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Memory of a Young Bren Gunner

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posted on 2024-06-05, 20:07 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor's great uncle, the first Andrew Charles, died in 2022 at the age of 98. He landed at Sword Beach in the Queen Red sector. He had joined the service as a Special Constable underage and had been in school in England for six months. Andrew Charles was a good shot and served as a Bren gunner. He arrived in France on 6 June 1944, and advanced to Cam Military Medal on 14 July at Tilly-sur-Seulles. Andrew Charles was awarded a ribbon in November 1944 by Montgomery. He finished his service on 1 December 1944. He had been shot in Holland and was hospitalised in England. After the war, Andrew Charles attended Campbell College and worked for Magherafelt Council. He married Cora and had three sons. Andrew Charles did not speak much about his experiences of the Second World War until his later years.

The contributor's other great uncle, Alan Charles, was in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles. He was killed by friendly fire on 8 June 1944. Alan Charles was married with one son, and he was buried at Ranville, France.


Person the story/items relate to

Andrew Charles and Alan Charles

Person who shared the story/items

Andrew David Charles

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Andrew and Alan Charles were the great uncles of the contributor.

Type of submission

Shared at The Linen Hall, Belfast on 17 June 2023.

Record ID

104217 | BEL003