- Contributed by
- People in story:
- George Arthur DAVIES
- Location of story:
- Church Stretton, Shropshire; France; Belgium & Germany
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 09 June 2005
George Arthur Davies
I was 19 years old when war was declared in September 1939. I worked on the family farm with my father in the small village of Sheinton in the heart of Shropshire. After being called-up I was sent for 6 months training at Church Stretton, Shropshire, then I was transferred to Sandwich in Kent.
Whilst there I was taken ill with a perforated appendix, I was transferred to the Naval Hospital where I was treated very well. I convalesced at Bedford and when recovered I joined the 59th Anti-Tank Regiment at St Leonards-on Sea near Hastings. I stayed with the Regiment until I landed in France in 1940.
The first battle I was in was "Battle Hill 112"; I lost many good pals and the best sergeant I ever had - Sgt Smith - he was brilliant. I travelled through France and Belgium during the War. When we invaded the lovely town of Nymagen I lost 2 motor bikes.
I was not involved in the Battle of Arnhem but I helped to evacuate the troops. I lost another good sergeant at this time - Sgt Jones.
We were sent to Germany to Belsen Camp - I saw things there I never want to see again -I couldn't believe what man could do to man. I find it very difficult to talk about this time. I became so traumatised that I couldn't carry on, I had a nervous breakdown I was taken off dispatch riding. Even to this day I cannot watch films about the War.
When I was in France I saw Winston Churchill, with his cigar and his black hat - he didn't wear a tin hat. He stood on top of a Land Rover and gave a speech about the War. We then heard Vera Lynn sing.
I have three medals the King George VI War Medal 1939-45, the France and Germany Star and the 1939-1945 Star.
After the War when I was demobbed I returned to the family farm in Shropshire. I worked on the farm until retiring and selling the farm in 1999; I lost my wife Pat, a year later in May 2000. After suffering several strokes I now live for my loving family. I have three wonderful daughters; Monica, Marion and Julie. Six delightful grandchildren - five grandaughters; Sarah, Abigail, Georgina, Bekki and Ellie May and one grandson James -who keep me going.
Story: This story has been submitted to the People's War Site by Muriel Palmer(volunteer) of Age Concern Shropshire Telford & Wrekin on behalf of GA DAVIES (author) and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
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