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Morris, Ron

Town : Gurnard
Regiment : Reconnaissance Regiment, Sergeant
Landed in Normandy : Ouistreham
Ron Morris, of Gurnard, landed with his squadron at Ouistreham. "Although the enemy had been cleared from the area and we moved quickly out of the town into the countryside, danger seemed to be all around. Rumours that the division had failed to take Caen and were being beaten back to the beaches were widely disbelieved. "We could see in every direction the staggering number of troops and the incredible amount of armour and guns moving up. Such a force appeared invincible." Towards the end of September Ron' s unit came to the outskirts of Meijel, a large Dutch village that seemed deserted. "With a dozen men I was sent off on foot to determine whether or not the village was occupied. "The high street was quite wide and I placed my troopers 10ft apart on either side of it. Hugging the wa1ls, down the street we went, me in the lead. "It was quiet as the grave. When a Dutch Resistance man, wearing an orange armband, came out it gave us all a bit of a start. He spoke good English and indicated that he thought there were Germans in the churchyard. "The church was in the town square at the end of a terrace and as we approached I halted my men and went forward with two Bren gunners. The end house overlooked the square so we went in, climbed the stairs and looked out of the bedroom window. Nothing stirred. "I descended the stairs which terminated in a hallway leading to the front door and back to a rear kitchen. Facing the front door I heard a German voice shout "Hande hoch! " (Hands up) "I whirled round and saw a in the passage an SS Feldwebel (sergeant) pointing a Schmeiser sub-machine gun at me. Clearly his intention was to take prisoners. "I raised both my hands but kept hold of my sten gun. "Perhaps this put him off his guard for he fired a burst fractionally after me. His bullet whizzed over my shoulder; mine thudded into his chest. "Pandemonium. Two other Germans ran back into the kitchen; I sprang up the stairs. Bullets came up the floorboards. We fired down. The Resistance man jumped out of the first floor window breaking his legs. "The firing stopped and out of the small window we saw the Germans running for the shelter of the churchyard wall. "I went down the stairs again, very cautiously but there was no further action. With the Dutchman needing attention I decided to return and report back, taking the dead man's shoulder tabs for identification. "So ended my sub-machine gun duel, resulting in my getting a mention in regimental orders plus a recommendation and a document from General Montgomery." Ron was twice wounded during the Normandy campaign.
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