The D-Day Dodger
One of the written contributors in ‘The Unknown Warriors’ is the author of the book ‘The D-Day Dodger’. Albert Darlington, a native of Birmingham, was a 13 year old teenager when war broke out. Desperate to see some action he twice eloped to Avonmouth hoping to get aboard a Merchant Navy ship as a cabin boy. Despite his very best efforts, and coming very close to his aim, he never got to sea.
Back working at the factory in Birmingham, he was adamant that before the war was over, he would see some adventure. His chance came when he was 16 and managed to convince the army recruiters he was 18. After doing well in selection he was chosen to be a physical training instructor, which was seen as a very cushy number working alongside leading sportsmen of the day. However, Albert soon sussed that this wasn’t going to get him in the firing line, so put in for a transfer to the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
His wish was granted and before long he was aboard a troop ship, destined for North Africa. His regiment then sailed for Italy and he was to become what Lady Astor, an MP at the time, termed ‘a D-Day Dodger’. But the reader will find that Albert Darlington in dodged nothing!
Well, in some ways this isn’t quite true. He dodged bullets, machine guns, grenades, booby traps, mortars , shells and just about anything else the Nazi war machine could throw at him, including a beast of a gun, named ‘Anzio Annie’, which rained down fire on the Anzio beachhead.
The book is filled with action and amusing stories, wry observations and fascinating facts. He shares lighthearted jokes with the reader as often as he does his very darkest moments.