1942


19
YEARS

WAR RECRUIT

In 1942,

Underwood recieves the call

to join the army.

He becomes

an infantryman

for the Suffolk Regiment.

The Suffolk Regiment is secretly preparing

for the invasion of Normandy

in two years time.

The Suffolk Regiment negotiating barbed-wire obstacles during training on the beach at Sandbanks near Poole.

King George VI inspects men of the Suffolk Regiment during a tour of Western Command.

The Normandy Landings

take place on the beaches of Northern France

in 1944.

They mark the beginning of the successful

Allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe

during World War II.

Robert F. Sargent
Into the Jaws of Death (1944)

Back in January 1942 however,

Underwood is undergoing a standard

physical examination...

“I remember I had attended

an Army Medical

at St. Albans...”

“After a very thorough examination

by several doctors...

I was passed ‘A1’”

*A1: ‘fit for general service’

“It was a severe winter that year…

and much of our training…”

“...was in atrocious weather…”

“I had been unwell before joining up…”

“...and...

soon became worse…”

“…after a few weeks,

I collapsed on the rifle range

at Bury St. Edmunds…”

“...and was taken to the Army Hospital...”

“I remember feeling very tired and ill,

and had no real wish to recover…”

“In the middle of the night

I woke to find myself being held up in bed…”

“…two doctors 

and several nurses

were fussing round me…”

“...but I didn’t really want to know…”

“...I just wanted to go back to sleep…”

“In the morning 

a wide-eyed nurse asked me how I felt.

I said I was alright - why?”

“She said,

‘You nearly died last night..

“From then on I began to get better,

 but it seemed that there had been a weakness

 in my chest…”

No Common Task
pp.35-36

In order to properly regain his health,

Underwood is taken to Rushbrooke Hall in Suffolk,

where he discovers reports of strange activity...