UNDERWOOD, Lionel Harold
LCpl Underwood was killed during operations at Normandy.
Extract from a letter sent by Herbert Beddows (3 Cdo) to the family of Lionel Underwood:
"On this occasion 4 & 5 Troops of No. 3 Commado had attacked the Merville Battery. Captured it, suffering some casualities. 4 Troop was then sent back - about 200 yards from the battery, we shortly came under fire from an assortment of weapons, one was believed to be 88 inch - a deadly gun - so a fighting patrol was hastily formed, comprising of Lt Williams, Sgt Port, L/Cpl Underwood, Trp Mills and myself, Herbert Beddows. In fact it was a case of you, you, you & you.
So off we go and, in a very short time, we came under fire, not too serious, but by this time we'd lost Lt Williams and Sgt Port on our left. So we are now three - L/Cpl Underwood leading, then me with Mills a few yards behind. As L/Cpl Underwood approaches a hedgrow, just by a lane at the side of the wall of the Chateau d' Merville, he was shot and killed by sniper fire. Most sudden. I can assure you he died instantly. No suffering, it's still so clear in my memory!
Within seconds Mills and I dived into a bomb crater (the site had been heavily bombed). I then said to Mills, “We cant stay here.” So I said I would make a run for the hedgerow – which I managed under heavy machine gun fire, but I'm sorry and sad to to say young Mills got killed by machine gun fire and never made it, he was only 19..."