Arthur 'Bunny' Johnson
Interview by Michael Thompson
Introduction by interviewer, Michael Thompson
Bunny Johnson was born in Wolverhampton on 26th March 1917.
He was 22 years old when war broke out in 1939.
This interview records his memories as a teenager and his time in the Royal Armoured Corps and Royal Tank Regiment during World War 2, including his visits to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in April 1945.
His Serial Number was 7905355 and he left the 9th Royal Tank Regiment as Lance Sergeant in May 1946.
"Take plenty of no notice ...."
The transcript and the video are in one part approximately 50 minutes long.
Recorded in Chorlton, Manchester on 21st February 2017.
[Pauses indicated by ....]
Time codes on film indicated by Hour:Minute:Second for ease of reference between transcript and film on YouTube.
Wartime Memories of Lance Sergeant Arthur 'Bunny' Johnson
Click for Video
Bunny: Well, I am Arthur Johnson .... I've always been known as 'Bunny' Johnson. I had that nickname before I went to school and it stuck with me ever since.
I was born in Jeffcock Road, Wolverhampton in 1917 and we stayed in that house until, across the road was some houses .... behind that was a farm .... and Wolverhampton Corporation purchased the farm and built 400 council houses on it.
When the council houses were built, we moved into one of them, 81 Skidmore Avenue and we have lived there ever since, or one of the family have lived there ever since.
Michael: Tell me a little bit about what your father did ....
Bunny: Oh, my father was a brass caster. In his earlier life, my mother worked at the same casting firm as he did and I think it is more than likely that's where they first met. But also, my mother's family had a corner shop in Wolverhampton and my father only lived four .... a few doors away from the corner shop ....
My father didn't go in the First World War. He was casting. I believe he was casting shells for Naval large .... large guns .... yes ....
Michael: Did he fight at all in the Second World War?
Bunny: Oh, no, my father died in 1928 when I was 11. And we were in Skidmore Avenue then, and .... my brother was .... my older brother was working .... Geoffrey .... he was 5 years older than I was. I had another brother, 2 years older than I was, and he was still at school as I was.
Michael: So, tell me a little bit about your childhood, this in the time perhaps leading up to the Second World War .... but .... you were in Wolverhampton, you must have gone to school there .... so, tell me about your childhood and any memories you think might be of interest.
Bunny: When they were building the houses across the road from where we lived, before I went to school, I used to go over and talk to them. And one of the gentlemen there used to give me a penny a week to call him 'Uncle'. And I was to get .... we had one shop in Jeffcock Road and I used to go shopping for them. And, when I went to the shops, more often than not, Mr Pitchford who owned the shop, when he'd give me .... he'd open a bottle of sweets and give me one for going .... and off I went!
As I say, I went to Bingley Street School and I was the last intake for people to leave at 14. After that, they left at 15, and then it went to 16, but it was 14 when I left school.
Michael: So, we move on a bit because you left school, what did you get up to after that?
Bunny: When I left school, I got a job at AJS Motor Cycles. In Wolverhampton in those days, we'd got Sunbeam Cars, AJS Motorcycles, Sunbeam Cycles and Motor Cycles, but that was another firm altogether. And on the other side of town, we'd got Great Western Sheds, ECC Electrical Company and in 1927, Goodyear came and built their factory, and Wolverhampton in those days was very prosperous. Wolverhampton had its own power station, its own water undertaking and a bus service, which all made a profit, which made the rates in Wolverhampton in those days quite low. The Gas Company was a private company, and the gas we had was made from coal .... and the coal .... and the factory was in Wolverhampton, so .... we had the profits of that as well.
Michael: What sort of work were you actually doing?
Bunny: I was in the office at AJS, but after about 12 months, it collapsed and I then had a job at Mander Brothers.
Mander Brothers was the .... the offices were in the centre of town and the factory was in Heathtown which was about a mile and a half away and I used to get there at 9 o'clock in the morning, pick up the orders, take them to Heathtown where the .... on a cycle .... deliver them, then come back by 10 o'clock to get the next lot of orders .... I'd done that all day long ....
