Dannevirke: Chance meeting for former comrades

By Christine McKay

Add a comment
Roly Ellis (left), president of the Dannevirke and Districts RSA, with Daisy and Norman Davies from Northumberland in the United Kingdom, had a surprise meeting on Anzac Day. Mr Ellis and Mr Davies both served in The 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars armoured regiment, but had never met before. Photo / Christine McKay
Roly Ellis (left), president of the Dannevirke and Districts RSA, with Daisy and Norman Davies from Northumberland in the United Kingdom, had a surprise meeting on Anzac Day. Mr Ellis and Mr Davies both served in The 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars armoured regiment, but had never met before. Photo / Christine McKay

A chance meeting on a Dannevirke street on Anzac Day was special for two former members of The 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars who had never met before.

Norman Davies and his wife, Daisy, from Northhumberland in the United Kingdom are visiting their son Jeremy, a farmer at Ngapaeruru, east of Dannevirke, but Mr Davis wasn't expecting to meet anyone from his old regiment.

"I saw the tie and was quite surprised," he said, referring to the regimental tie Roly Ellis, president of the Dannevirke and Districts RSA, was wearing for Anzac Day.

"I couldn't believe it. Of course, Roly was a regular soldier and I was doing national service with the Kings Royal Hussars, but it's still incredible."

Mr Davies served with the regiment from 1956 to 1958 in Malaya, while Mr Ellis served from 1966 to 1969 in Germany, Libya and Cyprus as a regular soldier.

"We were the armoured tank and car regiment and I went in as a second lieutenant and left as a lieutenant. Then in 1972 I went back in as a territorial as captain until 1992, when I became a major," Mr Ellis said.

"I've only ever met two others from the regiment here in New Zealand and they lived here, so this chance meeting was pretty amazing. The 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars was a Geordie [a regional nickname for a person from the larger Tyneside region] regiment which recruited from Northumberland and Durham north. Norman came from the Welsh borders."

The pair also discovered another regimental co-incidence.

"Norman's troop leaders who were in their early 20s, then became my squadron leaders when they were in their 30s," Mr Ellis said.

Although Mr Ellis has attended reunions of the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars, he can't recall seeing Mr Davies there. "But we'll have the chance to catch up a bit more while he's here."

There was some sadness for Mr Ellis and his fellow regiment members on Anzac Day when one of their old troop sergeants died while getting ready for a commemoration. "He died with his regimental tie in his hand. It was quite sad" Mr Ellis said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 06 Dec 2016 03:59:42 Processing Time: 341ms