HELLYER, Kenneth George
The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)
Wednesday, July 8, 1942
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Private Kenneth Hellyer died in a training exercise accident.
"We were involved in a night landing on the Isle of Arran, disembarking from a landing craft, tank (LCT). As we sliently approached the beach the ramp was lowered and the order 'Out troops' given. The two leading soldiers went straight ahead off the lowered ramp into the water which was almost five feet deep. As they did the LCT continued to drift inshore on the incoming tide, pushing the two soldiers under. Seeing what had happened the following Commandos jumped off the sides of the ramp assuming that their mates had recovered and were now in the clear. At this stage, having had plenty of training and also been on a raid in Norway, our self discipline and silence could not be faulted. There was no indication that anything was amiss and the landing continued as planned. It wasn't realized the two were missing until much later, the normal drill being that if anyone was initially missing all troops 'pressed on regardless', anticipating that any straggler would catch up as soon as possible. Unfortunatly when the two did not appear at any stage during the exercise, our worst fears materialized in the light of the morning when the bodies were found washed up on the foreshore. Both were popular members of D Troop and the tragedy was compounded by the fact that one had recently married a local Troon girl and she was now a widow." (Source: It Had to be Tough by Maj. James Dunning.)
Lance Corporal Stanley Frederick Orchin was the other Commando who was killed.
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