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Memories of the War; some good, some bad

by CSV Action Desk/BBC Radio Lincolnshire

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Archive List > Royal Navy

Contributed by 
CSV Action Desk/BBC Radio Lincolnshire
People in story: 
Ted, Tom, Don Glenn; K Corke & Alan Glenn
Location of story: 
Dunkirk, Italy, Orkney Islands
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
30 August 2005

In 1939 my twin brother Alan and I were 9 years old with 3 older brother who went to war. Ted, the eldest, joined the Artillery in 1935. When war broke out he was made a sergeant and later a warrant officer. He was sent to France with a Field Gun Battery and was with them when they were driven back to Dunkirk. Ted was on the beach and in the sea for 4 days trying to keep out of the way of the German fighterplanes. He got picked up by one of our little boats that went to the rescue. He came home for a few days and was then sent to the Middle East as one of the Desert RAts in the 8th Army. I can still remember his army number - 863282. Ted returned home at the end of the war.

In 1940 Tom joined the Royal Marines. His was not a pleasant war. He served on HMS Zulu and HMS Sikh. The Sikh was sunk by enemy fire off the coast of Tobruk and Tom swam for 5 1/2 hours in the sea before he was picked up by the Germans and taken to Benghaji POW camp. He had to walk the length of Italy to get to the camp. Even the rats were eaten by the prisoners of war! During his 3 years there he was made clert and typist. He was in charge of a list for repatriation to which he added his own name. It was a lucky brake as it worked; he came home on a Red Cross hospital ship. He thenbecame bodyguard to Admiral Burrows. He came home in 1945 to find me and my twiin brother, Alan, group up.

Don, who was 9 years older than us, joined the RAF in 1940 as a wireless operator spending time at the RAF base in Scappa Flow in the Orkney Islands. THis was the home base for our fleet where a German submarine sank the Royal Oak. Don pasted the coded message from Winston CHurchill to sink the Bismark. He often told us about flights along the Norwegian coastline to check out the Germans. He came home in 1946.

Sadly, Ted, Tom and Alan have all died but Don, who is 85 years old, and I often talk aboutthose times and wondered how mum and dad got through it all.

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