First soldier: Home Guard practice at Levens Garth Westmorland and this oral history is of a lad who threw clods of earth to and from the Home Guard. Tank traps against Tiger tanks! Bayonet danger – on the bus. Target practice, oops a pig, ah, fresh meat!
Second soldier: Trained with Kings Regiment at Formby then Kent near Biggin Hill, guarding without ammunition. Volunteered (involuntarily) for D Day. Suddenly given ammunition, why, put on boats, oh dear shells coming this way – it was D Day + 1 with half the battalion killed, they being reserve, Fontenay more lost, officers targeted because they had ties, so soldiers were given ties! But NCOs had black boots and officers had brown boots. They were supposed to be reserve for Arnhem, but too wet so couldn’t get through the mud to Arnhem. So went to Remagen Bridge for 3 months guarding it.
Soldier 3 Started in Home Guard, guarding Thirlmere lake, one rifle one bullet for 2 nights a week, then trained in drill hall by WW1 sergeant. Then joined up in Royal Corps of Signals, trained in Wales. Devon Plymouth in big air raids, then moved to Scotland preparing for overseas. Then North Africa, Tunis grand march past, then Italy Teranto landings, Adriatic side of Italy. First Christmas in olive grove with chicken nearly ready for Christmas but … Venice Florence Rome top of Vesuvius. Never in a bed for three years, finally in Austria at the end of the war, in a bed, but too comfortable and could not sleep!
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