Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Veteran's vital role as motorbike messenger

Credit: ITV Border

Alan Johnson was an army rider dispatcher posted in Egypt during the Second World War.

Alan worked as an artist in Manchester before the war broke out.

After the business went under, Alan became a motorcycle dispatch rider and played an essential role in passing messages. One, in particular, that triggered the war of El Alamein.

After a decisive victory for the allies, his unit later moved to Italy and western Europe before returning home.

Dispatch riders came to use in the military after it became necessary to find alternative methods of communication rather than the radio or telephone.

Alan, who is now 96, has written an autobiography filled with stories about his time in the war. He says he has lived a very fulfilling life.

More on this story