[page last updated 03 Jun 2016]
Roll of Honour Data Page
(he had no nickname in the squadron)
1924 Bristol, England
Ringway Parachute Training Course 82
591 Antrim Parachute Squadron
Joined the Army aged 14 as an apprentice, based Chatham, till relocated to Chepstowe to make way for those reptriated from Dunkirk to be billeted at Chatham. Then to Kitchener Camp for trade training, followed by a spell at Brompton Barracks to upgrade trade training. Worked with AVREs (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers] on Churchill Tanks, trained to deposit beehive explosives next to pillboxes, and then retreat before they were blown up. He then responded to an advertisement for Parachute Regiment Recruitment as his brother had been a Para in North Africa. After Parachute Training he was assigned to 591 Parachute Squadron. Lieutenants James and Wharton were his officers [ he witnessed the death of Lieutenant Wharton on 17th June when Wharton accidentally stepped on an S mine, injuring Lieutenant Little in the process. ]
He broke his ankle in a practise jump while at Bulford Camp, which required 6 weeks recovery. In total he completed 14 jumps culminating in the D-day jump to clear the landing strips during which he lost his kit bag in the descent. The weight of it, detached it from his harness and it included his personal kit and Bren gun, never to be seen again. He was clobbered on the head as he exited the aircraft by a collapsable bicycle which was thrown out attached to its own parachute. Sapper Anderson landed with 3 bicycle tubes of explosive wrapped round his neck, as did all the jumping 591 paratroopers on D-day. [His landing spot is now a camp site.] He proceeded to assist with clearing the glider obstacles and then acting as defensive scout for the landing site as the day time gliders arrived en masse later during 6th June. After D-day he was involved in laying anti-tank mines. These were not buried but laid on the surface of the ground.
He was later involved in digging out the caves at the quarry which were to act as General Gale's headquarters, and has been so far unable to return to the site which is a privately owned quarry.
While entrenched at Le Mesnil a mortar shell landed next to his trench, injuring his leg with shrapnel and knocking him unconscious with shell shock. He was transferred to a field hospital and then evacuated to the UK and 'came to' in a hospital in Birmingham. He spent 3 months convalessing at a hospice in Bedford, before being medically discharged from the Army after visits to Halifax and then Durham where he was measured up for a de-mob suit. He returned to live for a while at his mother's home, with his wife. Shortly afterwards a parcel arrived containing a brand new suit and Trilby hat and several much sought after clothing coupons.
Trained as a Telephone and Communications Engineer after the war, he worked for the Daily Express and Telegraph newspapers and also spent some years in Saudi-Arabia in the 1970s. Now retired and living near Manchester, England. As of 2016, he has returned to Normandy 4 times.
Cemetery / Memorial:
2013 Daily Telegraph Interview (Click)
2013 Daily Mail Article (Click)
2013 Manchester Evening News Article (Click)
2016 Telegraph (including video) [Click] questioning Prince Harry about not wearing a tie. The lighthearted jest was reported worldwide, appearing in the news media in Italy, France, Netherlands, Croatia, Serbia , Canada and Australia.
copyright: Press Association
H.R.H. Prince Harry meeting Sapper Ivor Anderson at Southwick House, Portsmouth
on 2 June 2016 before the party of veterans traveled to Normandy.
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