George Simms


Born
: Ardwick, Manchester, 1923

Age at signing up
: 18

Service
: 41 Royal Marine Commandos

George was brought up in Ardwick by his parents, George and May and was the youngest of 3 siblings.

He was a clever lad and top in English and Maths at his Junior School. As a teenager George would cycle from Gorton to Levenshulme and was a Butcher’s Lad at Dewhurst’s Shop on Stockport Road. When delivering parcels of meat on his bike he met and made friends with Ken Simpkin, another local Butcher’s Lad. Ken was the brother of the young lady, Connie, who George went on to marry in 1945.

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In February 1942 George volunteered to serve in the Royal Marines as soon as he was old enough and completed his basic training at the Royal Marine Depot, Lympstone in Devon. In November of the same year he was selected for service in the elite Royal Marine Commandos and trained at their famous Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry Castle near Fort William in Scotland.
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D-Day 6th June 1944, George was only twenty years of age when he took part in the Normandy landings. He was in the 41 Royal Marine Commando which landed with the first wave on Sword Beach alongside Major Chaplin, the Officer Commanding Y Troop. He remembered this day vividly for the rest of his life.

George’s Troop Sergeant, Major Denis Fawcett MBE remembered George: ‘My earliest recollections of George go back to the winter of 1942. After his recruit training in South Devon he was posted to D Company in which I was a Corporal. He was a quiet lad and perhaps a wee bit shy. He was the sort of chap who go on with things without a lot of fuss. Then he served with me in Y Company.’

Click below to find out more about George on the D-Day Landings

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George was demobilised on 24th May 1946 and went on to serve in the Fire Service for 25 years from July 1946 – July 1973.

During his time there he was commended by Stockport Corporation on 6th February 1964 for rescuing a woman from a burning house ‘under difficult circumstances’ and also helped to deliver a baby!

George married Connie in 1945 and they went on to have three sons. George was a proud Grandad to 9 Grandchildren and Great Grandad to 11 and counting Great Grandchildren!

George was proudly awarded many medals for his services; click here to find out more!

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‘I was just one of the lucky ones that came out alive’