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Bovington 1939

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 The Kings Speech Declaring War on Germany 3rd of September 1939

War was declared (by Britain on Germany) on Sept. 3, 1939. Immediately, the air raid sirens sounded. It was a false alarm. For the next six months, nothing happened. Britain and France had declared war to support Poland, but the only way to Poland was through Germany. Until the Nazis had finished with Poland and attacked France, there was a frustrating period during which the countries were at war, but not actually fighting.


My father was attached to the 10th Army Field Work shop as an Electric Welder Class A III.

Under the Command of Lt Col C.R. Caffyn the 10th AFW road party sailed from Southampton on the 2nd of April 1940 , disembarking at Cherbourg.
Traveling through La Hutte  on the 5th April 1940 and were billeted at Tye'. The Rail party , who my father was with , sailed from Southampton arriving at Cherbourg on the 5th of April and proceeded to La Hutte on the 7th April 1940 and were also billeted in Tye' The complete unit then travelled to  Danville on the 15th April  and then onto  Nampsauval on the 18th of April .They then arrived at Pissy on the 17th of April were they were given the luxury of a field bath !

The 10th AFW set up a Advanced work shop at Mancy on the 24th May.


The 10th AFW were attached to the 51st Highland Division and were collectively named the Saar Force.

saar force
Saar Force Order of Battle

Around about this time my Father a Lance Corporal by now, was transferred out of the Saar Force and arrived back in England on the 31st of May , I cannot find any reference to why he became detached from the 10th AFW but the Records show that the 10th AFW had a surplus of Electric Welders .

The Germans Attacked France and the low countries on the 10th May 1940 , The main thrust Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium  , but this attack also separated the Saar Force from the rest of the BEF and they were forced to make for more westerly ports. The 10th AFW  had to make for Brest where they were eventually evacuated on the Ship  Strathaird. during opperation Ariel

Adolf Hitler and his Staff looking across the English Channel

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