The Parson's Tale
The Reverend John Lance was Chaplain to the Inns of Court
Regiment and, for various reasons, was included in the D-Day
raid. Here are some extracts from his story.
"The plan was daring in the extreme,
if not hare brained, but it evidently seemed worth trying
to the higher command
It may well be asked at this
point why a chaplain was taken at all on such an adventure
can only say that I did not volunteer, but was asked by
The Chaplain's Department thought otherwise
and ordered me to stay with the larger part of the regiment
in England. Rather than find myself at the centre of a row
I told some fibs."
Tank Museum photo No 6369/C/5
"Just before our due time our two
craft came together and made for the beach side by side.
One craft landed safely
the other was unlucky. She
landed on a mine and, backing off to try again, struck another
with her stern. There were only two minor casualties and
only one scout car was damaged. That car was mine, in the
bows, just over the explosion and I was sitting on top of
it. It did not harm me, but the suspension of the car was
ruined. There was nothing for it, and I watched thousands
of pounds worth of armoured vehicle being tipped into the
I managed to grab my communion vessels, medical
box and bed roll and scramble ashore."
Tank Museum photo No. 6370/C/4
"But the landing ramp was damaged
and two of the half-tracks could not make the sea at that
depth. In the process the second-in-command and squadron
sergeant major had an involuntary bathe. Meanwhile the water
was rising and in the end the only thing to do was to wait
for the tide to reach its height and recede again. All this
meant a frustrating wait of some six hours, and hope lost
of an early start."
Tank Museum photo No. 6371/A/4