Royal Naval veteran and staunch Arundel man dies aged 96

Royal Navy veteran Edward Franklin, who had a life-long love of Arundel and played a role in the build-up to D-Day, has died aged 96.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 10:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 11:04 am

Edward, known as Eddie, was born in Westhampnett, near Chichester, on November 19, 1924, before his family moved to Arundel. His father Lawrence was four times mayor of Arundel.

Eddie’s daughter Julia said: “My father was a very staunch Arundel man, who valued the town and contributed to the Museum in his life.”

Eddie joined the Westminster Bank, which became NatWest, in 1941, working at branches at Midhurst, Arundel and Worthing.

Arundel man Edward Franklin SUS-210223-101354001

In 1942, approaching his 18th birthday, he volunteered for the Royal Navy and saw service in escort ships in the Atlantic taking the first large convoy to North Africa and Sicily. At one point his ship sank an enemy submarine.

He was commissioned a Midshipman and joined Coastal Forces – MTB’s and Gun Boats – in which he was to mostly serve for the rest of the war eventually taking command of his own vessel in 1945/46.

Eddie served on a ship operating in the Channel, for some months immediately prior to D-Day.

He was involved in some of the most up-to-date tactics, experimenting with submarine snorkels and radar decoy balloons, not yet then in general use. From there he went to Canada and the USA, to be later based in Trinidad.

His last active service appointment was in Naval Control safe routing any shipping going East of Ceylon.

Before joining the Navy Eddie was a founder cadet member of the Arundel and Littlehampton Unit of the Sea Cadet Corps.

Returning to banking after the war, he married his high school sweetheart, Joy, in March 1951 and worked at the Worthing bank from 1952 - 1962, while living in Arundel.

He continued to serve with the Royal Naval Reserve as a mines counter measure officer, firstly in minesweepers, followed by exercises in Malta and Lisbon as well as at the NATO HQ in Northwood and the UK generally.

He was awarded the Reserve Decoration and a Bar. In 1977, in recognition of his service with the RNR and Sea Cadet Corps, he was appointed a Member of The Order of the British Empire.

A lover of nature and a keen gardener, Eddie also enjoyed caravanning through Europe with his family and was a member of the Caravan Club for 50 years.

Eddie also gave service as a Police Authority lay visitor and also a Home Office appointed lay observer for those entrusted to the escort services.

Eddie passed away on January 5, following the death of his wife in May 2020.