We’re sad to announce the death of Second World War veteran, Ernest Slarks. Ernest served with 23rd Hussars as a radio operator in a Sherman Firefly tank, landing on Arromanches on 14 June 1944. He contributed a great deal to The Tank Museum over the years and we’d like to express our gratitude and condolences to his family.
Sarah Lambert, Exhibition Manager said, “It has been an honour to speak to Ernest Slarks as much as we have since we first met him in 2016. On that occasion he took part in a filmed interview about his wartime service for a new exhibition, and over the years has kept in regular touch through his son David.
“From exhibition openings, to public talks in front of the Sherman Firefly aged 94, to providing material to the Archive – Ernest has made a special and valuable contribution to our work here at the Museum.”
Ernest was one of two British veterans to join two German veterans for the opening of the Tiger Exhibition in 2016; an exhibition which featured his story of encounters with German tanks during the war. He also took part in the WW2: War Stories livestream opening, where he spoke about his experiences during wartime and after. Watch Ernest here.
The task of telling the stories of Second World War veterans like Ernest, who gave so much in circumstances few of us can imagine, is a privileged one and we are deeply grateful for his support and friendship. He will be sadly missed by the team here but very much remembered for his impressive energy, good humour and kindness.
“I didn’t talk about it for fifty years, nobody did. But I’m glad I had the experience of the war – it was terrifying in places but I was very fortunate to come out in one piece. I’m very very fortunate.”
Ernest Slarks, 1923 – 2022