Today I attended a reunion luncheon for the former members of the 1/7th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment who served 1939-1945. The 1/7 MX were a Divisional Machine Gun battalion. I sat next to an 87 year old veteran whose story goes something like this. He joined the TA in 1938 as an 18 year old because he wanted to be with his mates if the balloon went up. Mobilised in September 1939 he went to France with the BEF and managed to escape from Dunkirk with about 20 others by rowing a navy cutter across the channel from La Panne to Ramsgate. His battalion was made part of the famous 51st (Highland) Division in 1942 and went to North Africa with them. He fought at El Alamein, Wadi Akarit, the Mareth Line and Djebel Roumana where he was wounded by a mortar fragment. He took part in Operation 'Husky' - the invasion of Sicily where he fought the famous Herman Goring Division in the Sferro Hills. The 51HD were not required for the invasion of mainland Italy but were brought home to build up for Operation 'Overlord'. He landed on Sword beach on D+1 and fought through the Normandy Campaign including Operation 'Totalise' - the attack on Caen. His platoon suffered 80/90% casualties in Normandy including the loss of five platoon commanders in a twenty day period. He took part in the operation to liberate Le Havre and later cleared the Germans from the River Maas. His battalion was rushed from Nijmegen in Holland to the Ardennes during the battle of the Bulge. He took part in Operation 'Vertiable' - the fierce battles of the Reichswald (State Forest) and the Siegfried Line. He was among the first troops to cross the Rhine during Operation 'Plunder' in March 1945. His war ended in May 1945 at the Baltic port of Bremerhaven where he liberated a Nazi battle flag from a German cruiser berthed there. After the war he would use this flag as a dustsheet when he needed to decorate his house. His comment when asked about Faye and Arthurs' recent fate and the lucrative offers for their story - "Perhaps they needed a bob or two!" Thank you Ted for sharing your story with me - a very humbling experience.