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"MY WAR AS A DISPATCH RIDER IN MAINLAND EUROPE"

by AgeConcernShropshire

Contributed by 
AgeConcernShropshire
People in story: 
George Arthur DAVIES
Location of story: 
Church Stretton, Shropshire; France; Belgium & Germany
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A4170250
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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British Army Category
Germany Category
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