The D-Day Dodger
Albert F Darlington
One of the written contributors in 'The Unknown Warriors'
is the author of the book 'The D-Day Dodger'. Albert
Darlington, a native of Birmingham, was a 13 year old
teenager when war broke out. Desperate to see some action he
twice eloped to Avonmouth hoping to get aboard a Merchant
Navy ship as a cabin boy. Despite his very best efforts, and
coming very close to his aim, he never got to sea.
Back working at the factory in Birmingham, he was adamant
that before the war was over, he would see some adventure.
His chance came when he was 16 and managed to convince
the army recruiters he was 18 and after doing well in a
selection was chosen to be a physical training instructor,
which was seen as a very cushy number working alongside
leading sportsmen of the day. However, Albert soon sussed
that this was'nt going to get him in the firing line, so put in
for a transfer to a light infantry regiment, The Oxfordshire
& Buckinghamshires. His wish was granted and before long he was aboard a troop ship, destined for North Africa. His regiment then sailed for Italy and he was to become what Lady Astor, an MP at the time, termed 'a D-Day Dodger'. As you will see from Albert's book it says in the intro - Albert Darlington dodged nothing! Well, in some ways this isn't quite true. Yes he certainly dodged no action, but as a 17 year old infantryman, he dodged bullets, machine guns, grenades, booby traps, mortars , shells and just about anything else the Nazi war machine could throw at him, including the beast of a gun, named 'Anzio Annie' that rained down on the Anzio beachead.
The book really is very action packed as he describes, crawling between slit trenches, taking 'Teds' ie. Germans prisoner, lobbing grenades in German held houses and fighting street to street. Theres loads of amusing stories as well, throughout the book, and plenty of wry observations and fascinating facts. He also shares with the reader some of his very darkest moments when he sees some of his best mates killed in front of him and how he was so badly injured he thought he had lost both his legs. One of his biggest battles was literally getting back on his feet, following months of operations and being in plastercasts. From a historical point of view, it is an excellent record of the wartime experiences of a young infantrymen, that no type of 'academic' textbook can hope to compete with.
By the time you have finished reading it, I am sure you will have nothing but the highest respect for Albert Darlington, and his mates he served alongside. I can imagine the book would be an ideal choice for teenage lads who aren't bothered about reading and think it is boring, as this book will have them gripped from page 1!
Order now from Amazon book website here
world war two, ww2, world war 2, britain, battle of britain, army, navy, raf, royal air force, royal navy, dunkirk, d day, veterans, veteran, ex servicemen, war veterans, war veteran, atlantic, russian conveys, desert rats, bomber command, lancaster bomber, spitfire, hurricance, blitz, london, uk, united kingdom, england, scotland, wales, northern ireland, desert rats, chindits, burma, india, singapore, pacific fleet, merchant navy, home guard, land army, bevin boys, munitions, evacuation, biggin hill, hms belfast, changi, river kwai, pow, japanese prisoners of war, far east POW, far east prisoners of war, north africa, rommel, hitler, adolf hitler, winston churchill, nazi, nazis, free french, vichy france, dieppe, antwerp, arnhem, normandy landings, warfire, military history, book, books, ww2 books, war memories, politics, lumber jills, wrens, ats, naafi, troop ship, tank regiment, pathfinders, regiments, green howards, coldstream guards, welsh guards, churchill tanks, rhine, bulge, monte cassino, sicily, anzio, salerno, italy,