Let's get a proper tribute for Sapper Peter Shippey - Bridlington soldier who died in Germany

Sapper Peter Shippey's sister Margaret Pilling and veteran Martin Barmby, who is leading the campaign for a proper memorial.
Sapper Peter Shippey's sister Margaret Pilling and veteran Martin Barmby, who is leading the campaign for a proper memorial.

A campaign has been set up to raise money to ensure that a Bridlington soldier who was killed while serving his country more than 50 years ago can be properly remembered in his home town.

Sapper Peter Shippey died when the vehicle he was driving back to his base in Germany collided with another tank, piercing the petrol tank and causing an explosion.

Sapper Peter Shippey (front right) with his squadron from the Royal Engineers.

Sapper Peter Shippey (front right) with his squadron from the Royal Engineers.

Although his body was brought back to Bridlington, and he is buried at the cemetery in Sewerby Road, his name does not appear on the main war memorial.

However, permission has been granted for a separate plaque to Peter to be installed at the memorial gardens off Wellington Road, and attempts are being made raise the money needed to make it happen.

Veteran Martin Barmby, who is leading the campaign, said: “Peter was repatriated to the UK and is buried in Bridlington, his name is on the National Memorial Arboretum, however nothing within the grounds of the war memorial in Bridlington - his town, which he went to school in, was an Army cadet in and returned to on leave from the Army and ultimately, after he lost his life, whilst serving our nation.

“As Peter did not die on operations for which a medal was issued, his name cannot be added to the town’s war memorial.

Sapper Peter Shippey's sister Margaret Pilling and veteran Martin Barmby, who is leading the campaign for a proper tribute in Bridlington's war memorial gardens.

Sapper Peter Shippey's sister Margaret Pilling and veteran Martin Barmby, who is leading the campaign for a proper tribute in Bridlington's war memorial gardens.

“I am doing this as a veteran who wishes to ensure that none who die serving their country are forgotten, be it in peace or wartime.

“The cost of the memorial is still to be confirmed, however hopefully no more than a few hundred pounds and will be unveiled with Peter’s sister and hopefully representatives of the Royal Engineers present, at a date to be set.”

It was a chance meeting with Peter’s sister Margaret Pilling at Tesco during last year’s successful Poppy Appeal in Bridlington - which raised £30,000 - that uncovered his story and prompted Martin to take action.

Margaret is already in the process of buying a trophy for the town’s Army Cadet Force in Bridlington, which will be awarded annually in Peter’s memory.

His uncle, Harry Shippey, who served with the Green Howards, was killed during Operation Husky in 1943 and is buried at Catania War Cemetery in Sicily, but Harry’s name is on Bridlington’s war memorial.

Martin said: “I left Bridlington at 17 to complete a full career in the Royal Navy and returned at 40, now as an HM Forces pensioner, I volunteer every year to help with collecting for the Poppy Appeal.

“The money raised goes towards assisting those veterans and serving personnel that sometimes need a bit of help, be it welfare, a break, guidance or other help provided by the Royal British Legion.

“However, a major and most enjoyable part of collecting for the Poppy Appeal, is the stories people tell you of family members that served and returned, help given, those that served and perhaps did not return home.

“Would the kind people of Bridlington, who support the Poppy Appeal so generously every year for those still living, be willing to make a donation towards a memorial stone for Sapper Peter Joseph Shippey of the Royal Engineers, who lost his life, serving his country in 1967, but did not return home to retire?”

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to Martin’s fund-raising effort, can contact him via email at barneyrnsm1986@gmail.com