7th January 1944 – 20th January 2022
RIP Dear Brother
And we never knew! – we are so proud of you
Those who knew Fred will know he lived life to the full, the eldest son of Llewellyn and Louise Bird born in Oldham in 1944, a town that remained his spiritual home throughout his life.
He had a never ending verve for life and although afflicted by many illnesses, that would, in later life come back to make his life particularly difficult to bear – he’s now at peace.
Following a family move to Harlow, Essex in 1960 Fred started his working life in the building trade and helped to construct many of the New Town buildings from private dwellings, business premises and one he was especially proud of, was the church of ‘Saint Thomas More’.
In 1962 Fred joined the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment – known as ‘2 PARA’ and was barracked at Aldershot, where he underwent basic training and gained his Red Beret and Wings in 1963. Our mother made us remember his service number of ’24064965’.
In 1964 he was posted to Aden to deter communist uprisings, followed by a posting to Singapore for jungle training and to establish jungle bases on the border against the Indonesian confrontation with the newly established Federal Malaysia. In 1966, he was posted to Bahrain for a 2‑year tour followed by 2-years in Hong Kong, the latter being his favourite posting.
On return to the UK at Aldershot, and now promoted to Sergeant, Fred met Pamela; they married and had a daughter ‘Teresa’.
Fred went on tour to Northern Ireland in February 1972 when the battalion was deployed to the Shankhill and Ballymurphy districts of Belfast and he eventually spent 62 months in Northern Ireland across 6 tours between 1972 and 1976. He was promoted to Sergeant Major on return to the UK.
Fred was a ‘doer’ – he got things done. His trademark characteristics were mixing a charming personality with impatience, persistence and being direct, but he always added huge amounts of compassion and friendliness to everything he did together with a disarming smile.
He would always go out of his way to help anyone and would literally stop what he was doing to provide help and support; this was one of his most endearing qualities.
Fred was a larger than life personality; liked by everyone he met and he was particularly liked by Children and Dogs, which is probably one of the finest attributes that could be said of anyone.
Dogs know – they have a sixth sense about who can be trusted. Children feel – they feel in their heart who loves them, so it these qualities that family and friends will remember and miss most in him.
– Amen –
Fred (far right) on patrol 1969