Ordnance Field Park, 11th Armoured Division
I was a 19 year old Territorial Army soldier in
1939 trained for the Home Defence in Searchlights. i was called
up on August 30th 1939. I finally left the army in June 1946 but
i had survived!
In late 1942 i joined a newly formed 11th Armoured Division. It
was obvious that our daily training was for the inevitable Invasion
of Europe. In early 1944 I remember General Montgomery addressing
us troops in Yorkshire. He was full of confidence and he told us
we were going to win.
In may 1944 our unit, Ordnance Field Park, moved all of our lorries
and equipment to Aldershot. We were a higly mobile unit of 70 personel
with small replacement equiment supporting front line troops.
Our journey from London to the docks in early June was memorable
one for the vast crowds waving flags and cheering us with shouts
of 'Good Luck Boys!' Once in the docks we were cut off from the
outside world and occupied ourselves in waterproofing our vehicles.
The trip across the Channel was a lucky one. The air seemed to be
controlled by the RAF and US planes, plus a huge armada of Allied
ships. Our landing on a sandy deserted beach was a dry one, the
tide was out.
A few German prisoners were sitting beside white
tapes indicating that it was a mine free zone. Plenty of noise ahead
of us from guns and shells whistling overhead from warships.
My memory is still fresh from the terrible stench of dead cattle
in the Normandy fields. After 4,5 years in uniform my real war was
The 11th Armoured Division, famous for its Black Bull insignia,
was widely recognised as being among the best armoured divisions
in north-west Europe during the Second World War.
John Frost is now widely known for having the UK's Premier International
newspaper archive service.
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