The front cover star of the inaugural issue of Pathfinder’s occasional military supplement, Left Right Left, has passed away at the age of 101.

Ernie Searling from Bushey, Herts, adorned the first front cover of Left Right Left in September 2017, telling his tale of his first day in the military, followed up by a remarkable tale of travel and adventure in World War II.

A former Royal Marine, Ernie saw action in an array of countries from Holland and Belgium to Gibraltar and beyond, fighting not only against the Germans, but also the Japanese in the same war.

Ernie gave his interview for Left Right Left at the grand old age of 99 and his stories, set out over three issues, caught the interest of the general public, so much so, the BBC picked up his story and Ernie attended the Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday parade for the first time later that year.

Pathfinder editor, Mal Robinson, who conducted the interview with Ernie, said: “It was with deep sadness I learned of Ernie’s passing yesterday (Sunday March 10). I consider myself very fortunate to have met Ernie and feel very humbled to have been in his presence to hear his remarkable stories of World War II. It was great to have been given an opportunity to share these with our readers and as a result, I hope Ernie’s story will live on forever more.

The whole interview was awe inspiring, but I think my favourite quote from Ernie was on his marriage. Ernie said ““Once we arrived back in Scotland, it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen my fiancé in four years

“…As I came down the steps she came rushing up and grabbed hold of me and said ‘we’re going to get married now’

“…We had the Parson come along and he told a few funny stories about me, he said what a flirt I was in the Parish and this had them all laughing and then, well then… we carried on with the war again.”

That’s how down to earth Ernie was and it was an interview, I shall never forget.

Stand down Ernie, your duties are done.”

To read the full interview with Ernie over the 3 issues of Left Right Left, found inside of Pathfinder International, please see the links below.