Then, they decided that they wanted this done quicker. So, they bought me a Francis Barnett two stroke motorcycle on which I had done the same thing but got the deliveries done quicker. But a few years later, along comes teleprinter and my job was finished. They offered me a job at Heathtown but it was .... as I lived one side of the town and that was on the other side of the town, I .... it was too far to go. So, I didn't accept.
Michael: Right, so what did you do after that?
Bunny: After that, I .... in my earlier days .... we lived next door to a painter and decorator .... and I used to help him a little bit. But that finished because his brother worked for him as well, and his brother kept saying I was doing his job, so that finished.
And then I went to Staffordshire Motor Tyres. I interviewed at Staffordshire Motor Tyres, and .... and this was in the morning, and in the afternoon, Mr Fullwood who owned Staffordshire Motor Tyres, came round and .... to my house, saw my mother and me and offered me the job.
So, I went there and I was there for some 35 years .... tyre fitting, and then I .... then I was van driving and delivering .... and .... later on, when we opened some new depots, I moved .... I was a rep first, then I moved to management of the depots.
I left there after 35 plus years to take on a garage with a friend of mine. That went on for a few years but rents had gone up, things got difficult and .... a friend who I had known for a long, long time who was now helping another tyre depot came to see me at work and said, would I go and manage this tyre depot? So, I left the garage we got and went to manage this other tyre depot.
And, that failed in the end .... and I then applied for a job at another tyre company which belonged to Avon .... Avon Tyres .... and at that interview, the job I applied for .... the man who interviewed me said "No, you don't want that job, I've got a better job that's for you." And I was manager of a depot there. And I managed that depot for a number of years.
And I left .... I was offered another job, for a company owned by Dunlop. They made a lot of promises that didn't work out, and Dunlop worried me because they wanted me to join a union and I am not a union man. I don't believe in it, to be quite honest.
And, after about 12 months, I .... I didn't give it up, but the firm I had worked for before, Avon, they approached me and asked me if I'd go back to them and I stayed there, with that company, until I retired, but during that time, I was managing depots and for the last 4 or 5 years, I was being sent round to depots that were not doing very well to sort out what the problems were, and that was quite a .... I interviewed and got a lot of people to work there, but I never sacked anybody .... I always found a reason not to!
Michael: I mean .... so, that probably takes you into the 1970s or thereabouts .... you said that you had been retired about 30 odd years ....
Time Code: 00:11:45
So, now let us go back and start thinking about World War 2, and .... What were your impressions? What were your feelings and what was your experience, if you like .... and .... when war was declared .... what do you remember about that time?
Bunny: Well .... I, with lots of other conscripts .... a lot of my friends who were younger than I was .... they'd been called up during 1939. I went .... I was called up in .... late in '39 .... to doctors .... 2 doctors .... who were looking at me, and after a time, they said "No, you .... " I'd got high insteps and varicose veins, so I wasn't suitable for marching .... so, they put me in the Tank Corps.
And in January .... the 20th, I was called up to go to Farnborough to join the Tank Corps.
On arriving at Farnborough, 18 of us joined at the same day. We were all in one barrack room. The barracks we moved into had only been open 12 months.... they were new barracks opened by Hore Belisha 12 months before we got there, and it was in very good condition.
And after we had spent so much time in class rooms, various things happened .... and they just split us into two, half went driving and the other half went on the gunnery course.
And within a tank you have got the driver that looks after the tracks and .... and the gunner takes over the turret and guns and ammunition. When I was being taught about the .... as I was moved into the gunnery section, when I was being taught about this, I took it very seriously, and worked out how it all worked, and the rest of it .... and I was taken out of the class .... with the intention of teaching other people.
