...a pictorial tribute
DY CHA 0035 Discharge f/c
Leslie Chaffe's discharge papers...1945
DY CHA 0036 Discharge b/c
Reverse side of discharge document
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My Dad said he had acted as a film 'extra' with the regiment and was paid an extra sixpence a day for it - the film 'The Captive Heart' - in it's opening titles - includes a credit to the 51st Highland Division so I guess this was the movie.
Ron Titterton (who was the Colonel's Wireless Gunner Operator) has informed me that the film was originally called 'Sacred Heart' but was changed to 'The Captive Heart'. It was filmed in Stada, 20 miles from Hamburg...Ron used to drive Jack Warner, Gordon Jackson and Michael Redgrave to the town every day...the weather was very cold and snowing constantly and Jack Warner had to plead with the 'lads' to co-operate...even the actor playing the camp commandant threatened to stop Mail and Red Cross Parcels to get them to help - all in good fun.
In Africa he picked up 'sand fly fever' and malaria - I can remember the fevers he suffered when I was a child - thankfully these became weaker and less frequent as time passed. He told me that it was so hot that they used to carry their beds outside and sleep there rather than in the barracks - to stop insects and beasties getting into the bed they would stand the bed-legs in tins of petrol!!!
A couple of other 'stories' that might have some basis in fact....
1) He was in one of the first scout cars through Belsen (could this be true or could it have been a POW camp somewhere else???).
2) They went through Pennamunder?? (where the Doodlebugs were launched).
3) He was with a group that got lost in the desert and he managed to lead them to safety - I think by heading for the sea!!
4) A group from the regiment unknowingly spent a night in a ruined house with Germans occupying the next room.
5) He thought he had been wounded in the foot but infact some red-hot shrapnel had merely sliced into the sole of his boot
Sand Stove - a simple stove was made from a large can with the top removed, it was filled with sand and petrol poured into it...they used this to heat up food and to 'brew up'.
He did say that he boxed for the regiment...there is a boxing match against the 7th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the 1st Battalion the Black Watch mentioned in 'The 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry' by Captain A J Jones.
I have a magnifying glass which (I'm embarrased to say) was 'liberated' along with a stamp collection, by my father, from a Burgermeister's house in Germany - my mother is still cross that she got a stamp album when everyone else was getting sewing machines and other useful items (my father was so upset with her reaction that he gave the album away!! - it would probably be worth quite a lot now!!).
Another item I have is a ring made from what seems to be alluminium - my father told me that this was made by a friend from the engine of a ME 109. Was anyone you remember making such things...?
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