Visit to the Museum by World War Two Veterans
18th Jun 2013
Len Butt (pictured on the right) was barely 18 years old when he landed as a Sapper 30 minutes after the first assault with the 184 Field Company, Royal Engineers, landing at precisely 7.45 am, during D-Day. Their job was to assist the Armoured Royal Engineers used in the first assault, to clear the lanes of the sea shore of obstacles and mines.
Doug Botting (on the left) who at the same age, landed at the same time with the Royal Berkshire Regiment (he served later with The Wiltshire Regiment) to cover the Sappers as they worked. Both these war veterans must have been within a very short distance from one another and up until now have not known of each other’s existence. That all changed on Tuesday 18th June, when both of them visited this museum. Both the Royal Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiments suffered horrific casualties during D-Day and the subsequent advance through France and Germany from June 1944 until the end of World War Two. Doug is very proud of both Regiments. Hopefully this will be the first meeting of many as they live such a short distance from one another and on their own. Doug's Captain was Capt. Basil Tarrant, father of Chris, the television presenter.
Len Butt was blown up 3 times during the advance through France just managing to arrive at the Germany Borders before being returned to the UK suffering from traumatic distress, on each occasion he was given the choice to return home or stay with his section. Doug, serving alongside Capt. Tarrant, got as far as Arnhem where he was shot several times in the stomach.
Both men were photographed beside the model of the D-Day landings which took place at Bernieres-Sur-Mer. On top of the model can be seen two uniforms as worn by the Royal Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiments at that time and a captured German MG.