On reaching the 8th Hussars, in September 1938, John went to his squadron and trained as a tank gunner.

He won his M.M. whilst attached to ‘C’ Squadron.

Tpr J.Vollans, M.M.

His troop leader/tank commander was wounded in the head by shrapnel and blinded, and jumped from his moving tank, quickly followed by John, who stayed with him for about seven hours, dressing his wounds and generally tending him.

Both men were taken prisoner by the Afrika Corps, but John was allowed to stay with the officer and later in the day when the Afrika Corps withdrew, we recovered both men.

John more than maintained the best traditions of the Regiment and in the process was wounded three times, the last time at Bourgebous in Normandy, and as I gave him assistance he grinned at me and said, ‘Do you know Bob, I am beginning to get fed up with this lot.’ A classic piece of understatement.

Sadly John died last June and the Regimental Association lost a staunch member and I a good comrade and great friend.

I don’t know how he acquired the name of Alfie, but I suspect it had something to do with a Daily Mirror cartoon character called Alfie.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. Middle East (Egypt and Libya) timeline
  3. Citation and Immediate Award of the Military Medal: Tpr J.Vollans