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john powell

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About john powell

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  1. My father, Ken Powell volunteered into Suffolk (Sussex??) regiment, after Dunkirk, aged 16 (lied about his age). After basic training his unit was shipped to north Africa via Cape Town and Durban. He was attached to the Indian Division for the rest of the war. Seeing action in north Africa, Italy (casino), also in Greece, Syria and Palestine while waiting for demob. ,Very bitter fighting for such a young man to handle. He rarely spoke about his experiences but I do know he was one of only eight survivors of his original draft of several hundred He told me they got atta flour for chapattis, instead of bread or biscuit. Did get beer sometimes though. He remembered having to abandon a case of beer during a retreat. Liked and respected the Indians specially the Gurkhas. I do remember that he said everybody called the unit emblem ( a red hawk) a S*it hawk. He drove a Bren gun carrier and general transport at times but said they were always recalled to the front line for attacks. He remembered advancing across open desert while under fire, with bayonets fitted, just like the home guard in "Dads Army".
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