Pub's tribute to Morecambe war hero
A Morecambe pub will name a memorial beer after a much-loved regular who served his country bravely '¨in the Falklands War.
Ex-paratrooper Ronnie Duffy, who has died, was a popular figure in the Eric Bartholomew Wetherspoon’s pub in town.
Staff and customers were shocked and saddened by Ronnie’s death and want to mark his passing by naming a guest ale after him.
Ronnie was a member of 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment (3 Para) who served in the Falklands in 1982.
He fought in the Battle of Mount Longdon on June 11 and 12 1982, which resulted in British forces capturing a key position around the Argentinian garrison. Ronnie was one of a team who landed on the beach on East Falkland in May 21 then spent two weeks marching across hostile terrain in atrocious weather.
The Argentinian army’s defences surrounding the Falklands’ capital, Port Stanley, included the heavily defended Mount Longdon.
In sub-zero temperatures, Ronnie and his colleagues launched a silent attack under the cover of darkness on the Argentinian position.
They helped secure the mountain, a key victory contributing to Argentina’s surrender on June 14.
But there were heavy losses on both sides, with 23 men from 3 Para killed at Mount Longdon and more than 40 wounded.
Ronnie, who was originally from Scotland, later suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.But he was well on the mend so his death came as a shock to friends.
Ronnie was a much-loved figure in Wetherspoon’s who would sometimes break into song to entertain the staff and the regulars.
“Ronnie was in here all the time since we first opened in 2004,” said Anthony Kitching, shift manager at the town centre pub.
“He was a nice guy, a real character. He used to come in, have a few pints, read his book and go upstairs for some peace and quiet.Sometimes he would start singing.
“We want to do some guest ales with his name on, to keep his name going. We’ve had a few suggestions and put it to the regulars to see what they think. He will be missed by all the staff and regulars.”
Pete Neaves, secretary of the Morecambe and District branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, said Ronnie had many friends from 3 Para who will attend his funeral at 10.30am on April 21 at St Mary’s Church, Morecambe.
There will be a number of Parachute Regimental Branch Standards present along with the Royal Marines Standard.