Thursday, November 16, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Long term Carlyle Gardens resident and World War II veteran Geoff Fielder recently passed away several months before his 100th birthday.
Geoff was born in London in February 1924 and joined the British Royal Navy shortly after his 18th birthday in June 1942. He spent his time on the HMS Crane as an ordinary telegraphist. London had been extensively bombed in 1940/41 and Geoff had experienced this as a 16-year-old growing up in the region.
The HMS Crane which Geoff served on for over two years was a convoy defence vessel with excellent anti-submarine capability. Notable events involving the HMS Crane included assisting in the sinking of two enemy U boats in the North Atlantic and provided support for the Allied landings in Normandy.
Geoff was hosted by a Brisbane family during Christmas 1945 while the HMS Crane was undergoing a refit. He was called back to London in early 1946 but decided to return to Australia several years later having liked what he saw in Brisbane in late 1945.
Geoff eventually settled in Mackay to begin work at the recently completed Bulk Sugar Terminal. He later married Lindy Lind, a member of the well-known Mcginn family and had two children.
In mid 2015, Geoff along with his family travelled to Brisbane to receive a Legion of Honour medal from the French Ambassador for recognition of assistance provided to France during World War II.
Vale Geoff Fielder.
Geoff on his 99th birthday earlier this year
Geoff in uniform circa 1943/45
Geoff at legion of honour medal presentation in 2015
Geoff at work on HMS Crane circa 1943/45 (closest to camera). Photos supplied