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Five Years in the War

by Glenn Miller Festival 2004

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Archive List > British Army

Contributed by 
Glenn Miller Festival 2004
Location of story: 
Dunkirk, North Africa, Italy
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 September 2004

I was called up when I was 17, in 1936, into the army. We were in the advance party to France in 1939. I was evacuated from Dunkirk on board H.M.S Daffodil, having swum out 6 times before I got a boat. We had to climb up netting to get on the boat which was absolutely crammed. The boat was firing its guns, and being fired upon, and the planes were dropping bombs. We went to Dover. I got off the boat with only a shoe and half of my trousers missing. We were taken to a transit camp to be seen by the doctors.
We were transferred to Portland Bill to long range guns. From thereon, after 6 months all the men that came back from Dunkirk were transferred to anti-tank guns and went on a big convoy to North Africa. We fought our way through North Africa to Tunis. After a short time there we were sent to Italy. I was at Monte Casino. I was away from home for 5 years. After the war finished we were sent to Australia, looking after high officials of the German army. We were guarding them at Klaggenfurt. I got a month’s leave when we were brought back to England.
I had driven all the tanks; Valentine, Crusader and the Sherman.
I was demobbed after the war and was given a Demob suit- but needed a shoehorn to put the trousers on.

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