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A Memorable Day For A 7 Year Old

by GraemeTrim

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People in story: 
Graeme Trim
Location of story: 
Ramsbury Wilts
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
09 November 2003

A Memerable Day For A Seven Year Old
With the recent showing of ‘Band Of Brothers’ on TV, memories were rekindled of a fine young man and a wonderful day I experienced when I was seven years of age ( 1944 ), when I spent a day at the 506 regiment 101st parachute division ( Screeming Eagles ) stationed at Ramsbury Wiltshire.
The young man was Martin Collins a paratrooper who was engaged to be married to my much older sister.
One Saturday in the spring of 1944 I was taken from Swindon by army lorry to the camp at Ramsbury ( only Aldbourne was mentioned on the TV show ).
I was made very welcome by the soldiers who spoiled me with chocolate and’candy’. I was kitted out with a paratroopers hat and a canteen set, and queued up with the paratroopers for my dinner. I recall that I was given an extra helping of tart and custard. After this Martin took me back to the bell tent he shared with several other men, where I rested whilst he carried out his duties. It felt great to be called ‘Buddy’ by his comrades. Then it was time leave and I was taken back to Swindon in a ‘Jeep’, what an adventure!
Being dressed in short trousers, by the time we got to Swindon I had difficulty in standing upright, as my knees had become ‘frozen’ and locked up. What a wonderful day for a young boy in wartime.
On June the 6th of that year ( D Day ) Martin Collins and his ‘Buddies’ were parachuted into St Mere Eglise in France. He landed safely and got ‘dug in’, only to be shot by a snipper. He died on the 10th June — he was just 18 years old!
I have recently been trying to contact his family in the USA. But to date have had no luck.
Graeme Trim Owermoigne, Dorset.

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