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Sword Beach to Bremen., A Veterans tale. Sapper

Discussion in 'Honor, Service and Valor' started by sapper, Sep 18, 2002.

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  1. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    Earlier I described our part in the Market Garden Operation. And the route. Escaut canal. Weert, Marheeze, Euvelwegen, Helmond Etc
    Being this was a loop out to the east of the main thrust Northwards, it had its own character. One was the rumour that the road behind us had been cut, and our supplies cut.
    With the result that we had to live on captured German rations……Bloody great big tins of herrings, similar in shape and size to the anti tank Teller mines. No cigarettes. No toilet paper to wipe out delicate little backsides… All we could get was captured German cigars, cabbage leaves surrounded by a cigar leaf….. YUK .We even tried home grown tobacco leaf we found and wrapped them in paper. Bloody hell fire, it nearly saw us off …..Deadly…
    The grub was so bad that it even made our interminable Soup and Biscuits palatable…

    After Mook, inden,and the surrounding areas, we set off for operation Aintree of sad memory…Having been wounded back in Normandy, I now had this naïve idea that fate had given me my share, and that now I was safe…. Idiot!

    The war in Limburg was probably the worst yet, and my war was shortly to come to a violent and disastrous end.

    I hope that you that have shown the patience to read these postings found it at least a little interesting.
    sapper
     
  2. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    Roll of Honour Corps of Royal Engineers. Third British Infantry Division.
    Watson C.W. Captain Hermanville war cem
    Johnson R.H L/Sgt Ranville cem
    Herkes J Dvr Hermanville war cem
    Rimes F.A L/Cpl Ditto
    Brown R.H Sgt La Deliverande war cem
    Doody A.Cpl Ditto
    Horseley G.A Spr Hermanville war cem
    Neads L.G L/Cpl La Deliverande war cem
    Christian A.E.V M.I.A.
    Hargreaves Spr La Deliverande war cem
    Baker G.E Spr St Charles de Percy war cem
    Burrage W.G.Sgt Bayeux war cem
    Cooper O Spr Ditto
    Harrison L .Spr Overloon war cem
    Barnes V.J. Spr Mierlo war cem
    Bickerton G.Spr Ditto
    Ankin S. Spr Overloon war cem
    Dapkus K Spr Ditto
    Davies G.C Spr Mierlo war cem
    Newland S. Spr Ditto
    Sharp. J.H. Spr Ditto
    Malster F Spr Ditto
    Plaistowe G Spr Venraij war cem
    Spark E. W. Leiut Aalten Gen cem (Berkenhove)
    Sutton C.J. Spr Ditto.
    Craven F.H.D. Lieut Hermanville war cem
    Stout W Sgt Hermanville war cem
    Bingham E.A.Dvr Ditto
    O'Brien J.J. Spr La Deliverande war cem
    Gafney G.F.T Spr Cambes en Plaine war cem
    Waby J.H Spr M.I.A.
    Read J.F Spr Hermanville war cem
    Hussey A Spr La Deliverande war cem
    Paris R.M. Sgt La Deliverande war cem
    Armstrong F Spr Cambes en Plaine war cem
    Connelly J Spr Ditto
    Kerr P Spr Ditto
    Farnell J.Spr Hermanville war cem
    Faulks A.T. L./Cpl St Charles de Percy war cem
    Fishwick A Spr Bayeux war cem
    Hamilton J Spr St Charles de Percy war cem
    Smaje F Dvr Ditto
    Wilcockk W L/Cpl Ditto
    Dobson G Spr Bayeux war cem
    Leonard B L/Cpl UK 7686 Old Monkland cem Coatbridge Lanarkshire Scotland.
    Edgeley F.Spr Overloon war cem
    Broughton C.E L/Cpl Mierlo war cem
    Rusell J Spr Overloon war cem
    Owen R.E Spr Kleve war cem
    Dixon E.L. Becklingen war cem
    Allmark S Spr Kleve war cem
    Tilley L Dvr Bayeux war cem 15Fld park co R.E.
    Meaken H.O Dvr Brussels town cem 2 bridge platoon .R.E.
    Biltcliffe D.L/Spr Hermanville war cem
    Cox L.W.Spr Ditto
    Gallagher T.E L/Cpl M.I.A.
    Jenkinson G.H.Spr UK 6631 Walsal Bloxwich cem
    Litchfield W. Spr Hermanville war cem
    Wood E Spr Ditto
    Dodd G.W.Spr Ditto
    Mills W Dvr Ranville war cem
    Eldesr A Spr la Deliverande war cem
    Washington J.C. L/Cpl Hermanville war cem
    Smith T. Spr Banneville la Campagne war cem
    Davies J.H.Spr Mierlo war cem
    Mathers W.M. Spr Maarheeze war cem (Old mate)
    Barnard J.K Lieut Overloon war cem
    Rees E.H. Sgt Ditto
    Watts T.J. Sgt Ditto
    Gallagher P. Sgt Brussels town cem
    Steele R. Spr Kleeve war cem
    Webster S Spr Ditto
    Campbell R. Spr Ditto
    Hamill P. Spr Ditto
    Hepple T Spr Rheinberg war cem
    Kyle H. L/Cpl Ditto
    Little T.H.Spr Ditto
    There are more casualties than those shown here for this company. 246 Field Company R. E. Unfortunately I have not been able to find them all. The list published here, was supplied by the War museum at Overloon, in Holland of all places!

