In January 1942 Reg Charles was called up and joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He went in as a Private and came out as a NCO – Corporal in April 1946.
Reg trained to waterproof vehicles so you could drive them off the landing craft into the water. The vehicles would only drive up the beach a quarter of a mile then you would have to remove the waterproofing kit.
Reg was based in Ashford when he heard that the D Day landings had taken place. He was in the transport section running the stores for the battalion and sorting out the vehicles that had been burnt out on the landing beaches.
Three weeks later Reg was onboard a troop carrying ship on my way to France and joined up with the 1st Battalion who were already in action ten miles south of Caen.
After marching twenty miles per day, mopping up German snipers that were left in woods and churches Reg finally arrived in Antwerp ready for Operation Market Garden.
After Market Garden, Christmas 1944 he received orders to move into the Ardennes – The Battle of the Bulge travelling in modified Sherman tanks with their turrets removed and used as troop carrying vehicles.
He progressed to the Rhine crossing, then Bremen and into Hamburg on the 4th of May 1945. Reg moved into Berlin and his task there was to guard Rudolf Hess.
After the war, Reg married, had one son and one daughter.
Print taken from the book ‘A TIME TO FIGHT Living and Remembering WWII’