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Paul Etteridge - In Memoriam

Paul Etteridge with typical cigarette in hand!

September 2022 saw the passing of one of our most treasured members. Our thoughts are with Daphne. Below are some of the fond memories of Paul from members.

From Erick Bush:

I was very saddened to hear about his passing. He was one of the original people that welcomed me as a friend into the round table in 2004. I always liked seeing him over the years. Paul’s knowledge about the American Civil War was second to none. I remember very fondly some of the excellent discussions we had at conferences and field trips over a pint in the hotel bar. He taught me many things about the Civil War in Virginia and Alabama that I didn’t know. I will mention a few of them during my lecture at the AGM on Wilson’s Raid in Alabama. I also greatly valued the discussions we had over the years about the American Revolution, World War One and World War Two. Paul and his wife were kind to me once and sent me pictures from the Verdun field trip after I accidentally deleted all my own pictures. That was such a great act of friendship and kindness. We shall all miss Paul greatly. He was a giant among the members of ACWRTUK team.

From Charles Rees:

Of my many fond memories of Paul were the field trips, Arnhem and Dunkirk. Paul would deliver his accounts, faultlessly without notes, repetition, hesitation or deviation. One wonderful quality was that, whereas the curse of the expert is to try and be totally comprehensive, Paul resisted this dispiriting habit. This left the listeners with the opportunity to say, “Paul, you didn’t mention such and such….” Whereupon Paul would recite immediately, without notes, repetition, hesitation or deviation, the section required. It gave the listener ‘ownership’ of the subject and kept us all enthralled with interest and awe.

From John Murray:

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Paul Etteridge, a generous and erudite historian who contributed so much to our Round Table.

I shall remember Paul for his contributions to the Round Table's annual conferences - with his pertinent questions and constructive observations in the talks and good company in the bar afterwards. I shall also remember him for his contributions to the Round Table's 'field trips'.

Looking at my notebooks of the field trips, I see many references to Paul, for example: giving a very good talk at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ('CWGC') cemetery at Hotton (Ardennes, 2004); his talk at Ranville CWGC cemetery (Normandy, 2006); leading the Arnhem Field Trip (2008); leading, jointly with Peter Lockwood, the Normandy Field Trip (2009); and leading, with contributions from Derek Young, the Dunkirk Field Trip (2010). On the last-named field trip, I noted that, on the coach at the start of the trip, Paul gave a 50 minute 'background talk' without notes. At the end of that trip, Paul gave an equally detailed talk at the iconic East Mole at Dunkirk. Paul always seemed happy to take up the microphone on the coach and share some of his vast knowledge with his captive audience.

I was impressed by the depth of Paul's knowledge on a wide range of military conflicts and the articulate expression of his opinions. He will be fondly remembered.

From Roger Blake:

On 28th September Roger and Linda Blake, Derek Young, Jim and Sue Carroll and Marjorie Ward from the Round Table attended Paul's funeral at St Mary's Church, Northolt followed by cremation at Ruislip. It was a moving service, and we were greeted at the crematorium by a rousing version of The Bonny Blue Flag. Good old Paul. We all have our memories of Paul; in my case we were both keen on obscure old films particularly Westerns. On field trips in the evenings fortified by a beer or two we would try and catch each other out. He always said we ended up even stevens though to be honest I concede that he was usually a Lash La Rue western ahead. Talking of field trips Paul was in his element as he was an absolute walking encyclopaedia on all matters military. From Agincourt to the Battle of the Bulge he could speak eloquently for an hour without the use of notes, not only the military side but also the political and social background as well. Paul had an impish sense of humour often coming out with a slightly risqué comment seeing what reaction he could conjure up. Paul being Paul he always got away with it. Paul and Daphne were a devoted couple for over fifty-two years. He was always very good company; a patriotic English gentleman of the old school and we will all miss him very much. Our condolences to Daphne.


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