WW2 Veteran tells us about the war, VE Day and his love for singing

A World War 2 veteran from Dudley has been recalling some of his memories from the war and VE Day, 75 years ago.

Albert Evans tells us he had been serving in France and was in Bremen in Germany on the 8th of May 1945, when the news of victory finally arrived.

After hearing that the war was won, Albert assumed he would be sent home. However, unlike the majority of Europe, he and his fellow soldiers had no time to celebrate.

Instead they were sent directly to the trouble in Palestine and Egypt, meaning Albert could not return home for over 3 years.

Remembering VE Day Albert said: "Naturally, we thought we were coming back on leave to England, because we hadn't had a leave for 3 years, but what did they do... They sent us to the trouble in Palestine. I couldn't believe it."

But it wasn't all bad. Albert laughs as he fondly remembers an encounter with Marshal Montgomery in Palestine, where he served the senior officer scones and tea.

Albert, now 96, served with The Royal Ulster rifles and The Royal Worcester rifles during World War 2.

He was awarded the Legion D’honneur, as well as a number of other medals for his time in the forces.

The veteran tells us how when he was in France he had to carry heavy machine guns across rural fields on foot, often with mud and muck up to his waist.

He says as he was struggling with the heavy load a friend called Ernest offered to take it from him. But as Albert turned to hand it over, his friend was shot by a sniper.

Speaking about his friend being killed, Albert said: “He went down. That was it. His eyes were glistening into mine. One of the experiences that nobody would wish to have”

He added: “But you have to carry on. You have to carry on what you’re doing, and I never knew what had happened to him for a very long time”.

Albert told us that 3 or 4 years ago, whilst on a trip with his choir group, he was finally able to track down and visit his friends grave.

Albert served with The Royal Ulster rifles and The Royal Worcester rifles. Credit: Albert Evans

Speaking again about his time in the French countryside, he says as soon as they landed they could see the extent of the damage that had been done.

Albert says he witnessed "bloated cows all over the place” and “pigs running around everywhere".

He recalls one particularly disturbing memory about seeing a pig gnawing on a dead body. He tells us it’s one of the worst sights that he’s ever seen.

Albert was due to spend this year's VE Day in London and says he is disappointed to be missing it.

He was looking forward to attending a service in West Minster which, like many VE Day plans across the country, has now been "abandoned" due to coronavirus.

Albert added: "Disappointed under the occasion. This virus has beat us more than what Mr Hitler did!" but he remains optimistic that he'll be able to celebrate at a later date.

Albert has had a military boat carved into his hedge to commemorate the anniversary of VE Day. Credit: ITV News

Albert is a keen gardener and has recently had a military boat carved into his hedge in his from garden with the letters "VE75" on it to commemorate the anniversary of Victory Day.

And his talents don't stop at gardening. The veteran is also a committed member of the male voice choir group 'Gentlemen Songsters' and loves to sing.

He very kindly gave us a wonderful rendition of Vera Lynn's wartime classic 'We'll Meet Again'.

Click here for more on the Royal British Legion's plans to commemorate VE Day.

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