WWII Memories of Frank Dennis Gent

EULOGY FOR ERIC BEAL dIED 11TH OCTOBER 2017 R.I.P.

Eulogy for Eric. My life-long friend, comrade and WW2 veteran.
Eric and I must have followed very similar careers in the army although we did not actually meet until we sailed together in a very large convoy from Liverpool to Algiers in 1943. We were new recruits, replacements for casualties suffered by tank regiments in Algeria.
Eric and I stood next to each other and were selected with a dozen others for the 2nd Lothians and Border Horse.
By chance we were allocated to the same tank crew in 4 Troop and the very next day we engaged in very heavy fighting at Mendez-el-Bab
and Hammam Lf. More tanks were lost but we were lucky and our friendship continued into Italy.
It was there that Eric won his Military Medal although he was so modest that it was some months before we heard of it.Eric was a hero, he
rescued a man from a burning tank under enemy fire and got him back safely to receive medical attention. That act could have cost him his 
life but he was prepared to risk that. He really was a hero.
That night, as we lay under a tarpaulin at the side of the tank we talked of our plans for the future. We still had not met our wives-to-be but 
again Eric was lucky. He married the girl of his dreams, attractive and intelligent. Olive stood by Eric through good times and bad.He told me
himself some were really bad but her loyalty never wavered.They enjoyed nearly 70 years together, very few can say that.

So,farewell. old comrade, I'll be with you soon. With affection, Frank