- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Ted Ledger
- Location of story:
- Middle East , Mediterranean, Europe
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 16 August 2005
This story was submitted to the People's War Site by Joan Smith on behalf of Mr E D Ledger, a visitor to 'Dunstable at War' on 13th August 2005.
I joined the Bedfordshire Yeomanry in Dunstable at the age of 14, in 1934. I lied about my age and said I was 15 in order to get in. In 1937 I joined the regular army and in 1938 I joined the Indian Third Cavalry Regiment and became Sergeant Major. Soon after war broke out horses were replaced by tanks, and between 1939 and 1944 I served in Egypt, Libya, Eretrea, Palestine, Syria, Cyrenaica, Cyprus, Tunisia, Sicily and Italy. Later we were in France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Scotland before being sent back to Egypt again.
I survived the major battles including Sidi Berani, Keren, Tubruq, Alem Hamza, Akarit, Alemein. In Italy I was at the battle for Monte Casino for fourteen days; in Germany I was there at the crossing of the Rhine. The British people will never know the debt they owe to the Indian Army. At times our casualty rate was 160%.
I hold a warrant from the Queen and 15 campaign medals, stars, crosses and awards.
I served with the 4th Indian Division for five years and was loaned out to the Gazelle Force, the Guards Brigade, the Highland Division and many other famous regiments.
But the high point of all my experiences is that I am one of the fewer than sixty people who have successfully climbed to the summit of the 'forbidden' pyramid in Egypt - the Caephren Pyramid - which has sheer smooth sides.
I joined the army with three mates who also came back safely and on April 30th 1944 we were the subject of a Sunday Pictorial report: 'They Joined Army to See World - They Did!'
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