BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

14 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

You are browsing in:

Archive List > World > France

Contributed by 
CSV Action Desk/BBC Radio Lincolnshire
People in story: 
Raymond Cotton
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
19 August 2005

I signed up in Romford Essex in 1943

I trained at Limpstone in Devon as a marine.
I then volunteered for the Commandos and did intensive training in North Wales.

We sailed from Southampton for Normanby we were heavily sniped before landing, we eventually had to abandon the landing craft and wade in waist deep, the sea was horrendously rough. Once ashore we hid under the sea wall until we assumed it to be clear and then moved inland. We had to hide in ditches where German aircraft machine gunning was very low.
We fought daily and at night until we reached our destination liberation villages as we went.

We lived in slit trenches in the ground. Totally food self sufficient, mostly stealing and generally living off the land.

The French people helped us if they had food to spare.

Our wishing facilities were primitive we had one biscuit tin of water between five people (it was wonderful to be the first) despite the lack of facilities we as Commandos kept as much pride and respect as was (possible and always managed to keep clean and presentable.

Because of the way we travelled, obscure and a lot at night we had to dispose of our greatcoats and tin hats leaving us vulnerable but wearing out green berets with pride.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

France Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy