Part 11 : Behind Soviet Lines

Berlin was behind Soviet lines and we were only able to be there courtesy of a political agreement that was always in the balance. Our presence in the city along with the American and French in their respective sectors was always a risk as the tensions between East and West developed. As in all … [Read more...]

Part 10 : A New Life in Berlin and Hamburg

Berlin was built to impress and despite the fact that half the buildings were demolished on a massive scale there was still much in the very wide thoroughfares and open spaces that was to exhilarate me for the rest of my army service. It was only just a year since the conquest by the soviet army … [Read more...]

Part 9 : Occupation Forces

Only a few days after the war's end 508 company was moved to a static location into the centre of the narrow arm of Germany that leads to the border with Denmark called Schleswig Holstein. We occupied huts along the side of the Einfelder See which is a large lake a few miles north of Neumunster on … [Read more...]

Part 8 : The Final Conquest

508 Field Park Company was not one of those army units that could just pile into a column of tanks or trucks at a moments notice and be off. We kept and maintained much equipment used by all kinds of other royal engineer units, specially those dealing with bridging and road clearance and were … [Read more...]

Part 7 : The Last Winter Of The War 1944/45

It was hard to imagine that all around us in an area little larger than Kent hundreds of thousands of British and Canadian troops were massing for the final assault on Germany itself with a million and more Americans poised for 100 miles to the south. I never even thought about the enemy unless … [Read more...]

Part 6 : Into Holland

We were all relieved when at last orders came through for many of us to join various units and our bit of the war could begin. We knew that the enemy had been pushed back far and wide very quickly and we were not expecting to get into any real trouble but we knew nothing of the actual … [Read more...]

Part 5 : Journey Into Belguim

At last at the end of august I was on a truck heading inland to the city of Caen or rather where it had once stood . As many will know it was almost totally destroyed by the violent battles and bombing as the allies strove to break out from the bridgeheads. The roads were also impassable and it … [Read more...]

Part 4 : Into France

One august evening when the weather was thankfully fair I was transported with about 150 others to Southampton docks to board a small steam packet called Ben McDwui that in peacetime had plied between Liverpool and The Isle of Man. None of us belonged to a unit yet and as members of a … [Read more...]

Part 3 : Into Battle

This was not the kind of battle that was being fought over in Normandy and I quite enjoyed it because I felt useful, but there were no age limits on this side of the channel and babies and children were killed along with the rest on a daily basis. In July 44 I had been taking part in an exercise … [Read more...]