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Het dagboek van Bill Cheall (Green Howards) 
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Bericht Het dagboek van Bill Cheall (Green Howards)
Ik kwam vanavond deze website tegen met dagbroekfragmenten van Bill Cheall (Green Howards). Hierin beschrijft hij zijn ervaringen bij Duinkerke, D-Day en de opmars naar Duitsland. Ik zal hieronder een klein stukje plaatsen, met daaronder een link naar de website voor meer fragmenten.

D-Day Lead Up
A week after arriving at Bushfield we were on the move again, moving ever closer to the day we knew nothing about – yet – but felt that it could not be so far off. The new camp was a great contrast to Bushfield and we were not going to like it. Again, bell tents – always 1914-18 bell tents – which had been pitched among trees on stubbly grass and the ground was sandy, ideal for the colonies of ants which pestered us.

It was the second week of May 1944 and we were three miles from Romsey, on the Winchester Road, which passed about twenty yards from our tent. It was drizzling with rain much of the time and weapon cleaning was a nightmare, not exactly a tonic to put us in high spirits. For a few days at first, only routine work was done and we made a few hikes into Ringwood. We did not know at the time that we would be at Romsey until the great day but things were becoming very intriguing.

Around 23 May, outgoing mail was suddenly stopped and we were confined to camp. Yet I can recall that the camp was not guarded to keep us in; it was only a verbal order which was obeyed without any questions being asked. Anyway, who would want to go to the nearest pub and talk his head off and perhaps jeopardize the whole thing? In any case, all bus and railway stations would be watched by the Red Caps and they stood no nonsense; they would be on the look-out all over the south of England for any soldiers going AWOL. Significant events were taking place. During this period we had not been enlightened about any plans but we did not have to wait long. Our officers obviously knew more about the goings on than we did and they were not saying.

The planning was on an incredible scale. Officers explained everything we needed to know about our area. Considering the variety of training and exercises we had been undergoing during the past few weeks, it was obvious that we would be playing a significant role in any invasion, whenever it came. All kinds of questions were encouraged except about where it was going to be. It was a miracle how everything was kept so secret. Our lives would certainly depend upon security.

We also received an hour-long pep talk from our commanding officer about what was expected of us and the general state of the war situation, the intention being to boost our morale. However, there was no cause for concern. Our spirits were never better. The Green Howards were a grand bunch of lads from the North Riding of Yorkshire and no square head was going to have it all his own way when we were finally confronted with him.


A Green Howards War Time Memoir

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wo mei 23, 2012 9:39 pm
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