This is where his love of Scottish pipes and music, and motorcycling grew.
Following this, he spent time waiting on the “go ahead” as to when he would be invading Normandy, in France.
He was originally destined to land on the first day of the invasion…. D Day, June 6, 1944 – but because his boat was deemed not fit to land there, he spent two more days in the English Channel as troops fixed a mechanical issue. On June 8 – Bert’s birthday – they landed, on the day he turned 24 years old.
Roy, 73, said “This was not exactly the birthday celebration that a young man would have been looking forward to!”
However, on landing on the beach, Bert and his troop were immediately seconded to the US forces on the adjacent beach.
Bert then travelled across France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, where he helped get the local economy ‘back on it’s feet’ organising fuel deliveries from Holland for farmers and exporting wine.
Even though he serve for most of the war, being discharged in 1946 when he was a sergeant, he only sustained one injury – when a lorry he was in drove over a bomb, leaving him with a limp for the rest of his life.
After the war, he went straight to work as a printer of the then Croydon Times, which eventually amalgamated with the Advertiser in 1966, where he worked until 1985.
Bert met his wife to be when she fell over at Streatham Ice Rink in 1947 and being a gentleman, he helped her back on her feet.
After this, they courted for about 12 years before Rene’s mother set the date for their wedding.
The couple would travel a lot around the country and around mainland Europe on Bert’s motorbike.
Roy, who lives with his partner Joan Taylor in Kent, said: “Bert attached a sidecar and they were able to take me on trips to watch motor racing.