Saturday 24th September 1944

7th Day

Phonebook from 1942
Phonebook from 1942

" I poked my barrel through the whole that Smithy had left, and started firing at some movement I detected. Then a sudden terrific bang.... I thought this was my turn. My had was covered blood, and I withdrew the gun quickly. I wiped the blood away, expecting to find a serious injury as I could feel no pain at all, and discovered that a splinter had just penetrated a vein and this was causing the bleeding. A bullet had entered the flash eliminator that widens the barrel at the end, split open and by some miracle richoceted of again, instead of going into me""

(Arnhem Lift page 72)


"Somehow Jerry had crossed the road from the wood into the house. I hadn't seen it happen, so they might have come from the plantation in our rear. The first thing I saw were tops of German helmets moving along the space between the two houses.

(Arnhem Lift, page 75)

"I was just going to run down to fetch some more handgrenades to deal with this apparent wave of Germans, when a controlled and quiet voice called up to me:"What do you think you are doing? Trying to kill us all?". My heart stood still for a moment. Then I realised what I had been doing. I was certain that I had killed and injured many of them.

I told them that it was I who had thrown the grenades and where there any casualties? He said:"Oh it was you, was it? Thank God, you didn't know your job- at such short distance you should have waited four seconds until you threw; that gives another three seconds until  the grenade explodes. As it was, we lobbed them out of the window as fast as you threw them. They all exploded just outside and youre a fool not to have noticed it." I was never more grateful for being a fool!

(Arnhem Lift page 76)