....."In Febuary 1939 at the age of
18 and with the prospect of war looming I joined the Royal Artillery T
A in Swindon Wiltshire.This was on the advice of my friends uncle who
explained that by being a field gunner I was more likley to come out of
the war alive as our job would be two or three miles behind the front
line, firing over the top of our infantry into the enemy, for which I
have been extremly grateful to him.
I was called up for service on the 1st September 1939 the war declared
on the 3rd, my first three nights were spent in the Goddards Arms Hotel,
Old Town, Swindon,
We slept on the floor with matingbut no blankets or pillows. I was able
to pull the matting over myself but woke up during the night with a thumping
headache due my boots being my pillow.
We only had broom handles to go guard with which continued for several
weeks. It shows how well we were ready for war. We had only two old WW1
guns but no ammo.
We should have had 24 guns (25pds.) but this did not come about for six
We moved from the drill hall Swindon to Tisbury Wilts. It was whilst I
was there that I went down with poisoning in my arm after being innoculated
and vacinnated. The medical staff was unable cure it and suggested that
should be discharged, there was no way I was going to have that so I ask
if i could go home and see my own doctor, it was agreed but if he could
not get me better within three weeks then I would have to leave the army.
( I didnt want that, and What! miss all the excitment, that was not for
My doctor cured me in two weeks and them told the army that I should spend
another week for obversation
So after that I was back to the Army.
At the end of the war I went back into civilian life and run a successful
landscaping business for many years.
Upon retiring in 1986 I started to think of all those lads who failed
to return hom and felt an urge to make sure that the younger generation
remember them. I was a member of my Old Comrades Association. It was then
I tried my hand at raising money for a Standard for my old Regiment and
I managed to raise 500 pounds in one month. I the knew that this was what
I wanted to do. I followed this with by asking Lord Bath of Longleat if
he would donate a piece of land (this is in my own part of the country,
Wiltshire) to allow a 43 tree plantation, an arberetum, to rember the
43rd Wessex, my regiment, to which he very readily and kindly agreed.
Five local tree nurseries gave the tress and they were planted in 1999.
I was then asked by the people of Normandy if I could find an old WW2
Churchill Tank, which could be placed on Hill 112 as a huge memorial to
all our war heroes. I raised £12, 500.00 in ten weeks and the tank
was put in place on July 10th 1999.
(The web site Hill112.com will tell you all about it, thanks to my great
friend Nigel Hay.)
Nowadays, I am actively involved in veterans affairs and the important
work of educating our schoolchildren, the new generation who have lived
without a World War. At 92 I am learning computer skills and was recently
featured in a Daily Mail article about both this and Hill 112.
Now, in 2012, I am raising funds for 112 Polar Trees to be planted
at Hill 112 - for the pleasure of future generations.
I am determined to make this a success - so all contibutions are most
welcome. Please help keep the memory of Hill 112 alive! "
Please contact me if you would like to make
a donation, by E Mail
or by telephone 01227 785 227 - or click the "Donate"