Oliver Perks' Wartime Timeline

Listed here are all Oliver's dated events and photographs, together with other key dates relevant to Oliver's WWII experiences.

Pre-war

10 February 1920Oliver Perks born in Bristol.
1938Oliver goes to Exeter College, Oxford to read Law.

1939

3 SeptemberWar declared when Oliver had completed a year at Exeter College, Oxford.Blog 1

1940

15 AugustCalled up to the 16th Field Training Regiment at Topsham Barracks, Exeter.Blog 1
NovemberPosted to 123rd Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) in Catterick.Blog 1

1941

February/MarchRejected by 123rd OCTU at Catterick and posted to Weston-super-Mare as Lance Bombardier.Blog 1 | Blog 5
MarchA troop, 285 Battalion, 72nd Field Regiment R.A. at Weston-super-Mare (Oliver 4th from right).Photo
2 AprilH.M. King George VI inspects 72nd Field Regiment R.A. at the Beach Lawns, Weston-super-Mare.Blog 1 | Photo
April-JulyJourney via Cape Town to Tewfik (Suez) on SS Empress of Asia.Blog 1
JulyArrival in Suez.Blog 2
NovemberPort Said, Palestine: Haifa, Kibbutz, Jordan valley calibration shoot, swimming in the Dead Sea.Blog 2 | Blog 3
DecemberEgypt near Alexandria: Goods train to Sidi Barrani, Getting lost during night-time troop watch.Blog 3

1942

FebruaryThe desert near Alexandria: Gazala Line patrols, leaving gun behind, ammunition safety devices.Blog 3
Random Reminiscences: Ejectors Projectile!, Bir Hacheim tea incident, Fabian Exercises.Gunner
5 FebruarySS Empress of Asia sunk by the Japanese.Blog 1
21 MarchMartuba airfield: JU87 Stukas, wounded in the legs.Blog 4 | Gunner
Wounded notification addressed to Oliver's father.
MayOliver (left) playing golf while at number five convalescent camp at El-Arish.Photo
22 OctoberPosted to the Tank Delivery Regiment, 8th Army. Blog 6
23 OctoberRe-Posted to the Middle East Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU).Blog 6
23 Oct - 11 NovBattle of El Alamein, Egypt.
NovemberCadet O. H. Perks at OCTU (Officer Cadet Training Unit).Photo
DecemberPassed OCTU exams, swimming with Australians, march with full kit and assault course.Blog 7

1943

JanuaryThree months gunnery at the Royal School of Artillery at Almaza.Blog 8
MarchGunners at OCTU at the R.A. base depot at Almaza, Cairo (Oliver is 6th from left, 2nd row).Photo
AprilGun Laying Competition, R.A. OCTU, Acre, Palestine.Photo 1 | Photo 2
MayCommissioned. Kit allowance spent on high living in Alexandria.Blog 8
JulyOn draft to Sicily.Blog 8
10 JulyLanded in Sicily. Sicilian campaign starts.Blog 8
30 AugustPicnic on the beach, Sicily.Blog 9
NovemberReturn convoy to the UK, arriving in Avonmouth.Blog 9
DecemberThe "Black Bull" Sawston, Whittlesford, Lane near Sawston.Photo Album 1

