The sad news came today of the passing of Alex Knightly who served with 1 Suffolk in Malaya and Trieste.
Alex was one of life great characters - the true life and soul of any party. He had been called up as a National Serviceman to serve in Malaya, but later signed on for a further three years as a regular.
He was an original member of 4 Platoon, 'B' Company in Malaya - the ‘Death’s Heads’ (later to be renamed the ‘Angels’) and served later with the MT, being the driver of a Humber Scout Car.
Alex was a great character at Regimental gatherings, usually with a beer in one hand, and a raffle book in the other. He like the late Pedlar Palmer, was one of a small handful of Suffolk soldiers who still remembered all the lines to the Battalion song “We haven’t seen old Lieu Kon Kim for a hellava time” and on one occasion, he sung it at a funeral as it had been the last request of a Suffolk veteran. It was quite amazing to hear a church full of old soldiers singing such a song in hallowed surroundings!
Alex was such a jovial character, with a booming voice who made every event he attended come alive. He always had a story to tell, including one of how he nursed a bottle of chianti all the way back from Trieste, only to trip over and break it on the platform at Colchester railway station.
Never more at home coercing people to buy a raffle ticket, or being able to strip a Bren gun years after he had left the service, he will be greatly missed.