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Lewis, Eddie - Sniper

Town : Wooton
Regiment :
Landed in Normandy : Gold Beach, June 6
Eddie Lewis, of Wooton, began his career as a regular soldier in 1937, when he joined the army from his home in South Wales. He was an experienced sniper with service in Malta, North Africa and Sicily behind him by the time he was posted with his unit to the New Forest in preparation for the Normandy landings. “We embarked in the landing craft carrier Glen Roy at Southampton on May 31st 1944 and sailed from Cowes Roads on June 5th. "Our brigade was among the first troops ashore on Gold Beach." "As we leapt ashore our major was injured through being run into by the landing craft as it was swept inshore by a wave. He rejoined the unit later." "The beach was then under heavy crossfire from Spandau and mortar so we quickly moved off and reached the top of a hill overlooking Arromanches. "The unit' s first objective was to capture the Longues Battery after bombardment by the Navy. Accurate shooting by the cruiser H.M.S. Ajax put the battery out of action and then it fell to us to flush out the enemy gunners from a series of underground passages that served the battery. We captured 120 badly shaken prisoners. "Later our unit gave support to 47 Royal Marines Commando which was encountering stiff opposition in the region of Port-en-Bessin." Back with the brigade after a bout of malaria Eddie was involved in continuous heavy fighting through the Bocage before they eventually became the follow-up brigade to the Guards Armoured Division. During the advance towards Arnhem he was wounded when he caught a piece of shrapnel in the leg and lost his hearing through the blast of a mortar shell. During further hard fighting between Nijmegen and Arnhem he was again wounded and paralysed from the waist down when a piece of shrapnel lodged between the vertebrae of his spine, but movement was restored when the shrapnel was removed at a field hospital. After 12 years in the army he went on the serve for two years in the Palestine Police. He subsequently married and spent some time in business in London before moving to the Island.
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