Monday, February 24, 2014

Valhalla welcomes another hero

Stephen emails to point out that another warrior has joined the last muster:
He said: ‘My regiment had been given the order to fight to the last man and the last round and not to retire, and this painting shows our position after a long day's battle. I fought in that battle.

‘The regiment was almost wiped out - but by some miracle, I was the last man virtually, and I fired the last round. That round, which was at about six o'clock at night, hit a Mark IV tank.

'Then the man standing at the side of me was killed because a German tank had come up behind us and fired its machine gun, almost point blank. And I took a deep breath and waited for mine.

'For some reason the tank didn't fire and I survived and am still here. You feel guilty for having survived.
What happened next is incredible:
Mr Ellis was captured and taken to a prisoner of war camp, but launched a daring escape and found shelter with a sympathetic family.

He was shipped from Libya to the camp in Italy but escaped by marching out of the main gate as if on a work party and hid in the mountains for a year. A young girl discovered him and led him to the farming family who sheltered him.

Mr Ellis named one of his daughters, Nerina, after her, and has returned regularly to the hill village of Massa Fermana, near Ancona, to visit the family who kept him alive.
God speed.


selsey.steve said...

Thanks for posting this, I sent it to you because Ray and my Dad were at school together and stayed in touch for quite a few years after the end of the War. my Dad always spoke fondly of him.
Stephen Brown, son of Geoffrey Brown.

Borepatch said...

Steve, he looks like he was quite a man. Thanks for pointing this out.