Tuesday, July 05, 2005

UK Veteran tells how he celebrated VE Day on the run

Telegraph | News |

'He's so ignorant, he must be a limey!'

Following my third escape from captivity and the successful breaching of the disintegrating German frontline in Bavaria, I ended the war with the advancing American Third army.

The breaching of the American lines had been the tricky bit since every time I showed myself to a lager of Sherman tanks over the brow of a hill, I was fired at by trigger-happy GIs.

I succeeded in establishing my British nationality only after a shouted quiz concerning baseball and football matters of which I knew next to nothing.

Finally I was allowed forward with my hands in the air staring down the barrels of a multitude of guns with the words 'He's so ignorant he must be a Limey' fresh in my ears.

In the city of Regensburg, awaiting repatriation to Britain, I commandeered a German-occupied private house, magnanimously allowing the family to remain, though insisting they cook what food I could scavenge.

The European war ended while I was there with the mother doing her best to marry off her daughter to a victorious Englishman!

I was unable to oblige however since I had already pledged my troth to a Czech girl who had provided sustenance and comfort during my second escape attempt.

The lady is now my wife though it took half a decade and a 104-year prison sentence for breaching the Iron Curtain before I could bring her to Britain.
----Christopher Portway, Brighton

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