Seasoned Troopers: Lois Wright and Albert Inder

From the Channel Islands Monthly Review, published by the Stockport and District Channel Islands Society, in the Library Collection.

Chinese Crackers

Under the title, 'Life,' the Forces newspaper Union Jack carried a bright article touching upon the remarkable experiences of two girl troupers of Chinese Crackers, an ENSA concert party with which they toured for three years. They played in Egypt, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Irak, Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algeria. When they left England they thought they were going out for the customary six months' tour, but found, like many other people, that the war kept keeping on. More often than not they had to rough it in many changes of temperature. Now they are back in England, looking very fit. One is Lois d'Auvergne, daughter of Mr and Mrs Wright, of Guernsey, and niece of Mr F W Toms. Mr Wright was for some years PT instructor at Elizabeth College and the Intermediate School. Lois says she would not have missed her experiences for worlds. Vol. 6 (6), June 1944, p. 11.

One man's service when a boy

The distinction of having been the island's youngest soldier may be claimed by Albert Douglas Inder, formerly of Pedvin Street, Guernsey, which he left at the evacuation at the age of 13 years. On his 14th birthday in July, 1940, he joined the Home Guard by putting his age on two years. When he was 15 he put his age on another two years and enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters. On his 17th birthday he was drafted to North Africa. In September, 1943, he was transferred to another unit, and fought at Salerno bridgehead, Monastery Hill, and Anzio. After a rest at Cairo he was back in the thick of the fighting for Florence, where he heard that he was being sent back to England, as they had discovered his proper age. And so at 18½ he came home, having seem more fighting than many a man in a lifetime. He is probably the youngest soldier to wear the 1939-43 Star. Now comes the sting: When his correct age was revealed a fairly substantial sum which he had to his credit was promptly reduced to boy rate. Vol. 8 (1), January 1945, p. 9.

In the March 1945 issue: A lady subscriber from Florida, USA, writes: 'I have read the account of Albert Douglas Inder, of Guernsey, with great sympathy, as you relate it in your January issue. I was especially hurt by the fact that he 'lost' part of his earnings. Will you let me know how much he lost, for I want to replace the money.'

Douglas Inder's 'account' was vigorously refuted by the War Office later; they claimed he was older than he had made out.