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Striking images of bygone wartime

5th battalion Northamptonshire Regiment in 1943

5th battalion Northamptonshire Regiment in 1943

Evocative images of wartime are the subject of this week’s retro.

The photo of 5th battalion Northamptonshire Regiment in 1943 was sent in by Len Crossley, who has lived in Chesterfield all his life.

He is the corporal pictured on the end of the back row on the right, aged 20.

Mr Crossley, 89, of Newbold Back Lane, said: “This is not the usual photo of happy smiling soldiers in the Second World War. This is an infantry platoon taken in 1943 at the end of the fighting in Sicily.

“The ones that are smiling are new recruits out from England to make up for the platoons’ losses.”

He added: “When you think that less than half of these men have survived since 1942 in North Africa, they don’t have much to smile about.”

The photographs of Churchill and Erwin Rommel were submitted by George Findley from Clay Cross.

George, 79, who now lives near Bawtry, was given the images by a friend Dennis Austin, who died around ten years ago.

They were taken by Dennis, who was in the Fleet Air Arm, during the Second World War.

His ship was torpedoed and he was rescued and taken into the desert.

One of the German prisoners had a camera which Dennis used to take these photographs of Winston Churchill with General Montgomery and the wily Desert Fox, Erwin Rommel.

 

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