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- John Lister Farrar
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- 03 June 2004
Sapper JL Farrar
My father's name was John Lister Farrar. He was born in Canterbury on the 6th June 1923. He was 21 years old on D-Day.
He was involved in the Italian Campaign and was serving near the Po River. Some mates of his found a cellar full of wine and fortified wine. The area had been hit by shelling and there were some infantrymen resting in the parts of the buildings that were not completely destroyed. Apparently, the celebrations were fantastic. The soldiers who were billeted locally joined in the party. Their part of the Italian campaign seemed to be going well so they felt that there was good reason to celebrate and Dad's 21st birthday was as good an excuse as any. It was not until a few days later that they heard about the D-Day landings and the invasion of Normandy.
Dad had served in North Africa with the Eighth Army, was involved in mine and barbed wire clearance at the Battle of El Alamein. Later in his life he was taunted for being a D-Day dodger. He was a Sapper. At the time of his birthday he was a Sergeant in the Royal Engineers and was in charge of a lorry repair shop.
Shortly after this, his superiors sent him back to England to a WOSB, a War Officer Selection Board. He was selected for training for a commission and was trained in Scotland. When he passed out he was sent to India and served out the rest of the war in the North East of India and Burma. He was demobbed in 1947 as part of the Forgotten Army.
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