Ronald William Cole
born 18 March 1924 died 30 November 2016
(work in progress on this page)
Ronald, or Ron as he was known, was born at 124 Aldbury Road, Merstham, Surrey along with his twin sister Eileen.
May with Ron and Eileen
A pre school photo of Ron and Eileen with a group of female relatives. Ron and Eileen are either end of the front row.
Both twins went to Merstham school and we have a school photo taken in the classroom. Eileen is recognisable by her curly hair standing second from the right on the right hand side of the class dressed in a dark button up dress.. Ron is sitting immediately in front of her.
Eileen and Ron posing with their mother May
When Ron finished school he went into an apprenticeship as a carpenter and one of the jobs he had was building the wooden backs to GPO lorries. His apprenticeship was interrupted by the second world war when he enlisted in the RAF. Initially he was posted to 132 Squadron but in December 1944 prior to this squadron being posted to the far east he was reposted to 130 (Punjab) Squadron.
Arromanche to support the D-day invasion. More to be written about wartime activities.
Ron's ID Phot about 18 years old Ron group Photo from Eindhoven 1944 Whilst with RAF 130 (Punjab) squadron
After his brief sojourn in the summer of 1945 near Christiansand in Norway he returned home and was demobbed later in 1945. On 8th December 1945 Ron married Moreen Cicely Withers-Lancashire at St Philips Church in Norbury For the next four years they did not have anywhere to live except dividing their time between her parents house in Norbury and his parents house in Merstham. The strain of living with respective in-laws caused a temporary split in the relationship with Moreen going to live with her parents and Ron living with his. However by this time Moreen had become pregnant and on 20th March 1949 their first son Roger was born at Mayday hospital in Croydon. They were on a council housing list in the Croydon District and shortly after the birth they were given a maisonette to rent in King Henrys Drive New Addington which was then a new housing estate.
Two photos from 1949 firstly Ron with his father William and second Ron with his mother May and baby Roger and father William both taken at 34 Brook Road Merstham.
Whilst living at 87 King Henrys Drive New
Addington their second son Stephen was born at home on 25 May 1953. During this
period Ron was working for Bendix repairing washing machines on call out to
family homes. After that he worked in a hardware store in North End West Croydon
going towards Thornton Heath. There were two direct bus services between New
Addington and Croydon numbers 130 and 130a. One change at West Croydon could get
you to Norbury where Moreen's parents lived. By the age of 11 or 12 I(Roger) was
doing this journey alone occasionally. My earliest recollection of family
holidays is staying at a caravan at Selsey Bill. I must have been 5 because
Steve was just 1 year old. I can remember a lot of pebbles. After Selsey we
spent a few years holidaying near Whitstable near a place called Seasalter. The
actual location of the bungalows we stayed at over a number of years was a
little village called Yorkletts.
Ron on the beach at Whitstable 1954
By the time I was 11 our favourite holidaying place was Rye with occasional stays at Camber Sands however we always went to the beach at Camber sands whether we stayed at Camber or Rye. Around this time Ron got a job in Kingston as a shop manager at a Marley shop (tiles and building materials) and he stayed there for a number of years until around 1962 when he moved to a job with Halls builders merchants as a Warehouse manager in Dulwich. Also in 1960 when Roger was 11 and Steven was 7 the family moved to a leasehold property at 37 Hamden Road Beckenham. Roger stayed at school in New Addington but Steven started at Balgowan junior school which was the other side of a high wall at the bottom of our garden.
Ron and Nin at Worthing 1966
By 1972 Steven Ron and Moreen were all working in central london and often commuting together Roger was Working for the Post Office (pre BT split)
Ron and Nin at a masonic dinner Wadebridge 1979
Ron in Lanzarotte (early 60's) circa 1986
Ron and Nin 50th wedding anniversary 1995
Ron at 75 in 1999
Photo taken on Rons birthday 18 March 2009 at Latchi Cyprus.
Photo taken at the West Quay pub at Brighton Marina June 2015.