Battleship bombing veteran Robert Aitken, of Melton, dies at 91
One of the last surviving members of a Royal Navy unit involved in the bombing of the German warship Tirpitz in the Second World War has died.
Robert Aitken, 91, of Melton, passed away on October 22, after suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr Aitken joined the navy in 1941 and was involved in the mission that saw midget submarines bomb the Tirpitz. Mr Aitken, part of the crew of sub X7, had to climb out of his submarine to cut through protective wire obstructing the way, before returning to lay charges beneath the German battleship. However Mr Aitken’s sub began to sink and he only just managed to escape before losing consciousness. His two colleagues did not get out.
Mr Aitken was captured and brought aboard the Tirpitz as the bombs he had helped to plant went off beneath them. He spent the remaining years of the conflict as a prisoner of war.
His daughter, Nicola Mayhew, 56, said: “We are so proud of him and his grandchildren really just love the story.”
You may also want to watch:
Chris Mayhew, 58, Mr Aitken’s son-in-law, added: “He did the job he was told to do and lived to tell the tale.”
After the war, Mr Aitken joined R Hunt & Company, the family business in agricultural engineering and also had a career in accounting. He spent the last three years of his life in a care home in Kesgrave.
- 1 Man in 20s dies in collision between lorry and pedestrian on A14
- 2 Suffolk estate which featured on TV show on the market for £1.25m
- 3 Ipswich Town transfer rumours: Blues linked with goalkeeper and coaching move for former loanee
- 4 Van's roof torn off as it gets stuck under Suffolk bridge
- 5 Car on its side in middle of roundabout after crash outside Haverhill Tesco
- 6 The end of an era as Suffolk's last Debenhams store closes
- 7 Joy as council reverses ban on motorhomes in car parks
- 8 Tories retain Suffolk County Council control - but Greens make huge gains
- 9 Matchday Recap: Lightning start for Town secures Fleetwood win
- 10 'Masterpiece' modernist home with panoramic sea views for sale for £850,000
Daughter Karen Lyth, 53, said: “It’s not been very nice for him for the last three years, and it’s been awful to see that.” Mr Aitkin is survived by his four children, James, Jane, Nicola and Karen, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.