| 23.6°C Belfast

Applause for veteran Teddy Dixon in east Belfast on VE Day

Close

People outside the home of Teddy Dixon

People outside the home of Teddy Dixon

Teddy Dixon

Teddy Dixon

Teddy as a 24-year-old soldier

Teddy as a 24-year-old soldier

People outside the home of Teddy Dixon

One of Belfast's few remaining World War II veterans was cheered to the echo as his local community turned out to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Cars honked their horns as local people and Army cadets clapped and applauded east Belfast veteran Teddy Dixon, who turned 100 in March this year.

There was a small gathering outside Teddy's Mount Merrion home which allowed members from 2nd (NI) Bn Army Cadet Force and the community to show their appreciation to him and all his comrades, while observing social distancing.

Teddy Dixon

Because east Belfast man Teddy was born in New York, he was drafted into the 42nd 'Rainbow' Infantry Division of the US Army in 1944, and became one of the heroes who liberated western Europe from Nazism.

The 42nd Division landed in France in December 1944 and advanced through the country as part of the US 7th Army, entering Germany in March 1945.

Teddy was one of the squad who liberated 33,000 survivors from the Dachau concentration camp.

Yesterday, US Consul General Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau paid tribute to Teddy.

"On this 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, we want to honour and remember the work that you and your colleagues, veterans all, in the US and British forces did to defend democracy," she said in a specially recorded video.

Close

Teddy as a 24-year-old soldier

Teddy as a 24-year-old soldier

Teddy as a 24-year-old soldier

"Your commitment, your bravery, your honour stand as a symbol to us all as we face the challenges today."

Army Cadets spokeswoman Tina Giovannoli described Mr Dixon as "a true hero".

Teddy himself said: "I am proud to have served in World War II.

"On this, the 75th anniversary of VE Day, I would like to remember those who served, and those who are on the frontline today in the fight against Covid-19.

"To all those who gave us so much, we thank you."

Belfast Telegraph