Personal Account – Warrant Officer F E Wright B coy, 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regt

Personal Account – Warrant Officer F E Wright B coy, 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regt

In many accounts it is stated that the 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, with the exception of 1 officer and 13 men, were destroyed (at Cassel in May 1940), including all of B Company. As a member of 'B' Echelon of that unit at the time, 2 officers (Q.M. and M.T.O.) and about 60 others mainly Q.M. staff and drivers luckily got away. The echelon on about 28th-29th May were about 6 miles from Cassel and fortunately for us the Germans did not know we were in the vicinity. When however the order for retirement was given a small party consisting of myself (then the M.T. Sergeant) and four men were absent from the area. Consequently, we fought our way out through the woods, our vehicle static at the time overrun, eventually an officer and a small party of 1st Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry came to help. Upon our return to England, on our joint recommendation he was awarded the MC.

Our small party later fought for 24 hours with the East Lancs on the Bergues Canal, we always said they only got rid of us when the rations came up. However, my point is that we were trained infantry soldiers we fought as Glosters, most of us had seen service in India, Singapore, Palestine before 1939.

So the unit comprised of 3 officers and about 80 men when we reformed at Ross-on-Wye, there were not many dry eyes when the roll was called. But we re-formed and landed on 'D' Day with 56 Independent Brigade and finished the long slog in Berlin in 1945.

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