Without Comment Or Complaint

0 Conversations

The wartime story of S/115863 Staff Serjeant Edwin John Inge

Like so many of his generation, Edwin (Ted) Inge was called up to fight in World War Two. This is his story as told to his daughter, the story of a very ordinary man who, along with thousands of others, was called upon to do his bit.

The War Diaries

The only diary relating to my unit being stationed in England is for the period 1st March 1944 to 31st March 1944. I joined it in May 1943 when it was in Thetford, Norfolk, and presumably no diary was kept at that time. March 1944 diary reveals nothing of note, but there were several movements of small numbers of men from Thetford to prepare for a move to Lemsford. On the 30th March 1944 Lieutenant Breaker and the few men still at Thetford left for Lemsford and joined the advance parties to complete the tented camp but, from thereon, the unit did not stay long in one place, gradually moving southwards at each move. By then, obvious signs that an invasion of German-occupied Europe was in sight were everywhere.

The next diary is for the period 21st June 1944 to 30th June 1944, although the unit landed in Normandy on 13th June 1944. Diaries for the missing period were, according to the Record Office, either not prepared, or did not survive. The first Normandy diary shows our location as Sommervieu and, by the end of the month, the unit was receiving supplies for distribution, having collected 3 tons of miscellaneous supplies from the beach on the 23rd June to start operating. On the 13th July the unit moved to Banville and working parties were sent to Base Supply Depot to get a 'demand and supply system' in shape in order that the unit could deal with vast quantities of goods by then being unloaded at Arromanches. 2nd August saw a move to Luc-sur-Mer and we were very busy feeding 25,000 men in 182 different units - figure dropped to 15,000 men in late August. We moved again on the 9th September to Rugles and from then until the end of September, following the rapid Allied advance, the unit was supervising the ferrying of remaining stocks from our Base Supply Depot to Rouen and Antwerp. The beginning of October was a quiet period, the movement of goods having been completed.

French Girls, Luc-Sur-Mer 1944

French Girls, Luc-Sur-Mer 1944

The photo of the three young ladies was given to me on 13th October 1944 on the departure of our unit from Luc-Sur-Mer to Le Havre. They lived in a large house not far from the village, together with (I believe) relations from Paris. The house was also home to German officers before the invasion and we heard numerous stories of their behaviour. We taught the household how to make English tea and received eggs and fruit in return. I wonder if any of them are still alive? They were good friends to a few of us and there is a hand-written note in French on the reverse of the photo which, in English, reads:

'A very small souvenir for our big friend Ted. In the hope of seeing you again, believe in all our friendship. Yo-yo Delores Lily'.

'Yo-yo' is, of course, short for Yolande.

On 14th October, we moved to Le Havre and spent the next two weeks clearing captured supplies from Le Havre tunnels. Our unit was the only British unit in the town, it being American controlled. Certain items of food were given to the local population and the remainder to German POW's at Dieppe.

We moved to Ghent, Belgium, on 31st October 1944 and prepared to feed 30,000 men in this Canadian sector. The only entry in the November diary indicated the feeding strength rose from 11,000 to 40,000 during the month. This rose to 50,000 in early December and, on the 9th onwards, we gradually handed over to 138 DID and became the role of an additional section to 76 Base Supply Depot. The only entry for January 1945 reports that we were still operating in Ghent for the BSD and holding up to 1,000 tons of supplies.

Ghent. A few of 146 DID and some civilian workers Winter 1944-45

Ghent. A few of 146 DID and some civilian workers Winter 1944-45

The Without Comment Or Complaint Archive


29.06.06 Front Page

Back Issue Page

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written by



h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more