And I was moved into the gunnery wing higher up there .... which was an old hanger from Farnborough airfield. But something happened that .... that didn't happen, so I .... and a lot of .... there .... We were in charge of this gunnery wing for oh, a few months .... perhaps 6 months, and then, by this time, the barracks that were for 800 people had now got 2,000 in and it was feeding all these .... I then went serving breakfast, dinner, tea there. I went there to serve breakfast, and then I went back to the gunnery wing to sort that out, back there for lunch .... to serve lunches .... and .... I had afternoons off, but eventually, I was kept in the dining room all the time .... and I was there for quite a time.
Yes, after .... after a time there, I was transferred to .... to a small unit in Dorking. And when I arrived at this small unit in Dorking .... it was something new .... reforming .... and there were a number of tank men from different parts of the country .... all came together in this small unit .... about 20 of us and we didn't know what we were there for .... but higher up the road in a bigger house, there was a general, 4 or 5 colonels, 4 or 5 ordinary colonels and more officers.
And after a couple of days of being there, 4 brand new Humber staff cars arrived. And I asked if I could drive one. "Well, someone has got to drive them ...." said the officer. And .... that was it, I was driving, and for a time, I was driving General Macready round ....
On one occasion, I was .... it was one Sunday morning .... I was told to pick him up quite early, about 7 o'clock. I got up, got ready, got dressed, went up to collect him and he was pacing. When I got to their house, he was pacing up and down the drive because it was thick fog there. It wasn't where we were stationed. And, anyway, I .... he wanted to go to Salisbury, and I took him to Salisbury in thick fog.
This particular vehicle, we'd got, [the windscreen] was split in two .... the windscreen was split in two, and in order to .... the windscreen wipers wouldn't clean the windows, so I just opened the window wide and drove like that! By the time I got to Salisbury, he was quite happy.
And he went in and low and behold, there was other cars there, and talking to other drivers who happened to be there, Montgomery was there as well. That was ... yea .... anyway, at some later date, I said to one of the officers, "This is strange, you know, what are we doing here?" He said "Oh, we're just in charge of training in the South of England." "Oh." I accepted that.
Now, I suddenly realised, we were going to docks and places like that, what they were doing of course was setting up for D-Day.
Anyway, I was there .... probably about 12 months .... And whether it was finished or whether they moved some of us on, I don't know .... and I went to join 9th Tanks at Eastbourne.
And there, at Eastbourne, we were stationed in .... in Meads in Eastbourne, which is by Beachy Head and the tanks were all in the streets, and .... we were in houses .... And at .... on top of Beachy Head is a very nice school and playing fields, and we used to use these playing fields .... and there, the RAF used to use Beachy Head for target practice .... and coming off the sea .... and they would dive into Beachy Head cliffs for target practice, and fire their guns into it.
And this happened quite regularly, so, you know, you didn't take much notice about it ....
But one afternoon, we were playing cricket, on the top of Beachy Head on this lovely ground .... And we were playing cricket, and the .... I heard this plane coming .... and .... firing his guns, and we looked up, it all had crosses on the bottom. So, we scattered but no one got hurt.
Time Code: 00:20:39
Michael: What happened after that?
Bunny: We .... we used to .... we did .... When we were at Eastbourne, we used to train on the South Downs, take the tanks on the South Downs, and while were there .... one special day, they came and said "We are going to the South Downs, panic off, everybody look, look your best, we are going to have a visitor." Anyway, we all went up there, and low and behold, Churchill .... we had Churchill tanks and Churchill had come to visit us .... ..... and then it dispersed and we went away. But, for a time along there, we moved all the way along the South Downs.
We were at Worthing .... and we spent quite a bit of time at Littlehampton, and one afternoon at Littlehampton .... I wasn't working .... I was along the front there with a lot of grass, and I was lying on the grass and I heard this plane coming over, I looked up and there it was .... it was a German plane. I saw him lose his bomb. I watched this bomb come down, dropped behind the .... in the town.
Just one of those little things in life.
Yes, from there, we moved to Kent to a place called Otterdens. The address was Otterden, Eastling, Faversham, Kent. It's on the road from Maidstone to Ashford and the nearest place was a place called Lenham. And we were in this cherry orchard there for quite a time.
