Personal Account of Ronald Avey, 2nd Battalion, the Essex Regiment

Personal Account of Ronald Avey, 2nd Battalion, the Essex Regiment

I can through the mellowing mists of time remember, on the outskirts of Amiens, a nun sitting almost upright on the kerb stone dead, clasping a frightened, crying, six-year old girl. The nun was unmarked, apparently unscathed, how did she die? Of the gallant gunners, taking it in turns to milk the inflated uddered cows, fire their guns and dish out the milk to the refugees (and us!).

We were historically recorded as being the first British regiment to be dive bombed in France at Fromelles. I can remember too, troops dumping loads of blanco from NAAFI stores, into a canal. Then on reaching the beaches, the search for food, the desire for rest, my mate and I walking into a pitch black abri and sleeping with corpses, running like hell next morning when we found out! Or of the group of footballers who cursed the Luftwaffe to hell for peppering their ball – never even querying about casualties! And of my personal achievement in having the best winnings of my life playing three card brag, only to find when I did get home that most of it couldn't be changed.

There was excitement after a few days on the beach, when a "Lizzie" (Lysander) came over. The whole mass of troops seemed to erupt – "at last those b------s from the RAF have arrived", "hooray for the RAF", when all of a sudden, she dropped a couple of "eggs" to share between us. It was a plane Jerry had apparently captured, and was using to his own account. A "Froggy" soldier brought down a Jerry plane who got too daring and too close, then coolly shot the pilot to bits as he landed in the drink, with a light machine gun at that! Finally the officer, whoever he was, who, whilst Dunkirk, the beaches, and the surrounds were virtually as bright as daylight, with the oil and gas tanks ablaze, ships afire, verey lights exploding, kept walking up and down the promenade screaming "put those bloody fags out."

Thanks to the rear guard of the BEF, the Royal Artillery who carried on firing against terrific odds, so that we might escape. Thanks to the Royal Navy and the "Little Ships" that got us off.


This website may use Cookies
This website may use Cookies in order to work better. At anytime you can disable or manage it in your browser's settings. Using our website, means you agree with Cookies usage.

OK, I understand or More Info
Cookies Information
This website may use Cookies in order to work better. At anytime you can disable or manage it in your browser's settings. Using our website, means you agree with Cookies usage.
OK, I understand