Interview with Alfred Smith, 11 April 2016
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Series
'Veterans: A Shared Experience' interviews
Scope and Content:
Alfred Smith [AS] interviewed by Juliana Vandegrift [JV] about serving in the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) during the Second World War and his experience of Dunkirk and D-Day.

[00:00] AS describes his first job as a baker’s roundsman, driving a baker's lorry and delivering bread; being called up to the RASC in late September 1939; sailing from Southampton to Cherbourg in France; camping at Angres, a small village; daily rations and limited supplies; his role as a lorry driver, carrying food, ammunition, and petrol to troops on the front line; being told by a British Officer to head to the beach to get evacuated; the two-day drive to Dunkirk.

[05:16] Being instructed to blow up their lorries; the 48-hour wait on the beach; witnessing a close friend being hit on the back of the head by shrapnel; being rescued by HMS Skiddaw; arrival at the docks in Harwich; how women looked after survivors of the evacuation.

[09:07] Being sent from Northern Ireland to army barracks in Tilbury; waterproofing their lorries; arriving on Gold Beach, Normandy for D-Day. Reflects on his emotions about the war.
Dates of Creation:
11 April 2016
13 minutes 15 seconds
Creator Name:
Juliana Vandegrift
Admin History:
Alfred Thomas Smith was born in Maldon in 1919 and grew up in Shoeburyness. He was called up to join the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) in September 1939 and served in France as a lorry driver. In May 1940 he was evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Skiddaw. After spending time in Worcestershire and Northern Ireland he was transferred to Tilbury and told about plans for D-Day; a day later he drove his lorry onto Gold Beach, Normandy.
Acquisition Source:
Donated to the Essex Record Office by Southend Museums Service, September 2018.
Copyright Southend Museums
Physical Characteristics:
1 MP3 file [created from original WAV file]
Related Unit of Description:
For biographical information about Alfred Smith, see SA 79/1/3/4