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Benny Hill in WWII - British Army

The following excerpt is from Hollywood Stars at D-Day by Richard L Hayes, printed in The Osprey Military Journal, May 2001.

Driver/Mechanic 14332308 Benny Hill of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers didn't arrive in Normandy until 1 September 1944. He was a searchlight operator for the Third Light Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Battery which landed at the famous Mulberry floating harbours. From there they were sent to Dunkirk where a pocket of 7,000 Germans had been bypassed. Though they nicknamed the area 'buzz bomb alley' they saw little action, though a few men were killed while on guard duty.

As one might imagine, Hill was not a natural soldier. In training he developed a bad case of 'guardsman's foot'. And he never did get the hang of driving. But his sense of humour was as sharp as ever. When his sergeant asked him what a 'fine sight' was, he replied, 'Two dinners on one plate.'

He was eventually transferred to Germany and began entertaining, ending up in the production 'Stars in Battledress'. But he hated his actual service, claiming that there was always someone above you to shout, 'You're an 'orrible dozy little man. What are you?' 'I'm a horrible dozy little man, sergeant.' He later summed up his service with, 'I was five years in the army and never got a stripe.'

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