It is with deep sadness that we learn of the death of Ken Speed. Ken was a shipmate who served onboard MGB 647 in the Adriatic during 1944–45. Coming from a village environment in the heart of Essex, Ken was one of those quiet, passive, unexcitable characters who stood out from the rest, but who along with other members of the boat – many of whom were from London – quickly adapted to the rigours of the tight community spirit so necessary for the well being and safety of all the crew.
After his brief encounter as a stoker mechanic handling the 1500bhp Packard engines used to power the boat – Ken was a lifelong cyclist who never learned to drive – he returned to his rural community and native village of Coggershall, Essex where he resumed his life, marrying his beloved wife Elsie there in April 1947.
Ken spent many happy years working in the Crittal Windows factory in Witham, and with the arrival of his son Peter in August 1948, enjoyed a life centered on his family, and his great passion of gardening – his allotment bringing joy to family, friends and neighbours alike. Sadly Elsie passed away in 1999.
The spirit of comradeship forged during the war years was reignited in 1982, when Ken became a member of the CFVA, and much to his delight, made many visits together with his family to the island of Vis, where MGB 647 saw much action. Ken was particularly thrilled to participate in a get together with some of the crew of MGB 647 at a restaurant in Southend in 1986.
A service for Ken took place at the Three Counties Crematorium, Braintree on 9 October 2013. Ken is survived by son Peter and his wife Betty, and their daughter Freya
Lest we forget