Family to celebrate life of old soldier from Storrington

Cyril Charles Harmer SUS-141211-110831001
Cyril Charles Harmer SUS-141211-110831001

An old soldier, who took part in both the Western Desert and Italian campaigns with the Royal Sussex regiment during the Second World War, passed away on 4th November.

Born in 1920, Cyril Charles Harmer was a Sussex man, born and bred. He grew up in Three Oaks, near Hastings in East Sussex and was working on a farm when war broke out in 1939. He volunteered, despite being in a reserved occupation and joined the Royal Sussex Regiment in Chichester, completing his training in Arundel.

He was one of General Montgomery’s 8th Army of ‘Desert Rats’ at El Alamein in 1942.

Later in 1944, Cyril was involved in the bloody battle of Monte Cassino, south-east of Rome.

Before losing his eyesight about 8 years ago, Cyril was fortunate to be able to revisit both North Africa and Italy, where he paid his respects to fallen comrades.

After the war, Cyril went back to the land, returning to the farm and then working as a grounds man at Christ’s Hospital in Horsham and at Sussexdown, the former RAFA home for veterans in Storrington, until he retired.

He lived in Amberley for 30 years moving to Sussexdown, for the past 18 months of his life.

Cyril’s family are holding a Memorial service in the Chapel at Sussexdown, Storrington on Friday 21st November at 3pm which will be conducted by Rev. David Farrant and would like to welcome anyone who knew him to join them in this celebration of Cyril’s life.

Family flowers only. Donations to Blind Veterans (formerly St. Dunstan’s) c/o Tribes, 19 West Street, Storrington, West Sussex RH20 4DZ.

Report and picture contributed by Shirley Benn.