Meal for Monty - A World War 2 army story
'I stayed up up almost all night in Sicily preparing my share of a lunch at Taorima. We were billeted at Letojani about two miles away. The meal was a great success. Afterwards, when my officer came to see me, he told me that our battalion HQ had been the hosts to none other than General Montgomery and General Eisenhower. I felt really chuffed and would never forget the occasion. It was quite an honour for me!'
In Bill's war diary he mentions that:
At the time Bill prepared his share of the meal for Monty, he didn't know who it was for and only later was told about Monty and Eisenhower. But see who else was at the meal as revealed in this recently discovered photograph of the occasion:
The 29 August 1943 lunch party at Monty's HQ at Taormina after the final conquest of Sicily. Two armies (the British 8th and American 5th) won the campaign and this shows some of the commanders involved. Seated, left to right are: General Patton, Eisenhower and Monty. Behind Patton is General Bradley, and on the extreme right is (the British) General Dempsey. The fighting in Sicily had lasted from 8 July to 17 August 1943 and cost the 8th Army some 12,000 casualties, though almost half of these were due to malaria, not enemy action.
Photo from 'Monty - A Life in Photographs', Brian Montgomery, Blandford Press
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Click here to read Monty's speech to the troops on D-Day