Lewes war veteran who served in castle’s secret tunnels

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The death has occurred of sixth generation Lewesian Ken Flint.

Although he left the town of his birth for Kent 25 years ago, he maintained the attitude of a proud exile from the county town until his death just a few days short of his 89th birthday.

Ken was a decorated veteran of the Second World War and subsequently served in the Territorial Army.

He had joined the Army Cadet Force at the age of 15 and went to a recruitment office to sign up ‘for the duration of the war’ on his 18th birthday.

He saw service in India, in Belgium following the D-Day landings and was also a Morse Code operator on Operation Fortitude South in the secret tunnels under Dover Castle where wartime leader Winston Churchill had a bunker.

After the war he returned to secret operations under the castle during the Cold War and was called up again during the Aden crisis in 1965.

In civilian life he worked as a cartographic draughtsman for Seeboard and as an administrative officer at Lewes Prison.

Returning to the Dover area after retirement, he founded the White Cliffs Veterans Association, recognising the wartime sacrifices not just of the uniformed service men and women, but of the communities who found themselves effectively on the front line of what became known as ‘Hell Fire Corner’.

Ken was an energetic player for Lewes Rugby Club for many years and from an early age was schooled in Lewes Bonfire, passing on the bonfire traditions to his sons, his own father having been a Bonfire Boy since the 1890s, a secretary for Commercial Square and Captain of Tableux for the now defunct St Anne’s Bonfire Society.

Ken liked to quote the Sussex motto Wunt be Druv, although not everyone thought his stubbornness the virtue he frequently maintained it was!

He was a soldier, sportsman and Son of Sussex who could spin a yarn, sing a rugger song and charm an Indian waiter with a smattering of Hindustani.

Ken was married to Janet for 56 years and leaves two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.

The funeral is to take place at Barham Crematorium near Canterbury on Thursday, August 29, at 2pm.