    Les Fleurs de Normandie.

    On Norman soil, they fought and died.
    Now young men's graves in rows abound.
    In Mother Earth's arms, now sanctified,
    The fragrant flowers of our youth are found.

    And yet, to rise again, as in a distant song.
    Small voices that call, in dead of night.
    Fleeting figures only in our dreams belong.
    Alas, they fade, in dawn's bright light.

    I see them yet, a sad, forgotten throng.
    Shadowed, lost faces, marching on.
    Over dusty roads, and high golden corn.
    The call of long lost friends are borne.

    We must not forget, the flowers of our days,
    Lest they lay unquiet, in numbered graves.
    For we lived, and loved, and life was sweet.
    Still yet, for us, awaits our last retreat.

    Flowers of our youth, now long since past.
    Our sweet autumn days are fading fast.
    We, who are left, flowered in our prime.
    Enjoyed golden moments, on borrowed time.

    Remember our friends, who passed this way.
    For all our tomorrow's, they gave their today's,
    On Utah and Omaha, Juno, Sword and Gold.
    Oh! Dear Lord! See that they grow not old.

    B.R.Guy. June. 1944 / 2004
     
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  3. sonofacameron

    sonofacameron Member

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    Some of Sapper's mates, at rest in Overloon cemetery Holland.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    Thank you so much. Sgt Rees was my platoon Sgt. One of those that perished when they lifted new mines in their hundreds and the whole lot blew. I had just left and was about 50 to 100 yards away when the explosion occurred.
    Sppaer
     
  5. Gringo

    Gringo Member

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    My Grandfather was with 246 Fld Coy RE, I have a hand drawn map, which I have framed, with the names of some of the Officers and soldiers mentioned in this forum on it, specifically those decorated for bravery. I also have a few photos taken during training and later on in the War.

    Ex Sapper
     
  6. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    I would like to learn those names.Cheers
     
  7. Gringo

    Gringo Member

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    Hi Sapper

    These are the names and ranks and awards mentioned on the map:

    Maj D J Willison MC
    Lt CHA Boyse MC
    L/Cpl D Boulton MM
    Spr R F Ellis MM
    Cpl H Field MM
    Cpl K E Haughins MM
    Cpl R Turner MM
    Cpl G F N Hall MM
    Dvr J Hartley BEM
    Lt A Heal DdG

    Mention in Despatches

    Maj N J Gell MC
    Lt C H A Boyse
    Sgt J G Davies
    Sgt P Gallagher ( Died)
    Spr J R Royle
    Spr J Harrison

    The map was drawn by L/Cpl Alexander Houston

    I hope this helps.
     