And while we were in this cherry orchard there, all our old vehicles were taken away, the scout cars, and we had a new set of scout cars .... which are the ones I have got pictures of. And from there, there were .... the time had come .... we had to move .... we moved to Gosport towards .... actually, I don't' know how long we were there, two months, anyway .... and the next thing you know, we were moving to Gosport .... ready to go across the Channel.
Didn't realise at the time .... we didn't realise at the time why we were going there .... but by then, the invasion had started .... I did.... day 3 or day 5, we moved .... we .... we left Gosport on these landing craft .... they weren't ships, they were landing craft .... you'd get 3 tanks on them and we'd .... the cars, we had fitted them out so that they would .... if we landed in water .... we could drive out with them.
But, once we'd got on, on the .... into the Channel, we had a very rough sea, and we couldn't .... we could not land, and we were stuck in the Channel for a couple of days. And eventually, to get out .... what they did, they waited for low tide, and drove .... drove the landing craft onto the shore. We went off and they waited until high tide to come in, to get off again.
And so, we were there in France.
Michael: Whereabouts in France was that?
Bunny: I couldn't tell you. It .... we were .... we were certainly .... it was almost in Belgium. It was on that piece near ....
Michael: Nowhere near Normandy .... no .... nowhere near Normandy....
Bunny: No, no, no .... we were in the part that was nearest to Belgium. I, I .... there was a name too, but I forget that that is .... we …. we were in some trenches at the top .... whether they were trenches that the Germans had left or whether the .... people .... they had been dug by the people who .... they were too, too good, I think they must have been German trenches because they were well looked after.
Anyway, I hadn't been there long .... and someone came to collect me to take them somewhere and I hadn't been gone more than 5 minutes .... and they dropped a shell close by. A couple got hurt, but nobody got killed. A few shrapnel wounds, I think. But I had gone, I didn't see that.
And then we moved into Caen .... well, outside Caen .... And we were stationed there for quite a .... well .... I'd say quite at time .... time just goes .... you just don't know what it is .... And while we were there, the Americans came with a 1,000 Flying Fortresses .... they came over the top of us to bomb Caen .... to bomb Caen and some of them dropped them early, and I believe they wiped out a Canadian artillery unit. That's how the story goes .... I think that .... must be true .... yes, some of them dropped them early and ....
And then we, after that, we started moving on.
Michael: The so-called 'friendly fire' as they call it these days, I don't know what it was called then but ....
Bunny: No, they just dropped the bombs to early .... But what they .... what they used us for in France in earlier expeditions out there .... it was to .... dispatch riders .... but we were doing the things that dispatch riders used to do, carrying messages from one to another. And we were taking tank statements from one unit to head office, or wherever they were, and back again.
And .... [we] were using German autobahns where the bridges had been closed, had been blown up and we'd got some of our own .... metal bridges across some of the roads .... where they .... they were H-girders with planks across and when you drove over them, you drove over them at speed, the planks would bm bm bm bm bm bm ......
Michael: I mean, were you driving cars or tanks at that stage?
Bunny: No, it's scout cars ....
Michael: Scout cars, yes ....
Bunny: Scout cars .... oh, yes .... they were scout cars all the while, once we left, once we left England.
Time code: 00:28:48
Michael: So, there were you driving along the autobahns ....
Bunny: Yes, what we did there .... is, at odd times, we would be attached to an infantry unit which was going into battle, and we would be in touch with the CO in the infantry unit .... and if their unit got stuck by the pill boxes and things like that, we call in tanks to go and help, or get aircraft to go and drop a bomb on it.
Yes, it was about this time .... it was about this time, I was sent to join another small unit and, when I got to this small unit, there was about 6 tanks there, me and my scout car and we were on top of a hill, and you could see for .... from the top of this hill you could see .... oh, probably 10 miles to the far end, and there were 4 or 5 little villages, you could see the churches and all the rest of it and we had been there about an hour .... and .... we started to get shelled ....
