The Ironmonger

Pat’s ID Card issued whilst serving in the Western Desert

When 4 CLY were about to be shipped to North Africa he joined the unit as a spare officer and took part in the unit’s first action - Operation Crusader - at the end of 1941. In 1942 he took part in a number of notable actions including detachment to the Long Range Desert Group, observing Axis troop movements deep behind enemy lines.

During Rommel’s advance from Mersah Matruh in the summer of 1942, Pat was wounded in the leg by a stray shell and was hastily evacuated. An over-enthusiastic medical attendant put both his legs and one arm in plaster and he was further evacuated to South Africa to convalesce – where he struck up a close friendship with John Cloudsley-Thompson who had been wounded at about the same time.