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The last thing I remember is walking along a beach in Italy to get back on the boat then waking up in hospital two weeks later. I had stepped on a shoe mine.

During WW2, when he was just 14, Roy Phillips joined the Royal Marines as a Bugle boy. Roy had dreamed of joining the Navy, but at just 14, he was not old enough. The Royal Marines, however, were happy to sign him up and his role was to play the Marines into battle.

Shortly after the D-day landings, Roy stood on a shoe mine on a beach in Trieste, Italy and lost his right leg below the knee.

"The last thing I remember is walking along a beach in Italy to get back on the boat then waking up in hospital two weeks later. I had stepped on a shoe mine, which is designed to blow your boot off with your foot in it. I was 16 years old."

Roy, who is now 89, left the Marines and worked all over the world in various roles before meeting his wife, Rose, in Mauritius and settling in North Devon.

"From 1945 until about six years ago, I would put my leg on in the morning and I wouldn’t know it was there until I took it off when I went to bed. It was like I had my own leg. I did all sorts of jobs, drove every lorry and did all sorts of things. Walking around, I had no trouble at all!”

In June 2017, Roy received the Legion D’honneur at a ceremony at RM Chivenor. He was also awarded the 1939-45 star, the Italy star, the France and Germany star and the War medal 1939-45.

Roy Phillips Legion D'honneur.jpg (1)
L to R: Roy's daughter Rachel, Roy and Roy's wife, Rose.