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D-day Veteran At Scarborough Armed Forces Day
Maurice Sadler
The Scarborough Armed Forces Day Committee is delighted to welcome D-Day veteran, 94 year old Maurice Sadler, to formally take the salute at the town’s annual Armed Forces Day event on Saturday 29 June.

Maurice was born on 11 August 1924 in Enfield, Middlesex. On 6 May 1942, aged 17, he joined the Royal Marines at Chatham Barracks, passing out for duty with 184 Squad in January 1943. Whilst awaiting posting, Churchill appointed Mountbatten to assemble a Combined Force and Maurice found himself heading first to Portsmouth then Troon to work on modifying and making Landing Craft ready for action.

In February 1943 he joined the rest of the assembling Flotilla stationed at Poole, Dorset, spending the next year or so carrying out varying duties and tasks, primarily with Canadian and Marine units.

After sailing from Portsmouth, he arrived off the shores of Nan Green Bernières (Juno Beach) at 5.30am on D-Day, 6 June 1944, immediately seeing action, attacking various pill boxes and gun batteries intent on holding up the Canadians from getting ashore. On successful completion of his mission with the Canadians moving forward, he moved East onto Langrune-sur-Mer, again to attack various enemy positions in aid of the 48th Commando Royal Marines, who were mopping up German sites after establishing the first bridgehead of the morning.

With the successful landings it was onward to three months on nights on the ‘Trout Line’ (a defensive barrier in the English Channel set up around the Normandy anchorage). This saw him hunting torpedoes and floating mines in protection of the minesweeping flotillas, including acting against multiple threats of enemy attack from E-boats, radio-controlled boats, Linsen explosive motor boats and 'Neeger' Human torpedoes.

Duties completed, he returned to Poole in September. The following month saw his crew move to a ‘holding barracks’ for Combined Operations personnel at HMS Robertson, a hutted accommodation encampment located in Kent, where he remained for 14 months undertaking varying duties during which time he became a Corporal.

Early 1946 saw HMS Robertson closing down with all personnel dispersing back to their enlistment barracks. Maurice’s was Chatham, which had now become a de-mob centre. He was immediately posted out for duty as Base Staff Corporal to the Royal Marines School of Music Station in Scarborough, billeted at two locations on the North Bay (The Clifton and The Norbreck hotels). Four months passed and in April when the school moved back to Portsmouth he was sent back to Chatham, this time for de-mob and was signed off in May 1946.

No sooner back in ‘civvy street’, Maurice got married on 6 May 1946 to Mary, a former WREN and in 1947 their son Michael was born, followed in 1952 by their daughter Barbara. Having lived in Wimbledon, Coventry and Rugby, including a 23 years stint at Rolls Royce and 10 years with Tesco, Maurice retired in 1989 at 65.

In 1994 at the age of 70, Maurice and Mary moved to Yorkshire to settle in Scarborough to be near their daughter and grandson. They are a very close family and have been happily married for 73 years. Maurice currently presides as the President of the Scarborough and District Branch of the Royal Marines Association and has done so since its inauguration in 2008.

Tom Fox, Chairman of Scarborough Armed Forces Day Committee said:

“It is wonderful to have Maurice with us at Armed Forces Day. He is a most private but remarkable man. He is a pleasure to be with and we are so pleased that on the 75th anniversary year of D-Day we can reflect with pride and respect on Maurice’s service and in particular acknowledge his important service at D-Day by having him take the ‘salute’ of the parade.”

D-day Veteran At Scarborough Armed Forces Day, 28th June 2019, 20:08 PM