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Special service to be held in honour of Norfolk war hero

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:30 09 April 2018

Arthur Brough in uniform before going to France. Picture: Submitted

Arthur Brough in uniform before going to France. Picture: Submitted

Archant

A special service of thanksgiving is to take place in Honingham to remember the much-loved and highly regarded Norfolk war hero and author Arthur Brough.

Arthur Brough outside the sawmill in Poland. Picture: Brent GreenwoodArthur Brough outside the sawmill in Poland. Picture: Brent Greenwood

Veterans, serving soldiers, and representatives from Le Paradis in France, the scene of the notorious massacre of our soldiers in France, will take part in the service at the church where Dunkirk Veterans gather every year.

Mr Brough died just before Christmas aged 98 followed by a private cremation. Now there will be a memorial service to honour this brave, courageous and popular gentleman who was so well known across Norwich, Norfolk, France and Poland.

He moved to Great Yarmouth with his family when he was a boy and joined the Royal Norfolk Regiment in 1938. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was shipped over to France – and Dunkirk.

Many of his comrades were killed as they were running alongside dykes as the tanks approached. He was hit and went down, and it probably saved his life.

Arthur Brough  is thanked by a Polish soldier for all that he and his friends did to help the country during the war. Picture: Brent GreenwoodArthur Brough is thanked by a Polish soldier for all that he and his friends did to help the country during the war. Picture: Brent Greenwood

Other soldiers were taken off to Le Paradis where they were massacred by the Germans.

Wounded, Mr Brough was thrown into a cattle truck and sent to PoW camps in Poland where he refused to work, only to be beaten and tattooed by the Germans to show he was a big troublemaker.

When victory was in sight and the Germans being forced out of Poland he, along with many other prisoners, were made to march in appalling conditions for about three months.

“Wearing just rags and pieces of wood for shoes, we slept rough in the snow. I would often wake up to find the man next to me dead,” he once recalled.

The Cookhouse at the sawmill in Poland. Arthur Brough is in the front row, on left. Picture: SubmittedThe Cookhouse at the sawmill in Poland. Arthur Brough is in the front row, on left. Picture: Submitted

The starving prisoners would try to eat any crops they saw in the fields while guards shot at them.

“I never forgot being a PoW. The degradation, the humiliation, the lice, the horror I felt when I was handcuffed and chained. So many of my friends died,” he added.

When he returned to Norfolk he found out his brother had been killed in France and his family bombed out of their home at Great Yarmouth.

After the war he worked as a crane driver in Norwich. He also wrote a book titled My Wasted Years 1940-45, which is for sale at Jarrold in Norwich.

Arthur Brough outside the sawmill in Poland. Picture: Brent GreenwoodArthur Brough outside the sawmill in Poland. Picture: Brent Greenwood

The service is at St Andrew’s Church, Honingham, on April 22 at 11am.

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