Frank Ashleigh



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Sergeant (Retd) Frank Ashleigh GPR (23 Dec 24 – 18 Jun 23). It is with sadness that Hawkey has been informed of the passing of Frank Ashleigh who many will remember as a staunch support of the Glider Pilot Regiment Association. Frank volunteered for service in Dec 42 and was enlisted into the newly formed Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and employed as a Regimental Policeman, despite his useful qualification as a welder. When the call was put out for volunteers to train as glider pilots he applied and was selected. There followed a period of intense training and preparation for operations. On 18 Sep 44 the 20 year old Sergeant Frank Ashleigh flew into the landing grounds above Arnhem and delivered the Horsa glider’s load of a jeep and two trailers. He and his comrades made their way to the GPR rally point at Wolfheze and from there to Oosterbeek to form part of a defence perimeter. During a fighting patrol he and his comrades were cut off and took up a defensive position in a local church where they held out for three days but were subsequently captured. He eventually ended up in Stalag Luft 7 POW camp in the east before being force marched west and liberation by the advancing Russian forces. Frank was subsequently repatriated and demobbed. He returned to his home in London, where he went into business and was the director of several companies. He also involved himself in community activity which was recognised by a Citizenship Award and a Certificate of Thanks from the Mayor of London. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. A private family service was held for Frank on 21 Jun 23.


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