One chap should have been singled out and that was Bombadier Curly Wells who along with all Fox troop drivers that he was in charge of put up a terrific battle before having to retreat across the cemetery under covering machine gun fire by the Irish regiment. Curly and all his crew were wounded and he lead them through the hedge and on to the first aid posts. A fine example of leadership by a junior NCO. I never saw Curly again as he never rejoined the regiment. He passed away a couple of years ago from a shell splinter working up from his back and into his head. RIP old friend .
Now back to the aftermath of last night 17th April 1945. I had no word how my school buddy and best friend Orme Payne had come through he night. Orme at this time was the 76th Battery signal sergeant. He would have been at the Battery command post last night. I remember that very early in the battle that house went up in flames. This house was to our right front across the Otterloo, Apeldoorn road. I remember hearing quite a lot of rifle and machine gun fire from that spot then quietness and just flames, and German soldiers moving long the road.
Here it is now morning and I have to see about Orme. I left Fox troop area and started across the road and entered the field before the house that was no longer there. I had only gone a short distance when here was a figure approaching me. We soon came together. It was Orme looking for me! We met saying my God I'm glad to see you with Orme saying the same. He had heard that I had been killed and had to find out for sure. I thought he had also been killed or wounded. Orme's next words would you like a drink of rum? Where in hell did you get the rum? was my response.
The details of the rum another segment .