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‘Important to honour such men and women’

Veteran Earl Darrell was 18 years old when he enlisted as a soldier with the first Battalion Caribbean Regiment in the Second World War.

He left the Island on April 23, 1944 and travelled to four continents America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

“Of course I was proud to represent my Country,” he said. “It was my first time I had seen outside of St David’s.”

He recalls many milestones of his service, including meeting up with different convoys in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, having their base destroyed by German troops a few days before arriving in Oran in Algeria, and picking up 2,000 German prisoners in Italy.

Mr Darrell was largely stationed in Egypt, where he spent 14 months of his service. He said one of the most challenging parts of that time was their daily rations.

“The hardest part, there are so many things I could say, but in the first place was the food. In Egypt we had peas and rice every day; on Sundays they gave us rice and peas.”

He recalls losing only one of his 112 Bermudian comrades in Italy.

“Thank God, somebody must have been watching over us,” he said.

Mr Darrell said there were also some inspirational moments during his time at war.

“While we were down in the boot of Italy we heard the horn of the

Queen of Bermuda blow in the harbour. What a sound that was.

“As soon as us Bermudians heard that we came alive in the mind. She was a cruise ship that ran from New York to Bermuda. It came down every Monday and left on a Wednesday or Thursday.”

He said the reminder of home gave men the motivational push they needed to continue the fight.

It’s important for the Island to honour such men and women, said Mr Darrell. “It’s a damn good thing that they do that because it brings back memories of people that you know or knew who risked their life or lost their lives.

“It’s good for the country you come from to salute them on that certain day. It was a sacrifice that they did, I think that is what I did. I sacrificed myself to go out there.”

And this one...: Earl Darrell shows a young boy his war medals

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Published November 10, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 10, 2011 at 7:47 am)

‘Important to honour such men and women’

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