The Veterans – Part Two

One of the veterans I had the opportunity to meet and interview was Alan Ambury. He was living in Te Awamutu at the time when I interviewed him but I was most interested to find he was actually from my home town of Cambridge originally.

When WWII came along he left the farm and joined the Army. He spent a considerable time in Auckland as an officer with the anti-aircraft defence units right in the heart of the city. Luckily he never had to fire his guns in anger there.

He was sent to Italy in 1944 and had not been there very long when, while approaching San Michele,  he was hit by a mortar shell, and sadly he lost both his legs.

He actually became the oldest New Zealander to be a double leg amputee. When he passed away nearly two years ago in July 2012, he was aged 97. At the time when I met him a few months before he was still living at home by himself, so a remarkable man. Not many 97 -year-olds manage that sort of independence and particularly those who’ve lost both legs.

His memories will appear in a future episode of Courage And Valour.

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