Anyway, we all hid under tanks .... no one got hurt .... but when I come back to my car after, the shrapnel had severed the front brake pipe and there was a hole in the radiator. So, I went back to my unit to get that repaired and I didn't go back there. I often wonder if we were put there to find out where the guns were out there! So, they could see where the guns were.
Michael: So, you were the target.
Bunny: Well, you wonder these things .... well, I did .... anyway, I got that repaired and I stayed back with the unit after that, so .... That's a new thing that made me thing what that might be .... but why they sent me, I don't know.
Michael: You don't think they were trying to get rid of you?
Bunny: Well .... I think that after that, we moved into Falaise Gap .... where it had been bombed, shelled .... There was a lot of animals about there then .... they all had been killed and there were dead bodies lying around .... the stench was terrible .... And we passed there ....
I am trying to think what time we crossed the Rhine ....
Time Code: 00:32:00
Michael: Would that have been in 1944 or 1945, do you think?
Bunny: Oh yes, it was getting on towards the end there ....
Michael: Yes, yes .... I mean, the carnage .... you talked about a lot of dead animals, the stench and so on .... the carnage must have been dreadful in places ....
Bunny: Oh, it was terrible ....
I think it was just after that we went .... we went into Belsen .... when all the graves were open .... and they were making the half dead people carry the dead bodies to throw them into the trenches that were there ....
Michael: Who was making them do that?
Bunny: The Germans ....
Michael: The Germans ....
Bunny: The Germans were making .... yes .... yes .... and I went back the second time .... I wasn't there more than an hour .... and we were moved on .... and I took an officer back later, and when I got there, the graves were still open .... And the British unit that had taken, that had taken over were making the Germans carry these dead bodies and put them in the trenches ....
Michael: Was that the same day. or was it ....
Bunny: No, I had been away and come back again .... a few days later .... and .... as I say, the graves were still all open .... and then the third time I went back there, to take somebody back .... was, well .... escorted 3 flame throwing tanks to burn the place down ....
They wouldn't let .... the graves were closed .... they'd been covered up by then .... and they just burn the place down. And off I went again.
Michael: What were your feelings about going there?
Bunny: I think that I am one of those fortunate people that whatever happens, it has happened, and you can't do anything about it .... So, you just carry on .... In my life, there are very few things that worry me .... I just carry on and take no notice. And one of my .... a lot of my saying .... one is "Take plenty of no notice!"
Michael: A sort of way of surviving in a way ....
Bunny: Well, it is, no doubt about that .... to start worrying, you are in trouble straight away.
And, I think it was after that, we went into Poland .... Poland .... and yes .... and at this time, we were going into Poland and the Russians were coming from the other side, and Germans .... there was hardly any fighting because the Germans hadn't got any .... they'd got no means of ammunition .... to carry on fighting, I think. You know, I don't know much about that.
And while we were at this spot in .... in Poland, one day, 2 German posh cars came down, probably big Mercs .... there were 4 or 5 officers in each one .... and they came down the road where we were .... and .... we didn't stop them but a bit further down the road, they got stopped .... and they were trying to .... find Montgomery to sign off, 48 hours before VE Day.
And .... VE Day came a few days .... 48 hours later.
We knew when we saw those cars where they were going and what for .... we stopped worrying.
And there were a lot of Russians there .... where they .... they came from nowhere and they'd got bottles of booze of all sorts .... don't know where they came from .... I think it was slave labour .... or something like that.
Michael: So, they weren't Russian army?
Bunny: It wasn't the army, no, they were all civilian .... civilianly dressed .... It might have been army people that they'd cap.... the Germans had captured, and you know, and put them in civilian dress or something or other .... they weren't in uniform ....
Michael: So, you are coming up to VE Day which you said was only a few days later ....
Bunny: Yea ....
Michael: Do you have any recollections about that, itself?
Bunny: No .... of course, we were still .... we were still at this farm in …. we didn't move after that, no, we were still at this farm in Poland. And then, we went back to Germ …. to Mönchengladbach, and that was where we finished. Or, at least, that's where I finished and I was virtually demobbed from there .... I did come back to England to Hereford for that ....
