D-Day 70: Potterne veteran had key role in supplying ammunition

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Leonard Holloway, 99, played a vital role in keeping the front line supplied with ammunition on D-Day Leonard Holloway, 99, played a vital role in keeping the front line supplied with ammunition on D-Day

Leonard Holloway, 99, played a vital role in keeping the front line supplied with ammunition on D-Day.

Corporal Holloway served with The Pioneer Corps, which performed a wide variety of tasks, and he was on Juno Beach on D-Day. He and his colleagues arrived by boat and did not come under fire.

A total of 13 Pioneer companies landed with the first tide on D-Day followed by ten companies with the second tide, making a total of about 6,700 men by the end of the day.

Mr Holloway, of Silver Street, Potterne said: “When we came over the side of the boat the sea was calm. We had a hell of a lot of stuff to carry.

"Our job was to unload the boats that came ashore with ammunition and put them on to lorries to go to the front line.

“D-Day was the most amazing thing and the organisation of it was marvellously thought out. How the Germans couldn’t see all the ships arriving I don’t know.”

While he was there he met an English woman, who was married to a Frenchman, and Mr Holloway said she told him, “aren’t we pleased to see you.”

Asked how he felt on D-Day Mr Holloway, a great-great grandfather, said: “You are just a soldier, you are not there to stand and reason why you are here. You are a soldier and you do or die. D-Day was one of the most marvellous things to end the war.”

Mr Holloway volunteered to join the Army in 1939 and was living in London at the time.

As well as Normandy he also served in Sicily, Tripoli and Italy. After the war he had a variety of civilian jobs, including as a painter and decorator, and moved to Wiltshire as his late wife, Doris, lived there.

They lived in Etchilhampton and West Lavington before moving to Potterne, where he built their home.

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