War veterans were honoured in a ceremony at the Town Hall where Lord Mayor Erica Kemp gave six World War Two soldiers the Liverpool Citizen’s Honour Award.
One man who attended the ceremony was Eric Goldrein, 93, from Hale Village, who persuaded a German battalion to surrender to him when he was shot and captured by them in 1944.
He said: “I had to think of something so I could get this bullet out of my shoulder, or things were looking bad. I spoke in French – I did speak German so I could understand what they were saying to each other, but I didn’t want them to know that. “They were in trouble. And one of the Adjutants said to the Colonel ‘why don’t you surrender’? And they said ‘how?’. And then I said ‘why don’t you surrender to me?’ “It had to be carefully stage managed, because I didn’t want people to think I was hanging around with the Colonel, because I might have been shot.”
Mr Goldrein created a scrapbook with tickets, telegrams and photographs while recovering from his injuries in Britain. He still has the bullet which was removed from his shoulder.
Another veteran, Ron Rowson, 97, from Speke, spent the war raiding German shipyards on the French coast. A former plumber, and a member of the Royal Engineers, he was based in Ireland and carried out sabotage raids to destroy German equipment. Three days after D-Day he landed on Sword beach in Normandy.
Because he was an engineer he had to bring up the rear with the heavy building gear, which had to be unloaded before the tide went out.
He said: “I joined the Territorial Army, the Liverpool Scottish, on 2 May 1939. They were taking tradesman out of the infantry so I ended up in the Royal Engineers.
“I was in the army six years and ten months in total. The only injury I received during the war was when I got blown off my motorbike in Holland.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Cllr Kemp, said: “This is much more of an honour for me than it is for you. I know absolutely that I wouldn’t be sitting here as the Lord Mayor of Liverpool if it hadn’t been for what you had done for us.
“It’s important for me to thank you and to make sure that you are honoured and respected because of what you have done.”
- Harry Owens wears his medals with pride.
- Ron Rowson and Harry Owens have a laugh.