You can listen to the original recordings of these blogs at Oliver's Podcasts, add them to your audio collection via iTunes, or subscribe to our RSS feed. Each podcast corresponds to the same numbered blog with the exception that podcasts 3 to 5 cover the material in blogs 3 and 4.

Some time ago Oliver wrote a detailed account of D-Day. The manuscript is a faded copy of an old typewritten document. Compared to Blog 11, it contains additional details about his experiences on and after D-Day.

Oliver also wrote an account of his participation in the 50th Anniversary of D-Day on 6 June 1994.

Oliver at the 1994 D-Day Remembrance

6 June 1994: Oliver at the D-Day Remembrance at Bayeux cemetery.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog Summaries

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 1 - 1940-41

  • August 1940: Being called up from Oxford.
  • Being best man for Clifford and Ruth.
  • The 16th Field Training Regiment in Exeter (practices Woodbury Common; gun seized up; regimental marches).
  • November 1940: Posting to 123rd Officer Cadet Training Unit in Catterick.
  • February or March 1941: Posting to Weston-super-Mare.
  • 2 April 1941: Inspection by HM King George VI on the Beach Lawns.
  • April-July 1941: Journey via Cape Town to Tewfik (Suez) on SS Empress of Asia (jugs of water, stokers, rough weather).

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 2 - 1941

  • July 1941: Arrival in Suez.
  • Travelling to Cyprus from Alexandria on HMNZS Leander.
  • Cyprus (Larnaca, one star whisky, sea swimming with the battery).
  • Othello's castle.
  • Egypt (gas course, Cairo).
  • November 1941: Port Said.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 3 - 1941-1942

  • November 1941: Palestine (Haifa, Kibbutz, Jordan valley calibration shoot, swimming in the Dead Sea).
  • December 1941: Egypt (Christmas near Alexandria; Goods train to Sidi Barrani; Getting lost during night-time troop watch).
  • February 1942: The desert near Alexandria (Gazala Line column patrols, leaving the gun behind, ammunition safety devices doing their job).
  • Bir Hakeim - falling into the ammunition pit.
  • A night move near Bir Hakeim and misadventurous tea making.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 4 - 1942

  • 21 March 1942: Martuba airfield (JU87 Stukas; wounded in the legs).
  • Tobruk Hospital, Stuka Raid on Tobruk Harbour and Journey to Alexandria (Duke of Gloucester's visit; 'Mae West' naval nurse; shaving).
  • 63rd General Hospital at Helmieh, Cairo and two convalescent camps (delayed skin graft; moving from number two to number five convalescent camp).

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 5 - 1941-42 Overview

Oliver's time in the Royal Artillery from his posting to Weston-super-Mare in 1941 until his evacuation to Cairo in 1942. Note that Blogs 1 through 4 cover this period in more detail.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 6 - 1942

  • Abbassia barracks - and bed bugs.
  • Stuart tank course.
  • An evening with Mr. Fanner.
  • 22 October 1942: Tank Delivery Regiment, 8th Army.
  • Escorting prisoners - Italian and German.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 7 - 1942

  • The train from Cairo to Haifa - getting left behind in Sinai.
  • Course at OCTU - an Australian's struggle with his gas mask.
  • December 1942: Swimming with the Australians, a march with full kit and assault course.
  • The importance of drill; and variations on 'idleness'.
  • The story of the purple hose tops.
  • December 1942: Exam results and the Royal School of Artillery at Almaza.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 8 - 1943

  • January 1943: Royal School of Artillery at the RABD in Almaza and Tiger Jarvis.
  • Gunnery theory with Major Pope.
  • The mess near Cairo: a leaky corrugated iron roof, brandy and ginger.
  • May 1943: Commissioned, kit allowance spent on high living in Alexandria.
  • July 1943: On draft to Sicily.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 9 - 1943

  • 30 August 1943: Picnic on the beach, Sicily.
  • I don't know old boy, I don't know (Lt. Col. I.G.G.S. Hardie DSO).
  • Leaving the trucks, time in Carruba and the wooden signs made there.
  • Red wine, a long sleep and a clear head for marching.
  • November 1943: Return convoy to the UK, arriving in Avonmouth.
  • Military police and the Duke of Beaufort on the quay.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 10 - 1944

  • Leave for a week.
  • January 1944: Preparing for D-Day (retraining and re-equipping with self-propelled guns).
  • February 1944: Waterproofing course in Rhyll and testing the tanks.
  • OP Shermans, detonating fuse and a new dummy gun.
  • March 1944: Run-and-shoot exercise at Studland fired in the wrong direction.
  • Pioneers and six feet of water.
  • Getting stuck in a bog with Major Gilbert Wells.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog - D-Day 6 June 1944

  • Attempted Invasion.
  • If At First You Don't Succeed.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 11 - June 1944

  • Preparing for D-Day.
  • Engine failure in the Channel.
  • 6 June 1944 D-Day: Anchoring in a swell, and chopping off the anchor.
  • Clear sky on the night of D-Day.
  • Return to Shoreham and move to Southampton (without Lance Bombardier Smith who was in London).
  • Loading the Bren Carrier onto an American LST (Landing Ship Tank).
  • 18 June 1944: Crossing to France on the LST and eating milk pudding.
  • Lost kit (and cigarettes).
  • Smelly cheese in the Sherman.
  • Juaye-Mondaye Abbey.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 12 - June/July 1944

  • Shelling in Normandy near Chateau de Balleroy.
  • Under fire on a liaison job with the Gloucesters.
  • 24 June 1944: Wounded and visit to Bayeux Hospital.
  • Removing the bullet in Manchester in the early 1950s.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 13 - July-Sept 1944

  • July 1944: A short soapy shower in Bayeux, Normandy.
  • American and RAF bombing formations over Caen and Aunay-sur-Odon.
  • Tanks crossing a narrow bridge, and then a mine.
  • August 1944: Motorcycling over the Seine.
  • Late August to Early September 1944: The liberation run - WWI graves.
  • 3 September 1944: En route to Brussels and prisoners at Mons-en-Pévèle.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 14 - Sept-Dec 1944

  • September 1944: Instructions to move at dusk, on the Dutch border.
  • Sleeping in a hay barn, incubating eggs.
  • Moving forward, restoring communications, and some dodgy German pork for dinner.
  • Firing 5,000 yards to the rear.
  • Nijmegen island, regimental HQ in an old farmhouse, sleeping in the cellar.
  • A short walk with the Brigadier (should have taken the jeep).
  • Watching the American Marauders and a parachute landing.
  • Polish battery, always firing.
  • 465 battery party - without the colonel who got drunk with the Poles.
  • November 1944: V1's on a low track and bombings of Antwerp.
  • Handover of Nijmegen island.
  • December 1944: Breaking up of 50th Division.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 15 - 1945

  • January 1945: Patrolling the Rhine in Holland.
  • March 1945: Regimental HQ at Vlijmen and trips to Belgium.
  • 8 May 1945: VE (Victory in Europe) Day celebrated in Roosendaal.
  • Moving to the Ruhr and the Dortmund brewery.
  • June 1945: A school full of Russian prisoners and clearing out the debris.
  • Moving Lithuanian and Latvian displaced persons to catch a train.
  • Journey to Antwerp in an old truck with bad wiring.

Oliver Perks' Wartime Blog 16 - 1945

  • Belgium: Bruges and swimming at Blankenberge.
  • September 1945: Medicals and train to London.
  • The depot at Woolwich, indefinite leave and mumps.
  • Drafted to the Middle East: Stuffy Dafour, journey through France and blankets.
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