WW2 Talk: Captain Ron Taylor S.O.E

On Thursday 5th July 2018 we hosted a talk by one of our Uckfield & District Preservation Society members, Diane Grainger.  Di spoke about her Dad, Captain Ron Taylor and his interesting life.  Ron Taylor was born in Brighton in 1916 to a family who were notorious in Brighton for their swimming accolades.

Ron left school his went on to gain his degree in engineering.  After the outbreak of World War 2 he enlisted in the Royal Engineers.  It was during his Army career that he was recruited to the Special Operations Executive (S.O.E)

Di shared her memories of her Dad and shared his exploits during his S.O.E missions in Italy during WW2.  Those in attendance were able to view Ron’s original silk map used for navigational purposes after Ron was parachuted into Italy at the start of his S.O.E mission.  He also kept a detailed photo album of his time in Italy. (pictured below)  Read more on his military missions here

Mission Sermon Two saw Ron and his fellow personnel dropped into Italy to undertake sabotage work on the rail network using explosives.

When recalling his time working with the Italian people Ron said, “My recollection of those days, above all, remind me of a people determined to achieve victory with little regard for their own personal suffering.  Through them we have established bonds of friendship that will endure beyond our lives through sons and daughters who are already carrying on the collaboration established by their English mission.”

Ron wrote a beautiful book of poetry during his time in Italy, pictured here:

Read more about Ron’s SOE career here in a book by Paul McCue entilted ‘Brighton’s Secret Agents’

After the war ended Ron went on to have a very long and successful career designing aircraft hangers and a channel bridge.  All who attended this talk were delighted to hear Di share the story of her father’s life and see his army memorabilia.  Special thanks go to Di who donated her time and speaker fee to us here at Uckfield and District Preservation Society.

We have a monthly talks programme here – see our full list here.  If you wish to support the work of Uckfield and District Preservation Society who look after Bridge Cottage, High Street, Uckfield and Nutley Windmill, Crowborough Road, Nutley, please consider membership, from only £10/year.  Join here.