UNDERWOOD, Lionel Harold

Rank: 
Lance Corporal
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
5956944
Died : 
Wednesday, June 7, 1944
Killed in action or died of wounds
Age: 
21
Roll of Honour: 
Operations: 

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..."

Photo of grave in Gallery: 
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