George BattsGeorge Batts MBE, Leg d’Hon, talks candidly about his life as a Corporal with the Royal Engineers. By his own admission he was daft to ‘volunteer’ for a posting that appeared in the build up to D-Day. You might recognise George as he’s invested a huge amount of personal energy and time as Patron of the Normandy Memorial Trust.
George Batts – Film 1George was 17 when he first volunteered to the army. A Colonel ad-vised him that he would make a great Surveyor in the Engineers. Its not quite how things panned out
George Batts – Film 2George made the dreadful mistake of volunteering for a Special du-ties posting. In fact the training [mines and explosives] was physically very demanding, brilliant fun and in a short space of time George is an expert. In May 1944 George heads back to his home county of Sussex as prepa-rations for Operation Overlord begin in earnest.
George Batts – Film 3George talks about his personal weapons and his feelings as the realisation of what lays ahead sinks in. Then its onto a Landing Ship Infantry with Assault Craft hanging off the side. George is below decks waiting for the storm to subside.
George Batts – Film 4George describes in detail his memories of this momentous day. Before he even makes it to the beaches he has to get from the ship into his Landing craft. Some of those around him were less fortunate in getting across.
George Batts – Film 5George goes ashore at Gold Beach. His only concern is to get off the beach as fast as possible. Then he gets to work clearing mines before hunger gets the better of him and he and a mate are almost captured stealing chickens .
George Batts – Film 6George talks about the terrible fear he felt on Guard duty, you were straining your ears all the time to see if there was any noise, youre hoping there wont be but youre expecting their will be and you dont want to miss it. Or lets face it, your dead
George Batts – Film 7George talks about the Mulberry Harbour and his work as a Stevedore. Their job was essential in order to keep the advancing front line re-plenished with everything from food and water to ammunition. As the Second front moves East so does the work and in September George heads to Ostend where hes much closer to the hostilities.
George Batts – Film 8George gets very up close and personal with the Maquis [the French Resistance].
George Batts – Film 9War ends in Europe but George is sent East to fight the Japanese. 3 days out of Malaya hes spared the fight when the H bombs are dropped. Post war and George eventually became National Secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association. This interview and the many others are down to his passion to ensure that the stories of men and women like himself are never forgotten. Thanks George, well ensure they live on for many, many years to come.
George Batts MBE, Leg d’Hon, talks candidly about his life as a Corporal with the Royal Engineers. By his own admission he was daft to ‘volunteer’ for a posting that appeared in the build up to D-Day.
You might recognise George as he’s invested a huge amount of personal energy and time as Patron of the Normandy Memorial Trust.