by Dorothy Phyllis Pearson
My own father served in the British Royal Artillery. HAROLD ROBINSON, 876873, SERGEANT 88th Battery/14th Anti-Tank Regiment of the Royal Artillery.
He was in Belgium when the War broke out and had the responsibility of getting his men back to Dunkirk. Fraught with the danger of being caught they did reach Dunkirk, only to find they had a long wait to be rescued. It was 48 hours, most of which were spent either playing soccer on the beach or diving for cover when the Germans flew overhead, bombing the beach. Dad said that many of the men took cover in the bomb craters, thinking a bomb would never hit the same place twice, but often they did.
On his way back to Britain, the boat he was in was hit with shrapnel, but all in the boat got home albeit with wet feet! In 1943 he was sent to North Africa, again with the Royal Artillery, this time as a Sergeant. 30 April 1943, Mum was notified that Dad had been injured in North Africa. The incident took place on 13 April 1943. He was at Medjez-el-Bob, Tunisia. His position was attacked, and he was hit by shrapnel. Many of his men were killed at that time.
After a time at Bougi Hospital [69th General] he was brought back to England on The Lady Nelson, a Canadian Hospital boat, [August 1943,] and landed at Havermouth, Bristol. Dad spent a while in the following hospitals before being discharged from the Army January, 1944. Nettley Hospital at Southampton, and at the Royal Wyrick at Warrington. He was discharged from the Army in 1944 being 70% disabled.