31st August 1944: Eric Brewer wrote in his diary “Pushed on again to near Amiens. Stayed there the night. Captured about 60 prisoners, plenty of more dead about. Also have seen a B.B. site. Heard that 5 have been taken today…..
The next day he wrote of the German prisoners “Funny chaps as they salute us and stand to attention.” (See ‘Beaten Paths are Safest’ by Roy Howard, Brewin Books 2004)
Sandy Handley saw a bit of action near Amiens:
"Near Amiens our CO detailed the squadron Sergeant Major to scout out a rendezvous for harbouring all the squadron’s vehicles. The main armour, tanks of the guards I think, had made a breakthrough at Amiens. The 61st Recce Sergeant Major sat himself on the bonnet of our Humber (not really Army orders) and away we went through the main street of Amiens. There was no imminent danger so I sat back on my turret with a mouth full of an apple. All of a sudden some French civilians waved frantically and shouted the Boche (Germans) was in their street, could we do something.
The Sergeant Major, who was still clinging on to the bonnet of our armoured car shouted to me to aim at some windows in the street. I still had the apple in my mouth and got into the firing position, then someone shouted “Over there, over there”. Over on our left there were 6 Germans running like mad to get to thir field gun cannon, whatever it was. I was told to fire away at these fleeing germans but what with a mouthful of apple and the Sgt. Major blocking my view I couldn’t let go (fire). The Sgt. Major leaned over to let me have a good field of view but by that time the Germans had gone to ground. If the Sgt. Major hadn’t been stuck on our bonnet in the first place no doubt I could have done a bit of damage.
We found a good harbour and returned to base but I never saw the Sergeant Major so far up the front again, well not sitting on our vehicle anyway. Nice chap though." (From Ex Trooper S Handley’s ‘61 Recce - Memories of Normandy 1944 – 1945’, unpublished)
61st Recce Roll of Honour includes the following who died on 1st September 1944:
Corporal Arthur Richard Barnett(age 26) of Moston, Manchester
who is laid to rest in the London cemetery and extension, Longueval north-west of Amiens.
(See 61st Recce Roll of Honour, courtesy of Recce Mitch.)
We will remember them.