Airborne Engineers Association

Ivor Anderson

 

 

Ivor Anderson

We are very sad to tell you of the recent passing of our dear friend Ivor Anderson. He was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers attached to a Parachute Squadron in the 6th Airborne Division.

Ivor was 19 years old when, just after midnight on the 6th of June 1944, he jumped out of a Stirling Bomber into the Normandy village of Ranville...

"I jumped with a kitbag containing a reserve Bren Gun, rifle, ammunition, explosives and my 48 hour ration pack. We were being blown about all over the place with the ACK-ACK fire and my exit was all over the place. I let go of the kitbag which should have been attached to my leg and harness, but something went wrong and the kitbag went straight down with everything in it. When I landed the only weapon I had was a para knife. I was not so scared that I had landed in enemy territory, but more so thinking I'd be court-martialled for losing my weapons!"

At RAF Fairford, Ivor clearly remembers being moved from one aircraft to another at the last minute. He left behind several chums he had met in boy service and grown close to over the subsequent years. Many years later Ivor found out that this plane had been shot and crash-landed near the village of Grangues. Four men died as a result of the crash, but seven others survived before being disarmed and taken prisoner by German forces in the area. The seven sappers who survived the crash were captured and shot in the back of the head. Learning about the fate of his friends and how close he was to being in the same plane.

Ivor's task on landing was to clear the LZ of any obstruction poles to facilitate a clear path for incoming gliders. Over the next few weeks he was involved in mine clearance, often under enemy fire, and night patrolling. Ivor was wounded after approximately five weeks just before Caen was taken. He was flown home and taken by ambulance train to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He was medically discharged in February 1945.

Ivor and his lovely wife Angela travelled to Normandy with us over several years, the last time in June 2016. We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to get to know them both and call them friends. This photograph was taken at Ivor's home in March of this year when Victoria visited to do a bit of filming for our ongoing Interview Project. We'll be sharing some of this footage soon, but for now our thoughts remain with Angela and all Ivor's family.

 

 

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