Decorated war hero dies at the age of 96

Cpt Kerry Noble and Cpt Allan Buck
Cpt Kerry Noble and Cpt Allan Buck

A highly-decorated Second World War veteran, who then volunteered for a military charity until he was 80, has died at the age of 96.

Captain Allan Buck, who would have turned 97 on Monday, moved to Belford around 20 years ago.

Born in 1918 during a zeppelin raid, he continued to have a hunger for the action during his military career.

In the Second World War, he begged his command to send him where the fighting was, as he tired of his anti-aircraft defence work with the Territorial Battalion of the Royal Queen’s West Surreys.

Although he was repeatedly told he was too valuable as a tradesman, he became an officer and once commissioned, signed up for any hazardous duty – this led him to becoming an explosives expert during the Italian campaign.

After recovering from severe wounds, Cpt Buck remained in Northern Italy as a military governor until 1948.

The record of his service can be read from his medals; the 39-45 Star, the Italy Star, the Defence Medal, the 39-45 Medal and the Territorial Efficiency Medal. He wore these for the last time on VE Day in May this year.

After the war, he volunteered for the Officers’ Association, a charity which provides help and assistance to officers and their dependents, from the late ‘40s onwards, helping former officers in his local Croydon area.

When he moved up to Belford, he became the charity’s local honorary representative and continued to visit and help beneficiaries throughout Northumberland until he retired from the position aged 80.

But turning 80 didn’t stop him doing his first parachute jump, leaping from 10,000 feet to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Kerry Noble is the honorary representative in Belford now and was a very close friend of Cpt Buck.

He said: “He was just a wonderful man of that generation and I classed him as my surrogate father becayse he was the same age and had had a very similar war.

“It was a shame he didn’t get his telegram from the Queen, but he was a party animal and he decided to leave the party.”