For 2023 Remembrance Day, host Harry Bucknall and his expert guests tell three incredible stories of courage during the World War Two Italian campaign, which began 80 years ago in 1943.
World War Two historian, Dr Peter Caddick-Adams, introduces the amphibious landings in Sicily in July 1943, which saw daring SAS raids led by the legendary Lt Col Blair “Paddy” Mayne who won the first of three bars to an earlier *DSO awarded in North Africa. SAS historian, Joshua Levine, shares his insights into Mayne’s “larger than life” character and military leadership.
The podcast includes the voice of WO2 (CSM) Peter Wright VC, 3 Coldstream Guards, who was decorated by General Alexander for his bravery at the Salerno landings on 25 September 1943. We hear how King George VI himself intervened to upgrade his *DCM to a VC. Major Eddie Windsor-Clive, Regimental Archivist, Coldstream Guards, also shares his personal family connection to this campaign.
Andy Parsons, Curator of the London Scottish Regimental Museum tells another story of incredible courage. Pte George Mitchell VC, 1 London Scottish, was killed in action after charging two enemy machine guns on the Damiano ridge in January 1944.
We also hear these very brave British soldiers’ citations read wonderfully by actor Tim Bentinck (The Archers).
Finally, Peter Caddick-Adams pays tribute to the British Eighth Army and the “professionalism, skill and personal initiative” of the British soldier during the “unrelenting” fighting in Italy from 1943 to 1945.
The Army’s national charity remembers all the British, Commonwealth and Allied soldiers who fought and died during the two World Wars to preserve our democracy and freedom.
We thank all our guests for contributing to this year’s Gallantry Remembrance podcast.
*DSO Distinguished Service Order
*DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal