A Boy Para – Private Robert Johns

We’ve all heard the stories of boys, under the age of 18, lying about their age to join the Army. Mostly during the First World War. Although it certainly did happen, I cannot help but feel that there were not as many underage soldiers as popular wisdom might lead us to believe. It was definitely much rarer in the Second World War than it was in the first.

I have found, however, one case in the Second World War. Not only did Private Robert Johns, from Stamshaw, die at the age of 16, he had also joined the Parachute Regiment. He was killed on 23 July 1944 serving with the 13th Battalion in Normandy, and is buried in Ranville Cemetery in France. The 6th Airborne Division landed in Normandy just after midnight on D-Day and fought long and tough battles to secure the eastern flank of the Normandy bridgehead, only coming out of the line in August 1944.

How easy was it to join up underage? A lot depended on the recruiting personnel in question. If they suspected that someone was underage but were sympathetic, they could almost certainly turn a blind eye. Otherwise, in an age when everybody had to have a national registration card, it would have been almost impossible to pretend to be older than you were. John’s would have gone through numerous checks, as he would have joined a line infantry regiment before transferring to the Paras. He may even have joined the Army when he was younger than 16. Much like trying to get served in a pub, it probably helped if you looked 18 too. But to volunteer to fight, when you didn’t have to, shows both courage and selflessness.

Although you had to be 18 to join the British Army, Boys under 18 could in fact join the Royal Navy as Boy sailors, or the Royal Marines as Boy Buglers. Many did, and sadly died, particularly on the Battleships HMS Royal Oak and HMS Hood.

About these ads

25 Comments

Filed under Army, portsmouth heroes, World War Two

25 responses to “A Boy Para – Private Robert Johns

  1. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep
    it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later.

    Cheers

  2. This website truly has all the information I wanted concerning this subject and
    didn’t know who to ask.

  3. Simply want to say your article is as astounding.
    The clearness in your post is just excellent and i could
    assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  4. Apple is recognized for its premium cost technique.
    Their interesting function makes it a choicest accent among users.
    This is an Iphone alarm clock dock with amazing features
    and stylish appears.

  5. Ned

    This design is spectacular! You certainly know how to keep
    a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was
    almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  6. This saves time and effort than buying a brand new car.
    Many people simply buy such cars and claim that they’ve bought it from
    the dealer car window tinting which must include
    registration and title to you. If you use an auto auction, one where
    car window tinting only used cars were down as 2. Bring along a car-savvy friend with you who can accurately study the car’s condition.

    I have been on the rise as dealerships attempt to capitalise on the Cash For
    Clunkers program expires.

  7. In my research, I will now also obtain an Apple iphone for my personal individual use.

    Apple iphone Verizon provides superb uploading and downloading speed, much better than Iphone
    AT&T. Get a protecting screen guard for your phone.

  8. There is even a Katniss Barbie doll you can preorder to be delivered the following month.

    Ready to get a whole heap of fun this holidays then? Some toys are
    made of fabric including stuffed toys.

  9. It’s possible to choose any depending on his/her option.

    Two others would have been a area of the present, nevertheless they really are a bit newer.
    It’ll have a hardcore act to follow.

  10. The child who jumps the most variety of balloons gets a reward.
    Make sure they are bigger than shoes and the youngsters’s feet.

    This sailing party game may have everyone laughing.
    That Is ideal for players of all levels.

  11. After you set up your feeds, Pulse Reader will show them in
    a unique ‘colorful mosaic’. You can’t install whatsapp and chat to someone
    on Nimbuzz. By tapping the button, your digital keyboard will be displayed.

  12. If you are a gamer, you will certainly love
    this new Apple iphone. It assist you change your
    favorite movies to place movies on ipad. After all, what much more could you probably
    want? And whatever smartphone you use, have fun with it!

  13. There isn’t any “right” or “wrong” decision to create when you’re making ACLs within the real
    world. That game won’t release for another couple
    of weeks. Check these out and be sure to grab these musthave applications that you missed!

  14. CJ (Carl Johnson) is back and also he really wants to bring back the vulnerable gang its lost
    pride. The first time I observed Shenmue was at
    E3 2000. gta 5 will take place in Los Santos.

  15. I usually hold my phone in my still left hand, because that’s the position my function
    land line phone is in. There are many techniques and software program
    available on the Web, numerous of which are free of cost.

  16. This mapping unit will help any hiker, runner, biker, sailor, skier, racer, and walker find their way.
    Most users frequently jailbreak their devices. Reaping these advantages is most likely when you Jailbreak ipad.

  17. I was bored a lot back again then, and I would not go back again to
    that time. They like to be kept in awesome temperatures, but by no
    means freezing. If you can see the Loader app, your iPod Touch 2G
    MC model is now jailbroken!

  18. Firmware this can be done if you are operating OS 3.

    (the latest edition is three..1). You can have themes,
    wallpapers, movies and numerous much more.
    Yet you can save a fortune when you purchase refurbished
    products.

  19. Doublecheck to make sure that most of one’s data is backed up before heading to the next phase.

    According to one website, there has been some 40 million downloads of this application.

  20. Plantation blinds are an elegant window covering made of
    a couple of framed sections of fixed louvers.
    Microsoft also produced the Microsoft Floor with Windows RT.
    Before achieving this be sure you work step
    2.

  21. However, you will not lose photos that you posted on Fb nor will you shed any of
    your email messages. Nevertheless, normal updates and different versions
    maintain adding to the recognition of this sport.

  22. No se ha descrito como una broma riendo en la
    web . Usted puede comprar animales e incluso crecer algunas plantas.
    En última instancia, una vida agradable y cómoda granja puede ser vivida por usted dentro de su mundo virtual.

  23. Tear stated that BB doesn’t see that as a concern. The sounds created do not sound artificial at all and the interface is also extremely simple
    to use. Go to the list of totally free apps and click to set up the types you require.

  24. I want to to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it.

    I have you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

  25. It’s very straightforward to find out any matter on web
    as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at this web
    site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s