Spit­fire hero An­drew ‘was life of the party’

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

A GUILD­FORD war vet­eran who spent 18 months in a Ger­man pris­oner-of-war camp af­ter be­ing shot down from his Spit­fire over France has died aged 96.

An­drew Mor­gan was a Spit­fire pi­lot dur­ing the Sec­ond World War with the Glas­gow 602 squadron, and flew as Pierre Closter­mann’s wing­man af­ter train­ing in Florida, USA.

Mr Mor­gan was shot down fly­ing over France on De­cem­ber 21, 1943 and taken pris­oner by a troop of Ger­mans, spend­ing 18 months as a pris­oner of war at Sta­lag IV-B.

Fit­tingly, a Spit­fire from Boult­bee Academy per­formed an aerial display over Put­ten­ham Golf Club, his “home from home”, fol­low­ing his death.

Born in Fife, Scot­land, he was the son of a bar­ber and the sec­ond youngest of 12 chil­dren.

He briefly played foot­ball for Ful­ham, be­fore be­ing re­cruited by Guild­ford City and mov­ing to the town in 1954.

He has lived in Guild­ford since and was a cathe­dral stew­ard for nearly 30 years, a mem­ber of the Cur­tain Rais­ers am­a­teur dra­mat­ics group and played golf at the Put­ten­ham and clubs.

He mar­ried wife Nita in 1950 af­ter the pair met at a dance in Lon­don. Fam­ily mem­bers said Mr Mor­gan was ‘left dev­as­tated’ when she died in 2014.

He vis­ited Buck­ing­ham Palace in 2015 to mark 100th an­niver­sary of the Blind Veter­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion af­ter los­ing his own sight in 2001.

His daugh­ter, Is­abelle Fisher, de­scribed him as an en­ter­tainer and al­ways the ‘life and soul of any party’. Guild­ford

She said: “He and a cou­ple of other very fit young pris­on­ers were told by the Ger­man of­fi­cers that they were to be taken to a cot­tage hospi­tal for diph­the­ria.

“Med­i­cal ex­per­i­ments were per­formed on them to test the hu­man ca­pa­bil­ity for cop­ing with pain and de­pri­va­tion. Weeks with no food and for­ag­ing for water, shut in com­plete dark­ness.

“He re­mem­bered stand­ing freez­ing naked in the snow.

“The dark al­ways scared him, so it was tragic when he lost his eye­sight.”

Mrs Fisher added: “My favourite mem­ory [was when] I had a new boyfriend for lunch.

I told my par­ents to stay out of the way, sud­denly a scruffy gar­dener with a string of onions round his neck ap­pears at the din­ing room win­dow, ask­ing if madam needed any onions! Al­ways the joker.”

Mrs Fisher added that the fam­ily would like to thank ev­ery­one who has paid their re­spects.

An­drew (cir­cled in red) with his Glas­gow 602 squadron

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