- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Maurice Sutcliffe.
- Location of story:
- North Africa, RAF Dunsfold, Surrey, Yuogslavia.
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 15 December 2005
This story has been written onto the People's war site by C.S.V. Storygatherer Jane Chanter on behalf of Maurice Sutcliffe with his permission and he fully understands the terms and conditions of the site.
1940 - Left St Paul's School in London and abandoned plan to become a doctor. Tried to join Fleet Air Arm, too young so joined Army.
1941 - End of the year commisioned into the Royal Irish Fusilliers.
1942 - Joined Fusilliers in Scotland and in November enbarked from Gurrock for North Africa Invasion 'Op Torch, a joint American and British operation to defeat retreating German forces in North Africa.
1943 - February - badly wounded on night patrol and evacuated back to U.K.. Journey across Tunisia and Algeria in a converted goods train(40 men and 8 horses), then hospital ship 'Newfoundland'. Eight months in U.K. hospital, then posted as Army liason Officer to RAF Dunsfold, a light bomber wing of Mitchel aircraft. During the next four months went on a number of daylight raids over 'V' bomb sites in Northern France and U Boat pens.
1944 - Early in the year transferred back to Middle East, but by chance met members of S.O.E. and in April invited to join force 266, a part of S.O.E. operating under Brigadier Fitzroy Maclaenin in Yuogslavia with Marshall Tito's Partizan forces. After hasty 5 day Para course plus other useful, short, vital S.O.E. courses I was dropped by parachute into the Eastern part of Croatia. Operated with a Partizan group in the hills until the end of the war. The task was to arrange night supply dropping of arms, explosives and medical kit for my Partizan group. When German forces not active, to organise night evacuation og Allied airmen and wounded Partizans. Intelligence on German troop movement passed to provide targets for Allied aircraft.
1945 - Russian arrival in March and my Partizan group moved towards Trieste which was to become a nasty Allied incident between the British 8th Army and Partizans with whom I had spent the last year of the war. Very tyricky! Instructed by my British Commanders in Italy to make my way to Belgrade and evacuation to Bari in Italy. The end of almost a year of a small independant group operating in German occupied country with no day to day instruction until the end of the War.
Reurned in July to my original Batallion that I had left on a stretcher in Tunisia in 1943.
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