WWII veteran Danny McCrudden, 98, who served with the Royal Navy’s Pacific Fleet on the Destroyer HMS Queenborough died on 22 October 2022, aged 98.
WWII veteran and entertainer Danny McCrudden from Dagenham was married to his beloved wife Ruby for 70 years. Due to ill health, Danny had recently been living in Blenheim Care Home in Walton on the Naze and Ruby has been living very close to him with their grandson Scott and his wife Zoe.
Danny and Ruby had one son Gary who had three children, Scott, Daniel and Brian. Scott and his wife Zoe have three children Charli, Molli and Vincent, and Charli gave Danny and Ruby their first great great granddaughter on 21 October, the day before he died.
During the war, Danny spent time in the Arctic, Mediterranean and Pacific seas during four years on HMS Queenborough, a Q-class destroyer which was constructed as part of the War Emergency Programme and was still in the Navy at the time of Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.
In 1945, Danny arrived in Australia on his 21st birthday and ever the entertainer appeared several times on Australian radio and sang on the stage in Sydney with Gracie Fields.
Danny’s stage name was Danny McCall and in 1947 he was invited to play the Lyceum in the Strand in London, singing with an orchestra. Also, on the programme that night was Vera Lynn who was billed with only a pianist. Danny loved telling the story that when Vera went up to sing ‘I’ll Make Up for Everything’, one of her own songs, she was told she couldn’t sing it as Danny had got there first.
Still singing 72 years later, in 2019, Danny sang another of Dame Vera Lynn’s songs, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, live in the ITV studios with Katie and Amy from The D-Day Darlings for the evening ITV News. Danny had met the girls when he was one of the veterans that joined them on stage in the Britain’s Got Talent semi-final show in May 2018. In 2020, when Dame Vera Lynn died, Danny paid tribute to her singing with fellow veteran Tommy Parkinson in a BFBS tribute about the nations sweetheart.
Zoe Marie McCrudden, who is married to Danny’s grandson Scott, said:
“Danny was the most loving and caring man you could have ever had the honour of meeting. Our lives are not the same without you, Grandad.”
Dick Goodwin, Vice President of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said:
“After his family, Danny’s other big love was entertaining and he was always the first to stand up and sing a couple of songs during Taxi Charity events. His poor health meant that he hadn’t been able to join us recently but we thought about him and talked about him often. Danny will be remembered with great fondness. A lovely gentleman with a beautiful voice.”
Danny’s funeral will be Corbets Tey Crematorium, Upminster RM14 2UY at 3.20pm on the 4 November. Ruby and his family would love veterans and those who knew him to join them to celebrate Danny’s life.