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15 October 2014
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The memories of Mr. Charles Albert Colburn of the Years 1939 to 1945

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > World > France

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Compiled by his daughter Mrs. I Woodgate
Location of story: 
Hastings, Hastings, Bradford, Normandy, Belgium
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
12 July 2005

This story was submitted to the Peoples War site by Jas from Global Information Centre Eastbourne and has been added to the website on behalf of Mrs Woodgate with her permission and she fully understands the site’s terms and conditions

These are his memories from notes he made about eight years Before- he died.

I received call up papers for the Armed Forces in 1940 shortly after my daughter was born. I had a medical at Hastings and passed A1.

For the first three weeks I was sent to Devizes. I moved on to Stoughton Barracks in Hastings for a number of months in the Queens Regiment.

I had put down for a driver rather than a carpenter as I thought this would be more interesting so was transferred to Bradford to join the Royal Army Service Corps and remained in the same Company.

We were picked to take part in the Normandy landings and stayed off shore on D-Day but landed the next day. Two or three merchant ships were brought close to shore to form a harbour. I was engaged taking ammunition to dumps. Ducks were used as well.

The Sixth Airborne came to our area and the sky was filled with planes towing gliders coming in to land. One Glider landed on a bridge over a river. (Dad wondered if a gentleman we knew took part in this as he was in the Airborne Regiment). All my Platoon (A) were camped in a field not far from the beach. This continued for a few weeks and then a bad storm stopped us working the boats for a while (Dad was always nervous of thunder storms afterwards).

We gradually moved further inland and I recall one incident. I called out to a man walking along the road and he answered in English as he had married an English lady.

We moved into Belgium and I stayed with a Belgium family. The docks at Antwerp were opened.

If I took a load of cigarettes I had a soldier with me who was armed with a rifle but, if I carried food, I never had an escort.

It was several months before I saw my wife.
(Dad was allowed home early at the end of the War because he was a carpenter but had to work where the Home Office sent him.)

He was born 6th July 1915 and died 12th March 2005.

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