Victor McCoy

From India to Burma

Victor McCoy talks about travelling from India to Burma.

Fighting in Burma

Victor McCoy talks about fighting in Burma.

Recollections of six years in the Army serving in North Africa and Burma.

Service in North Africa

Victor was conscripted in to the Army in the early part of the war. He left his home in Broadstairs to become a signaller and received training at Canterbury. Eventually, Victor was sent with his regiment to Liverpool for overseas service: ‘It was very exciting. I hadn’t travelled much from home so it was quite exciting really. Everybody was eager to get going.’ The journey took the regiment to Africa where they fought at the Battle of Alam Halfa and El-Alamein. Victor recalls the disorder at the Battle of El-Alamein:

‘Once we broke through there was hell then. It was all over the place. It was absolute chaos and we were actually following the tracks and we joined on something and somebody said this is the German burial party for the German general who’s been killed. Chaos.’

'What a bloody silly time to dance'

'We got upon the bank, the other side, immediately there was mortars, gunfire, small arms, everything. I could see the...sergeant sailing through the air, just as he was dancing. What a bloody silly time to dance.'

Following the Battle of El-Alamein, Victor served in Syria, Iraq and Iran. Subsequently he was sent to India and later sent to Burma. In Burma the mission was to regain a strategically important village. When attempting to cross a large river problems emerged. The current was so strong that it turned the boats around and many soldiers were shot in the back by the Japanese. But eventually:

We found a way of getting across by walking up to our necks in water, carrying everything above us but clinging on to a three inch rope that the engineers had slung across the river and so we did. In front of me there was a mule loaded down with the panniers with mortars and lost its footing. It was swept away. Nobody could help it and you couldn’t even have lift it, it was too heavy and...it drowned. We got up on the bank, the other side, immediately there was mortars, gunfire, small arms, everything. I could see the...sergeant sailing through the air, just as he was dancing. What a bloody silly time to dance. Then a bomb came straight on us, it was our own guns [that] had dropped short...and it killed everybody around me...and I was wounded in the buttock.’

Spending the last part of the war in convalescent homes, Victor returned home at the end of war after six years of service.

Downloads

Interview with Victor McCoy
Interview with Victor McCoy (182k)
To read the full transcript of Victor's interview please press the above link.

From India to Burma
From India to Burma (56k)
Transcript of audio clip with Victor McCoy.

Fighting in Burma
Fighting in Burma (55k)
Transcript of audio clip with Victor McCoy.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 22/02/2012.

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