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Partick Churchill, Legion d'Honneur, Croix de Guerre

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by The_Historian, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    "PATRICK Churchill, who has died aged 94, was a decorated war hero and one of the first to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.
    Patrick Samuel Churchill was born in Oxford on March 29, 1924, the middle of three children to Edwin and Edith Churchill.
    His father, an Oxford University Marshal, served with the Grenadier Guards in the First World War, seeing action at Ypres, the Somme and Passchendaele, and was seriously wounded on three occasions.
    Patrick grew up in Swinburne Road, Iffley, and after leaving school aged 14 worked at Morris Motors, taking a job making parts for Hurricanes and Spitfires.
    In his spare time, he volunteered as a messenger for the Air Raid Precautions organisation.
    At weekends he would cycle over to the Bomber Command training station at RAF Abingdon in the hope of bagging a seat in a bomber as it flew around Oxfordshire.
    With his sights set on becoming a fighter pilot, Mr. Churchill volunteered for the RAF in 1941 aged 17.
    Although he was accepted after passing the medical, he was informed that he would have to wait until he turned 18 before being called up.
    Fearful the war might be over before he’d had a chance to ‘do his bit’, he enlisted instead in the Royal Marines.
    In the event, he received his call-up papers shortly after his 18th birthday in March 1942 and travelled down to Portsmouth.
    After six weeks basic training and further advanced training, he was posted to the Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation (MNBDO) stationed in South Wales, as an instructor in aircraft recognition to a searchlight battery.
    Worried the war was passing him by, he volunteered for ‘Hazardous Service’ and was posted to Royal Marine Armoured Support Group.
    Equipped with specially adapted Cromwell tanks called Centaurs, this unit’s task was to provide fire support to the assault troops as they established a beachhead on the Normandy coast.
    The unit landed in the first wave of the assault on Juno Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and Mr Churchill’s tank was the only one to make it off the beach unscathed. By the end of the day it had fought its way five miles inland."
    www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/16350705.obituary-decorated-war-hero-patrick-churchill/
     
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