John Mitchell – Film 1John Mitchell was the only boy in his family. At 18 he had to do his duty and was called up in 1942. He also recalls watching the Clyde Blitz. John trained as a wireless operator in the Royal Signals.
John Mitchell – Film 2John continued with his trade training before being set to a holding battalion in a rat infested Methodist chapel in Kirkburton. Later he was sent to join 1 Corps Signals at Hunterston, Scotland. Whilst he was here they commenced with training in preparation for D-Day.
John Mitchell – Film 3John was moved down to the south coast and issued with French money and a phrase book in preparation for the off D-Day was on the horizon. John boards an LST Landing Ship Tank and recalls the journey across to Normandy. He landed on Juno beach with the Canadians.
John Mitchell – Film 4John was stationed in various places in Normandy including Douvres-la-Delivrande, Luc-sur-Mer and Falaise after the breakout. In this film he recalls breakfast with the Americans. They turned out to be a jumpy bunch especially when the V1s were flying over.
John Mitchell – Film 5John recalls the devastation of Caen. As he moves West theres a tangible sense that the tide as turning in favour of the Allies. He recalls signs of the terrible poverty in Holland.
John Mitchell – Film 6John spent the winter of 44/45 under canvas. In Holland he was stationed with the Commandos and remembers crossing the Seine against a big concentration of Germans. By this stage of the war the Germans were deserting in increasing numbers and John recalls an incident of mistaken identity with toward Scotsmen.
John Mitchell – Film 7During the trials for Belson John worked on the Berlin telephone exchange. He was up in Luneburg Heath when the war ended and remembers the celebrations. Soon after hes sent to the Middle East where he was with 2 ASSU or Air Support Signals Unit in El-Kasasin, Egypt.
John Mitchell – Film 8John reflects on the end of the war. Like many, he didnt want to talk about it. It was a case of move on with ones life and try to forget. , Fortunately he has retained a great memory and a German diary has helped. Thanks for your time John. And thanks also to Alastair Clyne for helping to co-ordinate the interview.