In the thick of action in France
Do you want to advertise in this supplement? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice A former soldier has a rare claim to fame as a result of his experiences during the Second World War. Community editor Mort Smith went to meet the veteran to
and French troops to fall back towards the coast, Raymond joined the somewhat disorganised throng heading for Dunkirk.
“We weren’t too sure where we were going,” he says. “We just hoped we were heading in the right direction.”
He recalls the troops destroying their equipment so as not to leave anything of value for the advancing Wehrmacht.
Eventually, he joined the tens of thousands of exhausted servicemen on the beaches around the seaport waiting to be rescued by one of the fleet of ships, both military and civilian, that were ferrying troops back to Britain.
He says: “I don’t really remember how it happened but I got shot in the leg and when our turn came to be rescued, I had to be carried off the beach.
“When I got back to England, I spent five weeks in hospital and was then sent back to the same unit in the RASC.”
After four years of fighting, the invasion of Europe by the allies finally materialised and the RASC had a vital role in ensuring that the fighting units hitting the beaches had everything they needed to complete
After the war, Raymond went back to college to complete his education and qualify as an architect, which led to a successful career.
He still lives in Gerrards Cross, where he was born, and is an active member of the local branch of the Royal British Legion.
Do you have any family stories about experiences during wartime years? If you’d like to share them, email mort.smith@ trinitymirror.com.
RAYMOND Glenny was just 17 years old when the World War started. He was already in the Territorial Army and volunteered to join the fight against the Nazis. He was assigned to the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC), the institution responsible for organising transport and supply for all front-line units.
Now past his 90th birthday, Raymond, of Marsham Way, Gerrards Cross, has trouble recalling all the details of his service life but one thing he remembers quite clearly is that he was one of those lucky enough to be rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk in June 1940. He was also one of the first to land on the beaches of Normandy four years later.
On both occasions, he was shot and wounded.
Raymond says: “We were sent over to France with the British Expeditionary Force and, for several months, it was very quiet – the period known as the ‘phoney war’.”
When the Germans launched their Blitzkreig offensive in the spring of 1940, slicing through the allied lines in France and Belgium, and forcing British the job successfully. Raymond and his unit landed on Sword beach on June 6, 1944.
“I don’t remember being scared – we were told where to go and we just followed orders,” he says.
“I ran up the beach with the rest of my unit but I was shot in the right shoulder. I went on for a bit but eventually they decided I needed treatment and I was sent back to hospital.”
D-Day veteran Raymond Glenny
Landing craft unload vital equipment and materials during the D-Day landings
Left, the insignia of the Royal Army Service Corps