World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Harry Darby 

Harry Darby, Too Young to Serve

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Harry Darby
Location of story: Sheffield
Unit name: Parachute Regiment and Tank Regiment
Background to story: Army


Harry joined the parachute regiment despite being under age; he was 16 or 17. During one of his jumps he broke his leg and it was then that his true age was discovered. He was thrown out for being under age. This however did not deter him and he then joined the Tank Regiment, though he was still under age.

Whilst driving a tank during the war, he went over a land mine that exploded.
Harry was trapped, by his leg, in the tank and could only be freed from the wreckage by chopping off his leg with an axe. Upon reaching hospital he had to have both legs amputated above the knees, leaving only a short stump on each. He was still only 19 years old.

Later in life Harry worked in the maintenance stores at RAF Norton and in the control room at the Sheffield Fire Service. He maintained his interest in athletics through the Sheffield Disabled Ex-Serviceman's Association and was in the Fire Brigade Bowling Team.