Time Code: 00:38:28
Michael: So, they flew you back, did they? Or did you go by some other ....
Bunny: No, train and, train and boat .... no flying, no, train and boats, we had ...
Michael: So how, what was the journey like going back? Because you are going back to a country that has suddenly stopped war ....
Bunny: Well, obvious .... I don't know, we just went back to ordinary life ....
Michael: Did you have any impressions when you .... presumably you sailed to somewhere like Lowestoft or .... where did you land in England, can you remember that?
Bunny: I have an idea it was Dover .... yea, and we had tickets to .... well, my ticket was to Hereford ....
Michael: Why was Hereford chosen? I mean ....
Bunny: I don't know .... they chose it! Well it, you see .... there were a lot of barracks in Hereford. Of course, that was where the .... what?
Michael: What is now the SAS ....
Bunny: Yes, that where they .... they probably used it as part of their .... Anyway, just before leaving Germany, they tried to talk me into staying in for another 12 months .... and that .... because they were going to reform, to go to Burma. And I had heard a lot of silly stories about Burma which I didn't like .... so, I said "No". Anyway, that's neither here nor there now because they reformed the unit just outside of Wolverhampton, and if I had joined that, I would have had 12 months at home and I would have been made up to a full Sergeant but .... got extra pay for .... oh well, never mind, but I had got a job, the firm wanted me back. So, I went back to the job at Staffordshire Motor Tyres.
Michael: So, we have gone through the war, I mean, do you have any impressions at all about what life was like in England immediately after the war? You had just been demobbed .... you’ve got your Civvy Street suit presumably ....
Bunny: .... yes .... but .... we knew .... we knew what war was, you know what it was like. I mean, all the while, you'd go home and leave occasionally .... you know what it's like ....
In our case, my mother .... when we were little, she used to go to a butcher's in town for her meat, always .... and .... bit later in life, he came and opened a shop right next .... just opposite where we lived, and of course, my mother moved with him. I mean we had always got this same butcher, and if I went home on leave, "I've put a bit extra in today, Mrs Johnson ...."!
I took ration cards, you know. When you went on leave, you had ration cards to cover you ....
Michael: Rationing went on for quite some time after the war, didn't it?
Bunny: Oh, yes ....
Michael: Do you have any sort of .... thoughts about .... I mean, your time in the war, it was a major interruption in your life essentially. Did you have any .... or was it just ....
Bunny: No, I took .... I took .... it was 6 years and that was it. And I never thought no more about it than that.
Michael: Because you .... what year were you actually ....
Bunny: No, I was very fortunate .... I had a very easy time as the saying goes ....
Michael: I mean, it sounds like that from what you said, but in actual fact you had some pretty horrendous ....
Bunny: Oh yes, oh yes .... been bombed and shelled and things like that .... I have never been fired at .... with a gun or a machine gun .... except that little episode on .... Eastbourne, when I was playing cricket. But whether he was firing at us, I don't know. He might have been doing the same as the RAF did, fired into Beachy Head and as he came up, he just flew over us.
Michael: But that is going to be a lasting memory because ....
Bunny: Oh yes, we scattered, no doubt about that.
Michael: Well, it is a jolly good job that they didn't .... that they did miss, really ....
Bunny: Oh, another little thing about Eastbourne .... up at Meads somewhere .... there was a Church on one side of the road, and diagonally opposite .... cross roads .... the Church on one side and diagonally across the road was the big house where we had meals. it was a NAAFI .... when we were stationed there ....
Anyway, we were .... we'd been in there and we were preparing to come out in the afternoon and one of these planes came .... and dropped one bomb on the Church over the road and, it was on fire. And a number of us went across and we were collecting books and papers and carried them outside and all the rest of it. But, if they knew what was across the road, it .... it might have been aiming for that one, I don't know, where we were, you know .... It could have done .... only across the road, you know .... 100 yards .... 100 years further on .... It would have had a good score ....
Michael: Just as well they didn't ....
Bunny: Oh yes ....
