I am starting this thread in the hope of gathering information about events that the regiment were involved in, please add anything that you can. It is based upon fragments of stories that my father has told over the years, which were entirely anecdotal, he never seemed to remember place names, I have attempted to put it in sequence. Harry Parfitt escaped from Croydon Workhouse in 1940 at the age of 16 and lying about his age, volunteered for the Middlesex regiment at the local TA barracks. He was eventually posted overseas as part of the 78th Division with Princess Louse's Kensington Regiment (I do not know when or why the transition in regiments took place, only that he never went to France with the Middlesex Regiment). During his voyage from Glasgow he witnessed the sinking of a British Destroyer whose name I cannot remember but a photograph survives (which I will add when I can get it scanned). He landed in Algeria in a small landing craft and described later being involved in an advance on foot up a hill towards enemy positions, most of his unit were killed around him, convincing him that his short stature had saved his life, he also refused to eat cooked tomatoes from that day on, as they reminded him of the event. later he watched in horror as US forces made a motorised assault on a fortified position at dusk with their headlights blazing. He also mentioned tensions with some French troops nearly getting out of hand on one occasion. Being so young, it appears that the others looked after him quite a bit, he became the scrounger of the unit, and a bit of a loner. He was part of a Bren gun carrier crew. He was involved in the action on Sicily and afterwards landed in the east of Italy, although went westward enough to see Naples, and experience what he called the terrible smell of the bay of Naples. It seems that his unit were moved around a great deal, mostly fighting up the East of Italy, but occasionally being moved for a short time elsewhere. He witnessed the body of Mussolini hung from a lamp-post some time after the execution. His unit was sent to Corfu and Cairo, for rest, but in Cairo was involved in the street fight that broke out there - remembering being cornered by an Egyptian in an alley and fighting his way out with a knife. One event in Italy that he mentioned was watching a nazi plane coming in over the sea, not realising that it was entering allied territory, and being fired upon by British guns, to the great amusement of everyone. at one point he was posted in a forward position at a river crossing, aware that the German troops, who were expected to make an attack were only a short distance away. He was taken prisoner briefly in Italy, with about ten other men, who were locked in a barn, he rolled himself in hay to get some sleep and when he woke up found that everyone had gone. Eventually he wound up in Austria, where he spent time gathering and disarming the Cossacks and their families (a friend of his was wounded as a rifle was thrown onto a pile of weapons), guarding the camp at Spittal and repatriating the Cossacks over the Russian line. This aspect of the war haunted him, cutting down the Cossack men and women that had hung themselves rather than be sent back to Stalin, and hearing the Russian firing squad after each group was 'repatriated'. Throughout the war he never received a single letter from his family, a well meaning officer noticed that he was becoming ''careless' and so arranged some home leave, to a family that didn't want him. He spent the leave sleeping rough under waterloo bridge. When he got back the officer made arrangements for another soldiers family to write to him (it was my mothers family). When he was demobbed, he asked the officer if that was it, the officer said "yes you are a civilian now", so he told the officer exactly what he could do with his army - and got two weeks in military prison. When he summed up his wartime experiences he often said that they were the best years of his life, adding that 'If you are going to fight a war, make sure it is in the desert where war can be civilised, not amongst civilians'. Shortly before he died he re-applied for his campaign medals, when they arrived the Africa star wasn't included, they said there was no record. even though he still had the ribbon from his old uniform, he just shrugged.