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by Wilfrid How

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Archive List > World > North Africa

Contributed by 
Wilfrid How
People in story: 
Wilf How
Location of story: 
El Alamein
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Contributed on: 
16 June 2003

OverseasPosted to Leeds 03/11/41 Granted embarkation leave -13/11/41 Posted to draft RXKHZ which was the last draft due to do a full 5 years without leave. Embarked 04/12/41 on the ANDES and sailed on06/12/41.The ANDES was the flag ship of the convoy. We docked in Freetown harbour on Christmas Eve and sailed on Boxing Day.A few nights later we left the convoy at full steam ahead 33 knots and sailed on to Capetown to put a VIP ashore, we stayed the night and rejoined the convoy the following day.We went round the Cape to Durban where we had a few days leave. The MAURATANIA took us up to Egypt. We disembarked 28/01/42. I was posted to the 15 Light Field Ambulance 05/02/42.During the time we were being pushed back to El Alamein one night we and other units were pulled into a wadie for the night. As a Main Dressing Station we opened for anyone needing treatment. After a few hours we were told to get packed and ready to move. The iron stakes of a Tank transporter had been driven in on top of the escarpment and a tanktransporter hauled up to the top it then hauled up the soft-skins [lorries and ambulances] and we were told to GO GO GO If you break down push it over the side and cadge a lift. By morning the whole lot had vanished from the enemy who thought they had us bottled up.

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