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Gants Hill veteran to retire as national standard bearer

PUBLISHED: 15:03 15 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:03 15 November 2013

Standard bearers Leslie Sutton, 89

Standard bearers Leslie Sutton, 89

Archant

A Second World War veteran is due to retire from his post as a national standard bearer this weekend, at the age of 89.

Leslie Sutton, of Beehive Lane, served in the RAF from 1942 to 46 and has been part of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) for around twenty years.

However, as he leads the AJEX annual march down Whitehall on Sunday, he will be doing so for the last time.

Leslie, who is president of Romford AJEX, is retiring from his post and will spend time with his family, including his two great grandchildren.

“Sunday will be my swan-song,” said Mr Sutton.

“It will be a great privilege to lead the parade down Whitehall, but I will enjoy my retirement.”

He will still visit schools and universities to talk about his war-time experiences, such as his involvement in the Omaha Beach landings in 1944 and witnessing parts of the Nuremberg trials during his time as a despatch rider.

He added: “The future of this country is in the hands of the youth.”

Although he has paraded for many years down Whitehall and the Champs-Élysées in Paris, Leslie still gets a tear in his eye during each service.

“The standard represents the boys and girls that didn’t come back, it’s not about me,” he said.


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