1944

JanuaryPreparing for D-Day: Retraining and re-equipping with self-propelled guns.Blog 10
Whittlesford, Presentation of 'Footballer of Loos' replica by London Irish Rifles to 465 Field Battery.Photo Album 2
FebruaryWaterproofing course in Rhyll and testing the tanks.Blog 10 | Photo Album 1
MarchFabian Exercises, I've got my Sherman stuck, Run-in-shoot exercise at Studland.Blog 10 | Gunner
3-9 JuneWaiting to embark D-3, LCT 2005 being taken in tow D+3, Deck of LST.Photo Album 3
6 JuneSecond Army Path: Assault on Normandy (D-Day), LCT Mk V waterlogged halfway across channel.D-Day | Blog 11 | Gunner
6-9 JuneLCT 2005 adrift for three days before being towed to Shoreham.Blog 11 | Photo 1 | Photo 2
10 JuneLetter to Oliver's father: Lt. Oliver Perks reported missing.
16 JuneLetter to Oliver's father: reporting that OHP has rejoined his unit.
18 JuneOliver's landing on D+12 unopposed.D-Day Blog | Gunner
24 JuneTelegram home: report that OHP has been wounded.Blog 12
27 JuneSecond Army Path: The Odon.
June-JulyAerial view of gun positions at Abbaye Saint-Martin de Mondaye, Juaye-Mondaye, Calvados.Blog 11 | Photo
F Troop at Juaye-Mondaye and near Villers-Bocage, Normandy.Photo Album 4
F Troop crew with 'Furious' near Villers-Bocage, Normandy.Photo
9 JulySecond Army Path: Caen.
16 JulyAdmitted to 203 Field Ambulance.Blog 12
19 JulyDischarged (GSW - rifle - back of chest - left side - superficial).Blog 12
JulyShowers in Bayeux. American and RAF bombing over Caen. Tanks, bridges and mines.Blog 13
28 JulyLetter home confirming OHP wounded "a penetrating wound left scapula region".
29 JulySecond Army Path: Caumont.
7 AugustSecond Army Path: Mont Pincon.
AugustGacé, F Troop at Quesnay-Guesnon, Pat Ross, Mike Norris, 'Grub-Up!', Gunner Winnard.Photo Album 5
20 AugustSecond Army Path: Falaise.
21 AugustOliver enjoys a smoke at Gacé in Normandy.Photo
25 AugustSecond Army Path: The Seine.
Late Aug/Early SeptMotorcycling over the Seine. The liberation run - WWI graves. En route to Brussels.Blog 13
2 SeptemberSecond Army Path: The Somme.
3 SeptemberSecond Army Path: Brussels.
Prisoners at Mons-en-Pévèle.Blog 13 | Photo Album 6
3-11 SeptemberSecond Army Path: The Canals Albert and Escaut.
4 SeptemberSecond Army Path: Antwerp.
5 SeptemberGun position at Brussells, Near to Albert canal, Sergeant Scott (centre) on 'FEE'.Photo Album 6
Photo in Brussels by Willy Dumont. Message on the back reads "To our liberators THANKS!".Photo
17 SeptemberLetter from Willy Dumont enclosing photo taken in Brussels of Oliver on 5 September 1944.Photo
17-25 SeptemberOperation Market Garden (Battle of Arnhem).Blog 14 | Gunner
17-29 SeptemberSecond Army Path: The Rivers Maas and Waal.
27 SeptemberLetter from Gilbert Wells, apologizing for alarm caused by declaring OHP missing.
OctoberFrench 75mm AA gun, F Troop gun position, Ressen-Bemmel, John Winder, Dutch girl.Photo Album 7
22-27 OctoberSecond Army Path: 'S Hertogenbosch Tilburg.
NovemberNijmegen, Mike Shepheard at work, Useful Padre.Blog 14 | Photo Album 6
Nijmegen, RHQ, Flooded Rhine, Ressen-Bemmel, looking towards Arnhem.Blog 14 | Photo Album 8
14 Nov-13 DecSecond Army Path: The Rivers Maas and Roer.
21 DecemberSecond Army Path: The Ardennes.
Xmas DayCO's tank 'Mary' with crew, Terheijden, North Brabant, Holland.Photo Album 9
December'Personal' message from the Army Commander, First Canadian Army.
Holland: 50th Division (90th Field Regiment) disbanded.Blog 14 | Gunner

