War hero says thanks

Charles Humphrey in his Hartlepool home. Picture by FRANK REID
Charles Humphrey in his Hartlepool home. Picture by FRANK REID

A WAR veteran who collapsed during a Poppy Day parade has thanked those who came to his aid.

Charles Humphrey - who served as a gunner with the Royal Navy for three years from 1943 and saw active service in Italy and Greece - took ill during the Remembrance Sunday parade celebrations in Hartlepool earlier this month.

The 86-year-old, from the Owton Manor area of town, says problems with his neck caused blood to be momentarily stopped to his brain and he collapsed.

A Good Samaritan off-duty nurse rushed from the crowd to help him before ambulance paramedics transported him from the town’s Victory Square to the University Hospital of Hartlepool for treatment.

He was kept in for the day, and allowed to go home that evening.

Today dad-of-five and grandad-of-14 Charles, who was also a sergeant in the Territorial Army’s coastal artillery at the Heugh Battery on the Headland for four years, said: “I’m a war veteran and I collapsed in the Remembrance Day parade.

“I took a bad turn.

“I felt fine but I must have turned my head and pinched the nerves and vessels in my neck.

“I have heart failure and a bad neck, and the joints in my neck are getting that tight that I think that is what happened.

“I just went down, and that was it.

“Everyone must have thought I was in a passing out parade not a Remembrance Day parade!”

Charles, a widower who lost his wife Pearl, 79, almost three years ago, contacted the Mail to express his gratitude to all those involved in helping him on the day, and during his recovery.

“I’d like to thank the off-duty nurse who came out of the crowd and came to my assistance when I collapsed in the parade, and I’d like to extend that thanks to the paramedics and ambulance crew, and fellow veterans and friends who showed support and concern for me.

“It was also comforting to find I was taken to the University Hospital of Hartlepool to have all my loving family around me in a few minutes.

“Thanks again to all concerned.”