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Royal Marines’ Association honour for veteran Albert Joyner, 101

2477640From telegraph & Argus

At 101, Albert Joyner is Britain’s oldest surviving former Royal Marine.

From rescuing hurricane victims in the Cayman Islands to helping deliver supplies to under-siege Russians in World War Two, Mr Joyner served his country with distinction for 26 years, and was promoted to Colour Sergeant.

He went on to become president of the Bradford and District Royal Marines’ Association, a position he still holds, and has raised thousands of pounds over the years for the Royal British Legion by selling poppies.

Mr Joyner has now been presented with life membership of the Royal Marines’ Association at a ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Bradford.

But the great-great-grandfather remains modest about both his achievements and his longevity.

He said: “I just take life as it comes. That’s all there is to it.”

Mr Joyner, a former apprentice tailor, joined the Marines in 1930. In 1932, while serving on HMS Dragon, he helped victims of a hurricane which devastated the Cayman Islands.

During the Second World War, Mr Joyner served on the Arctic Convoys, helping to deliver food and munitions to Russia, which was under siege by the Germans.

Tragedy struck when German bombs hit the vessel he was on, the Curacoa, and killed his cousin, William Joyner, who he had been serving alongside.

His daughter Pam Ruppe said Nazi broadcaster Lord Haw-Haw took to the airwaves to announce, falsely, that the ship had been sunk and her father’s worried family visited the barracks to find out whether he had survived.

She said: “They went down to the local barracks, but all they would tell them was that one of the casualties was ‘Joyner’.

Mrs Ruppe said her father was later allowed to let them know he was safe by sending a short telegram. She said: “It’s that kind of story that tells you what families went through during the war.”

Mr Joyner said he also put his tailoring skills to use while at sea.

He said: “I just couldn’t get anybody to do any repairs or anything like that. I went ashore in Gibraltar and bought a second-hand sewing machine.

“It needed a bit of attention, but I took it aboard and got it going and from then on I was sewing on-board the ship.”

He said not only did he work on uniforms for his fellow servicemen, but he also made clothing to take home to his family.

“The first thing I made was a coat for my wife,” he said.

Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Khadim Hussain, described Mr Joyner as “living history”.

He said: “It’s a privilege and honour to welcome him to City Hall and present him with life membership of the Royal Marines’ Association.

“It’s thanks to people like him, and the contribution they made, that we are enjoying our freedom today.”

PHOTO: Albert Joyner with the Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Khadim Hussain

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