Veteran Stories:
Arthur Boyle

Army

  • Arthur Boyle, after joining the First Hussars in 1938.

    Arthur Boyle
  • Arthur Boyle on Parade with the First Hussars calvary regiment in 1939.

    Arthur Boyle
  • Arthur Boyle during training with the First Hussars in 1939.

    Arthur Boyle
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"Oh yeah, we were under fire. The fact that the general plane went over us and strafed us. I said to my operator, it’s raining."""

Transcript

Our landing craft went up to the beach, it was supposed to go a little further, but it didn’t. But when I went off of the tank, I went in [to] about eight feet of water. [It was] pretty near to the top of the tank, practically... We crawled up and we got on the beach. And when we got on there, we had a tapes, like cordite [explosive materiel], all around the turret to keep the water out, you know, around. And we had a cord, cordite cord, around there. When we got in on the land, we were supposed to press a button, the driver [would] press a button and blow that all up. But we were so rough and so long and that, I got on the beach and the thing didn’t blow; it wouldn’t work. And then I couldn’t move the turret nor the gun, or anything else. So I had to get out and cut it off. I had a [British Fairbairn-Sykes] commando knife and I had to get out, and cut that all the way around the turret just to be able to move the gun.

Oh yeah, we were under fire. The fact that the general plane went over us and strafed us. I said to my operator, "it’s raining." [laughs]

I can’t tell you what was going on. We had all of the navy out in the [English] Channel behind us; the battleships firing in. We had artillery on barges firing over the top of us and then we had the Germans firing over us too; and the airplanes overhead dropping their bombs. That’s what we went in on, like that. After we got in, of course, the regiment [6th Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars)] was all split up in different parts; and the sergeant and I, the two of us, we got in and we took off inland. We head right up through the country with no bother at all. We drive right up through. We drove up; and I think we were up pretty near to Caen by the time we stopped because we were looking down ̶ we could see a village, but there was nobody there. Our regiment wasn’t there. There was nobody there at all. Everything – quiet and peaceful. So we’d seen a German ambulance pass, but we didn’t fire at that. Then, we decided we were too far cause there was nobody around. We had lost our regiment, like we hadn’t anybody, so we turned around and we came back and we run into, I think it was The [Royal] Winnipeg Rifles or The Regina Rifles [Regiment] – I think it was the Winnipegs. They had cut the railroad track from Caen to Bayeux. That was one of their objectives: get to Caen. It was getting night, practically dark then, and they had hauled down there for the night, so we joined them, the two of us; and they were very glad to see us with two tanks there with them for the night, so we spent the night there. The next morning we came back a little further and connected with our regiment.

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