The ‘last man standing’ from the invasion of Norway in World War Two has been recognised by the country with a diploma.
Second Lieutenant Raymond Savage, 96, was with the 1st/5th Battalion of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment trying to fend off the Germans in April 1940. The men arrived ‘frankly, ill-equipped’ for the 62-day campaign – prior to their landing, a U-boat torpedoed the supply ship, taking food, transport and weaponry with it.
“We were up against battle-hardened troops,” said Raymond. “They had air superiority, they had tanks. We had nothing. We weren’t able to stem the advance. We lost a lot of people and I was cut off. I escaped on skis to [neutral] Sweden, where I was interned for six months before being repatriated. It was a bit of a disaster all round.”
After returning home, Raymond was posted to the Far East and later captured in Singapore. Rising to the rank of captain, he was captured by the Japanese and was a prisoner for much of the rest of the war.
For his service, Bob Allen MBE, of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment Association, thought Raymond deserved some recognition, so contacted the British Embassy in Oslo.
Nicole Granholt, the assistant to the defence attaché, said: “Norway is very proud of, and grateful to, British veterans who took part in the Norway Campaign during the Second World War and the Veterans Affairs Office of the Norwegian Armed Forces is very happy to acknowledge the contribution of individuals by way of a diploma.”