On Saturday 27 October 2012 a service was held in Westminster Abbey to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein. At the service were two Old Emanuels, Robert Deeks and Col. Michael Jeffery. Robert was a Sergeant in the 64th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery and was at the Battle of El Alamein. At this time Bob was a signaller and provided a support role in the Battle. Bob later became a gunner when fighting in Sicily and in Northern Europe. Bob left Emanuel School in 1935. He served throughout the whole of the Second World War, including in North Africa, Sicily and Northern Europe. Robert can also be seen in this ITV News clip of the service.
Michael left Emanuel School in 1938. He became a tank driver and was involved in the Relief of Tobruk and the Gazala Battle. He became regimental Colonel of the Royal Tank Regiment in 1966.
Bob and Michael had never met before. I had the privilege of interviewing both men and was able to introduce them to each other at the Alamein service. Both men can be seen photographed here with the Head of the British Army, General Sir Peter Wall KCB CBE ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff and Bob can be seen separately with General Sir David Richards GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the Defence Staff.
Photos of both men during their war service are also included.