Roy recalls the uncertainty over the fate of his uncle, Bobby Sanders

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 19th July 2011 by Liam Physick

Roy tells of how his father served in the Second World War, and was at the end of it reunited with his brother, Ozzie, who served in a different regiment. He also recalls how his mother’s brother, Bobby Sanders, a dispatch rider, was missing presumed dead. When the Dunkirk evacuees returned home, Roy and his family went down the landing stage to see if anyone had new of Bobby, and frantically asked the soldiers if they had seen him: they learned that he was injured in hospital, but alive

Interviewee: Roy

Interviewee Gender: Male

Interview Transcript

Roy: Now, an amazing story about me dad being in the War, he had a brother called Ozzie . . .

Pat: Ozzie.

Roy: . . . and he wanted to, in the War they could transfer from unit to unit, and he could go up, so he was on the African campaign, and when they went to Italy, he went to Italy, and the, you know the raise to Italy, and what, what’s the big casino . . .

Terry: Monte Casino.

Roy: Monte Casino, the big thing, he was in there, and me dad was in . . . Anzio, and he brought me a ring back with “Anzio” on it, made from something like . . .

Terry: Volcanic ash? (laughs)

Roy: No, no.

Terry: It wasn’t but he did, did have it, a piece of . . .

Roy . . . out of a shell or a bullet or . . .

Pat: A bullet . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah.

Roy: . . . you know what I mean, and he made it, he had this thing, and he made that for me

Terry: I think what we’re getting at is, when you met him?

Pat: What about the station?

Roy: But he never met his brother for three years, while he was, his brother was in all the different campaigns, and he was walking down in, just outside Anzio, and he met his brother, who he hadn’t seen for four years . . .

Terry: He did, yeah.

Roy: . . . and, you can imaging, it was unbelievable for them, wasn’t it? But then, at the end of the War, all that went over and they were great, and he were transferred to the unit where he was in with his rank, and he went in up to Monte Casino, and carried on to the Italian thing . . .

Terry: Through Italy, yeah.

Roy: . . . and went on, and then, as I’m saying, the thing was that, when he was coming home, we hadn’t heard from him from (sic) a couple of years, or a year or two, and somebody said, like, “The War’s over, and they’re all coming home.” Who do we do, I mean, there was a time, when the Dunkirk thing was happening . . .

Terry: Yeah.

Roy: . . . and then, my mother had brothers who were there, and one of them, who was a dispatch rider, he’d been missing, used to get a letter, used to get a thing from the army if he’d been killed, it was a black telegram, you got a black telegram if he was killed. If he was missing presumed dead, you got a different colour thing, sort of thing, and we got one that Bobby was presumed killed, missing, and we didn’t know nothing about it, so we all went, and I think Pat was with me, we went to the Pier Head, and when they were all coming back from Dunkirk and all that, we were asked, me mother told us, like, go on find out if anybody knows anything of Bobby Sanders, which was her brother. And we said, “Anybody seen Bobby Sanders? Anybody seen Bobby Sanders? Anybody?”, and they used to, they come off boats, and they come up the Mersey Tunnel type thing, you know, from the Mersey . . .

Terry: The landing stage, yeah.

Roy: . . . and they were all, used to get people coming up, there were soldiers with wounds, and bandages and everything and they used to have horse and carts bringing them off up, off the ferry, coming across, and we asked them then one – “Anybody seen Bobby Sanders?” “Here are, yes, I’ve seen Bobby Sanders, he’s had an accident, and he’s been, he was, he was, what do you call it . . .?

Paul: Dispatch rider?

Roy: Motorbike.

Terry: Yeah. Dispatch rider?

Roy: Dispatch rider, and he’d lost his leg, but he’d been taken to a hospital, but he’s OK”, and course, me mother, and me, and everybody, were all made up, weren’t we? We found that this fella was alive, and Bobby was alive.

Tagged under: second world war, landing stage

Categorised under: The War

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