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.'