An account of Army Life During World War II
experienced by Bernard Welburn

last updated November 10, 2010



 

Epochs and Theatres of War
please follow the links below to visit each part of the story.

PRE-WAR

Northern France
Italy

 

Historical context entries entered by myself are in YELLOW
Original diary entries are in WHITE

Activities in Northern France
Date Location Comments
10 May 40 Northern France Germans invade France and begin Blitzkrieg LINK
22 May 40 Southampton, UK Embarkation for France on "Lady of Mann"
23 May 40 Cherbourg Disembarked. Stayed in transit camp for the day. Entrained in cattle trucks at 8pm for unknown destination.
24 May 40 Buille De-trained 4am
24 May 40 Villeniueve-en-Chevrie Taken in Lorries to RAC Base Depot, town evacuated day before. stayed all day, had a good rest and some food.
  Buille Returned to Buille by lorries and entrained in cattle trucks for some unknown destination.
25 May 40 Neuve-Chappelle arrived at 4am, station had been wrecked by German bombing on previous day. Marched single file for 6 miles to the Foret-du-halle
26 May 40 Foret-du-halle arrived 0730, rested, ate and slept all day. "A" and "B" Echelons came in. Same evening "A" Echelon went up the line, we in "B" moved back to [?] Rest of time spent interrogating refugees.
  Foret D'eaury? Poured with rain all night.
26 May 40   Moved into harbour? as soon as day break came
27 May 40 Dunkirk Allied forces begin evacuation in Operation Dynamo LINK
27 May 40   Bombed on Monday afternoon, no casualties.
30 May 40 Haute Foret-D'eu - Blangy Moved out, joined "A" echelon in the region of Blangy
30 May 40 Aienville Sent up with office truck at night and found it was a wrong order. Headed back.
31 May 40   0800 Met up with "A" echelon, stayed in that harbour? for a week.
4 Jun 40 Dunkirk Last of Allied forces evacuated LINK
8 Jun 40   Most of June spent in office work as much as possible, laundry etc. Luckily no bombing was experienced in this area.
8 Jun 40 Catenay Moved out, travelled all night and arrived at new billets at an old chateau, stayed until following Friday.
10 Jun 40 not known Tanks moved up line and A&B Echelons moved to a forest infested with mosquitos.
10 Jun 40 Neuf Chatel
( Foret de Perseigne)
arrived 1700. Orders arrive to make for Brest?
11 Jun 40   area of wood we were in was bombed and machine gunned but no casualties.
14 Jun 40 Operation Ariel commences, evacuating remaining troops in France through western and southern ports LINK
16 Jun 40 Brest Drove hard, reached Brest 0300. All got on boat "The Manx Maid" and awaited time of departure. 2 German planes bombed and machine gunned the harbour while another laid mines in mouth of estuary. Minesweepers went out and channel was cleaned by 4 in the afternoon. Sailed at 5.30
17 Jun 40 Plymouth, Devon, UK arrived at Plymouth 0600 after a rough voyage.
17 Jun 40   After a meal provided by the YMCA we entrained for, what to us was an unknown destination & our hopes ran high when we heard rumours that it might be Ringwood or even Luton, our original Billets. But the worst fears were confirmed and we detrained at Warminster.
17 Jun 40 Longbridge Waiting chara's took us to Longbridge Deverill Camp. We sytayed overnight and all the next day.
18 Jun 40 Warminster Transported to Warminster, entered a canvas camp on the site of the peace time TA Camp.
20 Jun 40 Warminster Men came rolling in from sundry places where they had arrived on evacuation from the B.E.F.
25 Jun 40 Operation Ariel ends, all troops that could be, are evacuated from France. LINK
25 Jun 40 Warminster Within a week, the Bn. was more or less organised and under way again.
30 Jun 40 Old Dean Common,
Camberly
Moved to a camp
3 Jul 40 Bordon Occupied and empty house and were fairly comfortable.
3 Aug 40 Thursley Common,
Farnham
Moved to canvas camp, terrible dusty place.
12 Aug 40 Warned for embarkation to tropical climate.

 

Epochs and Theatres of War
please follow the links below to visit each part of the story.

PRE-WAR

Northern France
Italy

 




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These pages are (C) Andy Welburn 1996-2009. I cannot be held responsible if the information supplied herein results in a blown monitor/power supply/house fuse/mind. Oh yeah, have a nice day :)