1945

JanuaryHolland: Patrolling the Rhine, Roosendaal and Terheijden, North Brabant.Blog 15 | Photo Album 9
13 JanuarySecond Army Path: Sittard.
FebruaryF Troop, 465 Battery, 90th (City of London) Field Regiment R.A. in Holland.Photo 1 | Photo 2
Self-propelled gun 'Fee' and crew, F Troop, 465 Battery, 90th Field Regiment R.A. in Holland.Photo 1 | Photo 2
Self-propelled gun 'Fie' and crew, F Troop, 465 Battery, 90th Field Regiment R.A. in Holland.Photo
Self-propelled gun 'Foe' and crew, F Troop, 465 Battery, 90th Field Regiment R.A. in Holland.Photo
Self-propelled gun 'Fum' and crew, F Troop, 465 Battery, 90th Field Regiment R.A. in Holland.Photo
MarchRegimental HQ at Vlijmen, North Brabant, Holland. Trips to Belgium.Blog 15
Lt. Col. I.G.G.S. Hardie DSO R.A. takes a nap on the grass at RHQ Mess, Vlijmen, North Brabant.Photo
Water tower at Vlijmen, North Brabant.Photo Album 10
RHQ Mess, Vlijmen, North Brabant, Doc, Harry Brunkhoff and Padre, Lt. Col. Hardie DSO R.A.Photo Album 11
24 MarchSecond Army Path: The Rhine.
1 AprilFourth Anniversary celebrations, 465 Field Battery R.A.
5 AprilSecond Army Path: The Weser.
AprilSextons or Rams: 'Excalibur' after a premature (detonation) in the Bore, Holland, Vlijmen.Photo | Gunner
E Troop guns passing through Vlijmen, 'Excalibur' after a premature (detonation) in the bore.Photo Album 12
Waalwijk, Holland: Views from CO's car (90th Field RA). Pat Ross, Arthur Stait, Eric Morrow, Doc.Photo Album 13
28 AprilSecond Army Path: Bremen.
29 AprilSecond Army Path: The Elbe.
2 MaySecond Army Path: The Baltic.
8 MayVE (Victory in Europe) Day celebrated by OHP in Roosendaal.Blog 15
MayF Troop at Waalwijk, Holland, Major Wells and OHP party, Regimental line-up.Photo Album 15
F Troop regimental line-up, 'Aurora', 'Achilles' and 'Beau Geste', Waalwijk, Holland.Photo
JuneA school full of Russian prisoners and clearing out the debris.Blog 15
German SP 7.5cm gun near Bochum, Lake in Ruhr valley near Essen, Roy Johnsen by river Ruhr.Photo Album 16
River Maas at Drimmelen, Misuse of grenade no. 36!, Francis Holland.Photo Album 14
2nd Army Thanksgiving Service, Conclusion of Campaign in North West Europe. Lubeck, Germany.Cover | Title | Army Path
AutumnBruges, Belgium. Medicals, Woolwich depot, indefinite leave, mumps. Drafted to the Middle East.Blog 16
8 DecemberIdentity card photo, 277651 Lt. O.H. Perks R.A.Photo

Post-war

April 1946Course shooting at Bir 'Asluj, Mike Minford, Sergeant Bowen, 39 battery firing, Bombardier Frewin.Photo Album 17
22 June 1946Release leave certificate, 19th Field Regiment R.A. (108 days leave granted prior to release).
9 October 1946Oliver's release date.
16 October 1946Lt. Oliver Perks admitted as life member of the R.A.
1947Russian Gun at Frie Baton, GuernseyPhoto 1 | Photo 2 | Gunner
6 June 1994Oliver's account of his participation in the 50th Anniversary of D-Day in France.D-Day 94 | Photo 1 | Photo 2
2006Oliver at an R.A. event.Photo 1 | Photo 2
2010Oliver celebrating his 90th birthday with his adopted Wellingtonia tree at Westonbirt Arboretum.Photo
3 November 2012Oliver died peacefully in his sleep aged 92.
Copyright © 2010-2013 The Estate of Oliver Perks. All Rights Reserved.