Nov. 24, 2015
-- Originally born in London in 1923, Eric signed up to the RAF (http://www.raf.mod.uk/)
in 1941 during the height of the Second World War when aged only 18. With a keen interest in mechanics he was trained to help maintain Britain's squadron of Spitfires and Hurricanes based at West Malling Air Base in Kent. Eric's work was vital in keeping these planes operational so they could repel the Nazi bombers that were relentlessly attacking England at that time. Eric became highly knowledgeable about Rolls Royce Merlin engines that powered the Spitfires and hence was called up to support the RAF during the North Africa-to-Italy offensive. This dangerous and huge operation involved 800 ships many of which were sunk by German U-boats however Eric survived and was able to continue active service stationed in Italy. By the end of war Eric had achieved the rank of Senior Aircraftsman and was awarded several medals for bravery including the Africa Star and the Italy Star.
Following retirement from the RAF and completing several other careers, Eric's mobility and independence has become limited in recent years. His wife also passed away recently however Eric has been able to remain positive thanks to the help of a new TGA Breeze S4 mobility scooter. This robust 8mph machine has allowed him to continue meeting friends, ex-veterans and accessing his local village independently and safely. The TGA Breeze is well known across the UK as a disabled army veteran drove this model during an episode of BBC 2's Top Gear. This particular broadcast involved the previous Top Gear presenters and injured veterans competing on mobility scooters to reach the top of a Welsh mountain. The Breeze managed to reach the summit first through its off-road capabilities and superior performance - which Eric can now enjoy on a daily basis.
Eric said: I can be very lonely since losing my wife however my TGA mobility scooter allows me to still get out and see my friends. I am lucky enough to be well known in Selsey and my new Breeze made a big impact with everyone when I first drove it into town. It is so comfortable and really quiet I call it my 'stealth buggy' - it's so funny as lots of locals salute me now as I drive past! I can now travel independently to my local farm shop that is around 4 miles away as I can't drive a car anymore - my scooter is a lifeline for me. When I saw the Breeze scooter for the first time I loved the look of it immediately, it's engineered so well. I am thinking I might tackle driving to Chichester next as the Breeze has a good 20-mile range on a single charge."
Eric concludes: "When out and about I am always pleasant to people and I never complain. I don't tend to talk about the war much and always miss any veteran parades. I do show my respect though when
watching Armistice and memorial services on the TV - I stand and salute in my lounge. It was great when Shaun from TGA brought my scooter round, we sat and had a cup of tea and I showed him all my photographs and medals on the wall - he was fascinated. I never really settled down after the war however that's not such a bad thing now as I can keep moving on my Breeze."