Michael: Can I just .... you're about to celebrate a very big birthday which you may prefer not to think about, I don't know ....
Bunny: No ....
Michael: Thinking back over your life, are there any, is there any sort of .... you have already mentioned about .... in a way, just letting the world get on with it has been part of your philosophy .... I mean, if you were going to say something to someone young now, who was growing up, what advice would you give to them in order to live a long, successful life .... a long life?
Bunny: I don't know .... it .... life is so different .... it is nothing like the life that I have been through .... you know, with all this modern gear .... I mean .... .... you are lost, you don't know what to do with yourself ....
Michael: I mean, quite clearly, you enjoy going to the pub .... on a regular basis ....
Bunny: Oh yes, I always have done .... In my earlier days, when I was working .... much of our business was done in pubs before the computer came into business. Once the computer came in, it killed everything. It ruined the business, the computer did .... and it ruined the life of people like me ....!
Michael: I suppose it did in a way .... Now you are living in a .... in a part of Manchester. What brought you to Manchester?
Bunny: Well, when I got married in 1956, I moved to Wombourne which is a village just outside of Wolverhampton and we lived there for .... 20 .... 25 years.
We had a little house, then we had a bigger one where we brought up the two children. Once the children had left home .... one thing and another .... the house we'd got wanted some jobs doing to it, rather expensive jobs .... and my wife's cousin, whom we had always been very friendly with lost her husband .... and she was living in Hythe, near Southampton .... and we went down to see her .... and .... while we were down there .... you know .... we rather liked the little place .... and when we got back, I said to Margaret, my wife, I said "You are always complaining about this big house and that this wants doing, and that wants doing .... so, well sell up and go down to Hythe, to see if we can get in the flats where Evelyn is ....” “Yes .... yes, that's a good idea ...” And we get organised .... and we went down there .... and it so happened that the flat above the one where Evelyn was, became empty, and we bought that and went to live there .... and we were there for 10 years.
And Anne, my daughter, who lives here came down on one occasion and said "Dad, you're getting old, if anything happens to you, I'm all up there and you're down here, you ought to come to Manchester ...."
So, anyway, we talked a bit and Margaret said "Yes, I'd go up and live by Anne anytime ...."
So, we came here .... and still here.
Michael: There we go .... Bunny, thank you very much indeed for allowing us to do this .... I've enjoyed it, I hope you have.
Bunny: I'm sorry I didn't .... I hadn't got any .... I'd made one or two notes at odd times, and then .... "Ah, that's rubbish ...." and slung them away ....!
Recorded by Michael Thompson, Hardy Productions UK, Manchester, assisted by Nigel Anderson, Hardy Productions UK.
|Date||Particulars||Station / Location||Comments|
|26 March 1917||Born||Jeffcock Road, Wolverhampton|
|Moved to||81 Skidmore Avenue, Wolverhampton|
|Educated||Bingley Street, School, Wolverhampton|
|1931||Worked at AJS Motorcycles||Wolverhampton|
|1932||Worked at Mander Brothers||Wolverhampton|
|c1935||Worked as painter and decorator||Wolverhampton|
|c1936||Worked at Staffordshire Motor Tyres||Wolverhampton||Was there 35 years apart from time during War|
|Late 1939||Called up for Active Service|
|22 January 1940||Joined Royal Armoured Corps||Farnborough|
|With small unit||Dorking|
|20 November 1941||Left Royal Armoured Corps|
|21 November 1941||Joined 9th Royal Tank Regiment||Eastbourne, Sussex|
|Trained on South Downs||Sussex|
|Moved to Worthing||Sussex|
|Moved to Littlehampton||Sussex|
|Moved to Otterdens||Kent|
|Moved to Gosport||Hampshire|
|June 1944||Crossed Channel to France|
|Moved to Caen||Normandy|
|Entered Falaise Gap|
|Moved to Germany|
|April 1945||3 visits to Bergen-Belsen||Germany|
|Moved to Poland|
|Returned to Mönchengladbach||Germany|
|Returned to England|
|13 May 1946||Demobbed||Hereford|