Mr Raymond Kenneth Loftus

By James Woolven

Published on Friday, November 11, 2016 - 13:06

 

Mr Raymond Kenneth Loftus

- Raymond Kenneth Loftus obituary Obituary picture for Raymond Loftus. Pictured at home in Ryde with his medals.

SECOND World War veteran turned IW railwayman, Raymond Kenneth Loftus, has died, aged 94.

At the beginning of the Second World War, when Mr Loftus was still under age, he joined the Armed Forces to be with his brother, George, who had already signed up.

London-born Mr Loftus was sent to North Africa, where his duties included driving and motorcycling, while attached to the Gurkhas and Indian Division, fighting German and Italian troops.

He was dive-bombed by Stuka aircraft while carrying out convoy and escort work in the region.

Once the Nazis were driven out of North Africa, he was sent to Italy and took part in the assault of Monte Cassino, a place he revisited with family on his 80th birthday.

He was later in Milan and saw the body of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini hanging upside-down with his mistress and party colleagues after they were killed near the end of the war.

Later, Mr Loftus was posted to Austria to guard SS prisoners of war.

After the end of the war, he was sent to Greece to help keep the peace against ELAS fighters.

Mr Loftus moved to the Island with his wife, Kitty, after early retirement in 1989. They had spent many happy holidays on the IW previously, so retiring in Ryde seemed like the ideal choice.

For many years, Mr Loftus helped out at Havenstreet Railway Station and had many friends there.

He retired from that role only five years ago, aged 89.

Mr Loftus leaves his wife, sons Alan and Brian, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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