Newcombe was born in Islington and joined the British Army in 1918 as a private in the Royal Sussex Regiment. When the war ended, he was still in training. He did however spend a year in Germany as part of the army of occupation. Following the war he resumed his trade as a railwayman, retiring in 1965. He recalled once serving Winston Churchill a drink who gave him a cigar as a tip. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force as a movements clerk.
He was only traced as a surviving veteran of the First World War in 2003.
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