- Created: 13 March 2014
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Thomas Arthur Gell was born in Fern Avenue, Waterloo Street in Hul on the 12th January 1923. He left school at the age of 14 and joined up aged 19 in 1942. He was sent for training to Victoria Barracks at Beverley the site now of the Morrison Supermarket. After his initial training he was sent up to Scotland to undertake invasion training and also trained on the Isle of Wight. He was then sent to join the South Lancashire Regiment and as part of the 3rd British Infantry Division landed on Sword Beach on 6.6.44....D-Day
Thomas' Units objective was to take Chateaux La Londe, Hermonville and then to reach Caen. The fighting that took place in and around the Chateaux La Londe has since been described as the bloodiest square mile in Normandy. After much fighting they moved on to Caen, then through to Belgium, Holland and Germany.
After the end of WWII Thomas was posted to Egypt and Palestine. He left the army in 1946. He was awarded 5 medals. He died on the 29th December 2013 aged 90
The above words are from his Daughter Gillian and it was sad to hear that Thomas had died only recently, I would have loved to have personally met him. The words above do not convey the whole story about D Day. On Sword Beach that day at 0730 the South Lancs and East Yorkshire Regiments hit the beach together, they were the first wave, the fighting was intense and heavy casualties where taken. Thomas would have seen all that and more as the war progressed through France, through to Germany and if that wasn't enough he was sent to Palestine.
One of East Yorkshire's Finest and we salute him and remember him here
This picture is of Thomas with a Belgium Couple he stayed with
Thomas (Right) with a mate
Thomas rear middle with a group of Mates and their dog
Thomas on the right. This looks as if it could be Egypt or Palestine
Thomas' Campaign Medals
From Left to Right 1938-1945 Star, France & Germany Star 1944-1945, Defence Medal, War Medal, Palestine Medal For service in Palestine 1945–48