I joined the Home Guard when I was just 16. People did back then.
I signed up into the army at 18 and joined the Royal Scots Regiment. After thousands of men were lost in Ardennes they sent in the reserves and so at 18 1/2 years old I was fighting in the army. We were all so young. There was a boy came over one day and was shot and killed the next day. He had a face like a baby. One day, I was digging a trench by the side of the house in a suburban part of Bremen. My helmet and gun were on the ground by my side. Three bullets hit the wall and I was showered with shrapnel. The Sergeant who had been standing next to me was killed instantly. When people were killed we would just walk around looking down saying 'Who is that one? Who is this one?' like a nurse might do when she was walking up and down her ward.
Once I got hit, I thought 'that's enough!'. I grabbed my rifle and just ran. In the Army your rifle is the first thing that you think about.
I ran shouting "I've been hit! I've been hit!". I lay down and there was blood everywhere. We were still under fire but the stretcher bearers came to get me. I'd been hit on my leg, my arm and my chest. I was taken by plane to a hospital in Belgium. It was the first time I'd ever been on an aeroplane and I told the pilot "Don't bloody crash it - I'm already badly injured!" All I could think was that my mother wouldn't like it if I got killed.
I was operated on and spent a month in hospital. I still to this day have shrapnel in my body and I'm 92 years old now.
In those days you didn't make a fuss, not like now.
The funny thing is I didn't feel any pain. I think when you're young you just recover quickly and you don't feel the pain but I still remember everything. You never forget an experience like that. It's just something you can't forget ever.
War is such a terrible, terrible thing.
You're lucky you've got me and my story before I've gone!