the Blackpool Gazette
A stepson and stepdaughter have paid a loving tribute following the death of a Blackpool soldier who served during the Second World War.
Frank Browning, one of the last
members of the Lancashire Fusiliers, died on July 12 at Farthing Nursing
Home in Cleveleys following a battle with bowel cancer. He was 94.
Frank served in Malta between 1941 to 1944, as well as Italy in 1945, where he was left with injuries to his arm and eyebrow following a shrapnel explosion.
Today two of his stepchildren, Heath Smith and Pamela Fitzpatrick, paid their own tributes.
Mr Smith, 44, said: He was fun and loving and there for a good time.
He never let anyone down.
He was a party animal and loved enjoying himself.
Mrs Fitzpatrick added: He loved dancing he was always with the ladies, even when he was in the nursing home.
Born in Liverpool in 1920, Mr Browning signed up to fight as part of the 11th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1940.
He was stationed in Malta but in July 1944 the unit disbanded and transferred to the 66th Infantry Brigade, serving alongside the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots, a regular unit, and 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment, a territorial unit.
The brigade became part of 1st Infantry Division which was serving in the Italian Campaign, where it took part in the fighting on the Gothic Line, suffering severe casualties.
After the war ended in 1945 Mr Browning remained in the Army until 1947.
He returned home and moved to London before working as a joiner until he was 65.
He moved to the Fylde coast in the early 1990s and married wife Alice in 1994.
Mr Browning lived in Withnell Road, South Shore, as well as Troutbeck Crescent, Mereside, before he moved to Farthing Nursing Home in 2012.
Mr Smith added: He was always active and never missed a parade.
He attended all the marches without fail and went to many of the Remembrance Sunday services.
Mr Browning is survived by his
stepchildren, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The Blackpool Gazette has it slightly wrong,the 11th Bn did not disband after Malta,each rifle Company was sent to re-enforce other Infantry Units.
The Bn then reformed to go and fight in Italy,here is a short extract from something I wrote about them on the LF web site....Day by day as September and October passed, the weather became colder and wetter and man and mule crawled their way up the mountain sides composed of liquid mud. On the way up Arrow Route towards Bologna, the Division was held up by the enemy holding two peaks commanding the axis. The first of these, Monte Ceco, was captured in a very gallant attack by another unit. To the 11th Battalion fell the task of completing the success by taking the second half of the feature. North of Monte Ceco ran a knife-edge ridge that ended in a pinnacle called Pt 734, and this was the objective, but there was also a subsidiary spur running east of Ceco which had also to be cleared of the enemy. During patrols, heavy enemy opposition had been encountered, and it was known that it would only succeed if completed with the greatest dash and courage. Just before dusk, after a short but intense artillery concentration, the Fusiliers went over the skyline of Monte Ceco. The distance of the objective was little more than 400 yards but every yard was a death trap and casualties were heavy. The leading company got most of the way but were left with insufficient strength to complete the task, so the reserve company, led by Major Walker, went in behind them and in the gathering darkness rushed the last position.
The Battalion had lost the equivalent
of a company in this action, almost a third of the men employed in the
attack. For this action, Major Lister was awarded the DSO, Capt Sawkins
and Lt Wilcox the MC, Sgt Latcham and Fusiliers May, Denton and Gill received
the MM..........Stand Easy Frank,you are joining those brave 11th Bn men
of the Lancashire Fusiliers who have gone before you.