Airborne Engineers Association

Leonard Danks

 

 

Leonard William Danks

 

Leonard William Danks - 6th AB Division, 591 Para Sqn, passed away 22nd June 2010.

Len was born 7th October 1921 on Tasman Road, Stockwell, South London and lived in Camberwell, then Herne Hill as a child with his parents brother and sister, Len being the youngest.

After leaving school and doing several jobs he started essential war work making gun sight scopes. He wanted to enlist but as he was doing this work was refused but eventually was able to, and joined in 1943.

He had basic training at Blackpool for about 6 weeks, then did training for the Royal Engineers at Clitheroe on the river Ribble. His course was condensed into about 13 weeks and encompassed bridging, demolitions, mine warfare, defence structures and weapon instruction. He qualified as a sapper and then volunteered for parachute training later in 1943. As a member of 591 (Antrim) Para Sqn, Len parachuted into France on 'D' day at approx. 0100 hrs. His rendezvous was just east of the river Orne and Caen Canal. Despite many casualties the objectives were achieved and the invasion successful. After a period of approx. 3 months, Len returned to Blighty to prepare for a second airborne assault on the Germans at Hammelkin. Len served in the army until 1961.

As a toolmaker by trade he returned to civilian life and worked on this until he was in his 60s, and continued working until in his 70s. Len had earlier met Doreen, his wife-to-be, at work and they married in 1965 raising two children, Karen and Jackie.
He will be sadly missed by his wife, daughters and family.

 

 

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