Death of family man and war veteran

Alan Reedy. (S)
Alan Reedy. (S)
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An Earby war veteran who survived against the odds after being shot in the head during the Second World War has died aged 95.

John Alan Reedy, known as Alan, died at home on April 18th and his family have this week paid tribute to “an amazing family man and strong character”.

Born in Earby, Mr Reedy went to Alder Hill School from the age of four to 14 when he left as he got a job working in Grove Mill.

He joined the TA at 18 and then the army in the Duke of Wellington Regiment, later the Royal Armoured Corps, and he then joined the 6th Airborne Division in 1943.

Mr Reedy said that they couldn’t get enough men to join the division, but as a true Yorkshireman, the offer of two shillings per week danger money was too much to resist. He was in action on D-Day and later in the Ardennes and Rhine crossing.

Just six weeks before the end of the war, Mr Reedy was shot by a sniper in Germany on March 27th, 1945. He was sent back to England not expected to survive and had lost the sight in his right eye. He then spent two years recovering in an Oxford hospital after having his face reconstructed with a metal plate in an experimental operation.

After the war, Mr Reedy returned to Earby and met his late wife Connie Wiseman. They married in 1951 at the old church in Riley Street and had three children Diane, Dale and Glenys. He worked at Bristol Tractors in Sough and briefly in Birmingham but it was Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick where Mr Reedy spent 25 years of his career.

Mr Reedy was a passionate supporter of Blesma, the charity for limbless veterans, and he was secretary of the Earby branch for over 60 years until it folded. He enjoyed reading and loved sport, in particular cricket, where he was a regular watching Earby, and he was also a keen football fan and supporter of Burnley.

Mr Reedy leaves behind his children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His funeral was held on Wednesday.