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  8. Gringo

    Gringo Member

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    Sorry, Lt A Heal should read CdG.
     
  9. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    Thanks very much....Yes I knew all of them. Lt C H A Boyse was my platoon officer. (2 platoon, formerly Lt Digger Trench's platoon) Joined us later, came with the reputation of being one of the best young officers in the Third Div. He was the officer that informed me that I had been awarded the C In Cs commendation. (Monties Certificate) while we were harboured north of Venraij at a battered SS training camp for the Dutch youth.

    The one that I am still waiting for.

    I attended a memorial service at Studland church for Colonel Ferguson RE. He served in one of the D day assault companies RE.
    There was a gathering at the Studland Hotel after, where all the RE big wigs attended. While in church (crowded) they found a chair for an elderly white haired old Gentleman in the aisle. He was suffering from Parkinson's or a similar affliction.

    Later at the hotel reception the Chief Engineer asked me what company did you serve with. "246 Fd co RE" he then pointed out this white haired old fellow saying he was your officer! He was Lt Chas Boyse.... sadly there was very little communication between us So I never hot to ask "Why did I never get my commendation" I was totally unable to hold a conversation with him.... He was a fine officer when he commanded my Platoon.
    My word how the world spins and circulates bringing back those times.
    PS if that map was the route we followed across from Normandy? i have one here somewhere
     
  10. Gringo

    Gringo Member

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    Yes it says D Day to VE Day in the top right hand corner, with the RE Cap badge, and flashes in the bottom right hand corner. I am glad the names mean something to you. It is such a shame that that should happen to people. Would you have know my grandfather his name was Les Windsor from Cardiff.
     
  11. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    Must have, but cannot recall afetr all these years
    Bett wishes
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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    Hi Gringo

    Click on the link for 246 Field Company War Diary during 1944

    246 Field Company, Royal Engineers War Diary 1944 - World War 2 Talk

    Enjoy :)
     
  13. Gringo

    Gringo Member

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    Hi Drew

    Thanks for the link, much appreciated.

    Gringo
     
  14. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    A little saddened to see so very few France and |Germany stars in the Cenotaph parade to day. Why I am surprised I don't know ..They are like me very old and frail now Bless them!
     
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  15. Fury 1991

    Fury 1991 New Member

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    Sapper all of you were/are amazing and you have forever left your mark on history.
     
  16. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    Hi CBIWV.
    The whole perception of warfare has changed a great deal from the days when we were active. There is no difference in the bravery of our young men, they are as good... though probably better than their predecessors..... But what is seen as deeds of bravery now, were more commonplace many years ago. Carrying out deep penetration into enemy lines these days would probably win you a gallantry medal of some sort. Where in the days of 67 years ago much of what we did was commonplace.

    That is no way detracts from the bravery and fortitude of our young men. I am sure that faced with the same situation, our youngsters would be as good as..... but a hell of a lot better than we were......
     
  17. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    Have any of you watched this TV programme? I did where I could. Talk about being taken back to my youth...More than a little stressful as the scenes brought back memories.

    I have been asked why I cannot forget.... Why I am not prepared to be friends with our former enemies.... That programme says it all. For the life of me I cannot forget the evil things they did When it was not necessary. The Camps. Orador sur glan. a thousand other atrocities........
    So what did you think of the programme?
     
  18. sapper

    sapper British Normandy Veteran, Royal Engineers

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    On freeview, or sky, the Yesterday channel is running a program "After The war was won"
    This old buzzard will be there for all to see. Lord Help you!
    Yesterday Channel Tuesday the 29th of November at 9 pm.
     
  19. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Brian,
    I hope all is well with you, your posts are one of my first posts when I log on. You are missed.
    John
     
  20. scipio

    scipio Member

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    Me too - hope you are well Sapper.

    Did you appear on the Yesterday Channel?
     

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