US Army pen given as souvenier

The day all the American G.l.s had left the area, I had been out riding and as I came home I saw an American Soldier sitting on the large stone that stood at the end of Grove Road. He looked in a terrible state and I knew that all the soldiers had just left the whole district, so I told my Uncle Rob that he was there. My Uncle went along and asked him what he was doing there, as all the others had gone. He didnít make much sense, saying that he had been left behind, so Uncle Rob brought him home and we made him a cup of tea and gave him something to eat. He said again that he had been left behind, but this did not ring true, so while my Aunt and I talked to him, my Uncle rang the local policeman. The G.I. told us of his home in the States and of his love of horses, and he seemed such a lovely young man, but he kept breaking down in tears. Our policeman came down straight away and said he had informed the Military Police. It was not long before they arrived to collect him, but before they came the G.I. gave me this pen to remember him by. We heard a little more of this dreadful event later. Apparently he had worked in the cookhouse and had been clearing out barrels from the building. It seems he was so terrified that he had hidden in one of the barrels and they left the camp without him. When his comrades noticed he was missing, they went back to look for him. It seems he let off his gun and shot one of them, then just ran and ran. They were not able to look for him for long as they were under orders to move immediately. This was the last move before D-Day. We never heard anymore about what happened to him, but heard that an American Soldier had been executed at Shepton Mallet. I often wondered if it was our terrified G.I.

Janet Guppy - May 2004

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