Charles died on 1 February 1999, aged 74.

Cpl C Brand
Cpl C Brand

He enlisted on 17 December 1942 into the General Service Corps. He was then posted to the Royal West Kents, with whom he served in the UK until January 1943, when he was transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps, joining the 61st Training Regiment.

He joined the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars in February 1944, while they were at West Tofts. He sailed with the Regiment on D+3 and took part in the campaign to liberate North West Europe, including the Battle for St Joost. This was a most intensive battle.

He conducted himself with fortitude and efficiency, as did all ranks of ‘B’ Squadron.

In 1987, accompanied by his family, Charles retraced the 8th Hussars’ steps from Normandy to Holland, including St Joost. It was no longer a village but a small town. The party entered what turned out to be a community hall, hoping for a drink. As it was a private party, they were unlucky. His son mentioned to the barman that his father had been among the troops that had liberated the village. The whole atmosphere changed. Charles was made a great fuss of, and the whole party was bought drinks by those present.

They said it was the first time that they had the chance to thank any of those who had been present at the battle. On 21 July 1945 he took part in the Victory Parade in Berlin and in October of that year he returned to the UK for a wireless instructor’s course at Bovington.

He returned to the Regiment, now at Itzehoe, on New Year’s Day 1946. He was released from the Service in August 1947.

He joined the Metropolitan Police Force, but after two years found walking the streets boring.

Charles then joined the dairy trade in Hove with a firm which later became Unigate. During his 38 years, he became well-known in the industry as an expert in the making of yoghurt, cream and orange juice, and as the regional executive of Unigate, London.

He rejoined the Regimental Association in December 1989 and attended the reunions in London and Eastbourne.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. North-West Europe 1944-45 timeline