage but a huge premises reserved for servicing and repairing all types of military vehicles.be it a jeep or huge tank like lorries called quads. We became very good friends and as he lived not far away and I had a motorbike we went to his mothers army flat at an army drill hall with 4 flats above reserved for ex service personnel. i was two years older than him and was called up for 2 years national service but kept in close toutch with him. Soon after my discharge we met up again and I went out with his sister Doris and he went out with my present wife Gwen. He later joined the army and after initial training joined the Grenadier Guards. We kept in touch and were very close friends and went out in a foursome, he with Gwen and me with his sister,  circumstances changed but we remained good friends.Ii was so sad when I heard of his death but will never forget him and hope one dayIi could see where he ended life.

Added on: 05 April 2011, 16:01

Tribute by: Graeme Kerr

I was priviliged to have worked with Don for some years during which he sort of became my mentor. We were both working for Global Marine offshore. Don was the Storekeeper and I was a lowly ordinary seaman. Don went out of his way to train me and show me the ropes of running offshore materials. He did this for nearly two years until he was promoted and transferred to a new rig building project in Pascagoula Shipyard, Mississippi. I continued on as a seaman and still kept up my training albeit on my own. Then six months later out of the blue I was told to pack my kit and that I was on my way to Pascagoula, Mississippi. Don had not forgotten me and had specifically asked for me to join him in the shipyard project. This was the type of man Don was. He never forgot a friend and was always true to his word. We then went on to work together, Don in the office in Gabon, West Africa and me on the rig in West Africa. It was then that I met the wonderful Eve, Don's wife and they became almost like my second family. Later Don was promoted again to Area Materials Manager and he requested that I be promoted into the office in Gabon. This all took place and we continued to work together until his retirement. I will never forget Don and will be eternally grateful to him for recognizing the potential in me. I went on to become the General Manager of two American Oil & Gas Companies. So I will end by saying "To Don, A true gentleman, it was an honour to have known you"

Added on: 01 August 2012, 06:04

Tribute by: Donna Gatford-Taruc

Don Gatford was my father and I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood. I remember when I used to walk with his ex-wife, my Mother, Margaret to meet him from work. We lived in Army flats on Stillington Street and we would walk to meet him at St James Park, as he was working in Regimental Headquarters on Birdcage Walk. My highlight used to be feeding the ducks and making daisy chains to put around his neck. I remember him wearing his beautiful Bearskin cap and red Tunic when Trooping The Colour for HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Being an only child I stayed close to my Dad and due to London not being good for my health we moved to Brighton and then for many years in Norfolk. In Norfolk as a civilian, he worked as a court baliff for the Norwich courts, then at Docwras Rockmaking business as a store manager before joining Global Marine as a stores keeper. I didn't get to see my Dad too much as we both seemed to be living and working in different parts of the world as the years went by. I can honestly say that his love and strictness as I was brought up has helped me to become the strong independent person I am today. Dad,"Once a Grenadier, always a Grenadier".

Added on: 28 May 2013, 14:49