West, Harry C
Regimental Number: 2627498
Harry was born in Canterbury, Kent, England in 1927 and joined the Grenadier Guards in March 1945.
His Regimental Number was 2627498. At the time of joining, Harry was a little underweight and so was sent to the Hendon Police College Physical Training School to improve his physique.
One month later he joined Sgt Eastwood's squad at Caterham, Surrey, England and continued basic training both at Caterham and at Pirbright, Surrey, England.
After basic training he was posted to Windsor Berkshire, England where he undertook an Infantry Signals Course. By December 1946 he had progressed onto the Signals Instructors Course at Catterick, North Yorkshire, England and instructed signallers at Pirbright before joining the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards on their return from Germany in 1947.
Harry remained a serving Grenadier until March 1948. During the early 1950's in Canterbury, he gained a commission with the Territorials as a Signals Officer in The Buffs (the local Regiment now incorporated into the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment).
On leaving the Grenadier Guards he returned to Canterbury where he took a job in the same shoe shop where he stared work as a boy of 14 years in 1941. He married Doris, a Windsor girl, in June 1948. Harry became a partner in the shoe shop (Kennedy's, only 60 yards from Canterbury Cathedral) in the early seventies and retired from there in December 1996. He continues to keep in touch with the shoe trade through his son and daughter-in-law who are both in the trade and Harry can sometimes still be seen in Kennedy's giving the occasional staff training session.
Hobbies are golf, cricket, gardening, grandchildren, music, food and wine.
He was elected as Hon. Secretary of the East Kent Branch in February 1998 and retired from post in March 2009.
During that time, not only was Harry able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Branch, but he was also able to celebrate his Golden Wedding anniversary with his wife Doris. Sadly, Doris passed away on 2 September 2010.
Harry is still seeking former members of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Signal Platoon from 1947. So far he has found six.