A 94-year-old Wisbech man who served in the Army during the Second World War has been presented with his Veteran’s Badge – and it made him as proud as the day he joined up.
Terry Robinson was unable to attend the badge presentation ceremony held by Fenland District Council a few weeks ago to mark Armed Forces Day because he was ill.
So Councillor Michael Humphrey, FDC’s chairman, and his wife Marie made a special trip to his home to hand it over.
Mr Robinson joined the Army in 1940 and remembers standing on Shoeburyness beach with a rifle and five rounds of ammunition as part of the UK defence against invasion.
In 1944, as part of the 1st Heavy Regt, Royal Artillery, he landed at Courseulles-sur-Mer in Normandy during the D-Day landings and fought through Caen and the Falaise Gap and on into Holland.
He still has vivid memories of being bombed in error by the RAF and of meeting Dutch people starving after years of German occupation.
He told Cllr Humphrey: “We saw a lot of action and at times it was pretty frightening. Some of my friends died and we saw some terrible things.
“Thank you for bringing this badge to me – it’s a lovely thing.”
Mr Robinson will be 95 later this month. Recently he and his wife Vera received a special card from the Queen congratulating them on their 65 years of marriage.
Mr Robinson also played football for Wisbech Town and Watford. During the war he arranged fund-raising and morale-boosting matches against locals in countries they liberated.
Cllr Humphrey said: “It was a real pleasure and a privilege to meet Terry and Vera. He had some amazing stories to tell about his life and his wartime experiences. You have to take your hat off to him and men like him – and indeed to their wives.”
A few years ago Mr Robinson revisited Normandy with his son, Chris. They stopped at Courseulles-sur-Mer, where he was greeted with warm applause by the locals as he emerged from the coach – “a very moving moment”, said Chris.
On his discharge from the Army in 1946 Mr Robinson worked for Wisbech Borough Council and then Fenland District Council continuously until his retirement at the age of 65.
Cllr Michael Humphrey and his wife Marie with Terry Robinson