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Charly Poulter

Polar Bear Regiment, British Army

Info

Charles Poulter
12 Troop, C Squadron, 9th Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment

Home: Warboys, Huntingdon, England
Born: 6th December 1923
Entered service on: 1st October 1942

Grave

Story

We met Charles and Joan in Normandy at the 65th anniversity of D-day in 2009. They were sitting on a bench at the Sainte-Mere-Eglise square. At first we didn't have the intention to go over and talk to them because we thought they were French (Charles had a French medal on his uniform). But we soon found out they were British. We talked for more than a hour and had a great conversation. We were actually in a bit of a hurry because that the the Para Dropping would be just outside Sainte-Mere-Eglise. After we said goodbye to them we went to the Para Dropping and talked about how nice they both are but we totally forgot to give them our address or something.
But we remembered 3 things. Their hometown, the Division he was in and that they would go to Roosendaal in the Netherlands for a commemoration. Some British veterans helped us in our search and we finally found them. Later, Charles and Joan went to Roosendaal in 2010 for the 65 anniversity of the liberation of Roosendaal. We went there also and met them again, although time was to short. Joan gave us photos of Charles when he was in service. After a short walk to a square in Roosendaal the commemoration started and Charles delivered a speech on the square that was once a battleground. We recorded the speech with our camera and wrote down the words he said.

Cemetery

Charles' speech in Roosendaal October 11, 2010

Burgemeester, Roosendalers, ladies and gentlemen and veterans, it is a privilege for us veterans and partners, to be invited back to Holland for the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Roosendaal. It is also very special because of the thanks that will be the last, big commemoration on a scale of this one, October 2009. It is hard to imagine that 65 years ago, us veterans, under the codename “Operation Overlord”, landed on the Normandy beaches in June 1944 and fought their way through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany. We will never forget the welcome we received when we entered Roosendaal on the 30th of October 1944 from the Dutch people who had suffered in many ways 65 years ago as you all know. We were young soldiers and tank crews who took part in the largest invasion of the Second World War. We all lost close comrades, and during those years that followed we all lost our close veteran-comrades. For those veterans that are here today, aren’t we lucky to survive the wartime action and still be here to attend this special event of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Roosendaal. As veterans here today we can walk down memory lane. We shall always remember the welcome we received from the people of Roosendaal in October 1944. This welcome has lasted over the years from the Dutch people. Whenever we visit Holland that welcome is there wherever we go. So let us veterans walk down memory lane the 30th October 1944. The tanks of the 9th Royal Tank Regiment supported by the Infantry entered Roosendaal for the first time. Let us not forget the suffering of the people of Roosendaal. The families that lost their lives and those who were injured in the conflict. Let us not forget the damage to the buildings, the railway station in particular, and the surrounding areas. Let us not forget the bravery of the Dutch resistance that risked their lives for the sake of freedom. But most of all, let us not forget the welcome that we received from the people of Roosendaal in October and November 1944 before we departed from their town to move on to our next battlefront. Mister Burgemeester, on behalf of all members of the 9th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment, we say to all people of Roosendaal thank you, thank you. I’ll repeat myself again and say thank you to the people of Roosendaal. From the first day the tanks of the Royal Tank Regiment entered Roosendaal and drove the enemy from your town, the people of Roosendaal have been close to our hearts. We will never forget the town and the people. The veterans are now in their 86th year, but we will never forget the kindness of the people of Roosendaal. Remember the veterans of those finest words from the song, sung by a Dutch choir “Old Soldiers Never Die, They Only Fade Away, Yes Old Soldiers Never Die, They Only Fade Away”. God bless you all..

Cemetery

In May 2010 we all visited London and visited Charles and Joan, their son Alan and his wife Chris and grandson David. We had a wonderful afternoon and we were very happy to meet the family of a WW2 hero. After we met him and his wife in Normandy and Roosendaal we stayed in contact. We found some great friends in the Poulter family. I really is a shame my grandfather never had the chance to meet Charles.

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Charly in Normandy

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Charly and his comrades

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