Albert Figg, Normandy Veteran

Albert Figg

 Ch. Légion d’honneur

Gunner in the 112 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery Regiment TA, 43rd Wessex Division

Born in 1920 in Chiseldon, Wiltshire, Albert was called up on 1st September 1939, aged 18. He served until demobbed in 1946, reaching the rank of Sergeant and Gunner in the 112 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery TA, 43rd Wessex Division. Albert passed away on Monday 3rd July 2017 aged 97, at the end of his campaign for a permanent memorial to the Battle of Hill 112, near Caen, Normandy.
Albert wrote much of this site during his 96th year and continues to be maintained. Read the guest blog post on his funeral

Quad limber field gun
Coffin carried on WW2 field gun carriage, quad and limber

Albert’s Division landed on Gold Beach, Normandy on the 24th June 1944 and was part of the breakout divisions consisting of the 11th Armour Division, 15th Scottish, 43rd Wessex, 53rd Welsh, 49th West Riding [polar bears] 50th T.T [Northumberland.] also C Squadron 23rd Hussars [tanks]. A total of approximately 65,000 men involved in Operation Epsom started on June 24th  1944 which lasted 5 days and Operation Jupiter which started on July 10th until 23rd August 1944.

25lb Field Gun
25lb Field Gun, similar to that commanded by Albert, positioned on Hill 112

They were to capture HILL 112, just outside of Caen in France, which cost hundreds casualties  – the 43rd  Wessex alone had 2000 killed in the first 48 hours and 5000 in Operation Jupiter wounded. However Albert was lucky insofar being in the field Artillery he was three and half miles behind to front line and according to him was in comparative safety.



OUT NOW! Albert’s book;


Albert Figg - The Ups and Downs of a GunnerCost £14.50  + £2.00 p/p for England, Wales, Scotland, and N/I.
Cost €23.50 inc p/p for rest of European Union.
Please use the contact form for enquires about bulk orders & international shipping



32 thoughts on “Albert Figg”

  1. Dear Albert,

    Congratulations with your new website and with your book !
    I ordered your book and spoke today with the owner of the Overlord Museum at Colleville sur Mer. They want to sell your book and I hope you will accept the invitation to join other autors at the museum on the 4th of June to sell and sign your book ! Kindest regards, Tenno Dogger, President Association “Deep Respect”.

  2. Granpops…. I am so so so proud of you. You are an amazing, remarkable, inspirational man. Nanny would have been so proud….
    Sending all my love to you as always.. Lulu xxxxxxx

  3. Dear Albert, good to see everything is going well with you. Next june i finaly will go to Normandie with friends and i will try to go tonhill 112.

    I hope there will be a dutch translated version of your book, otherwise i well by the english version.

    Greetings from the Netherlands and keep in touch 👍
    Wilco Boere

    1. Many thanks Wilco,
      I am hoping to have it translated, but it will cost another Euros 11.50, perhaps a friend of [Tenno Dogger]might do it free?
      Please keep watching for more on the website which we hope will be completed by the of March.
      Warm regards Albert

  4. About time, Mr Figg. Well done. We have met on numerous occasions, the last being at the Hill parade in 2014 when the 43 Division Association wrapped up. I was the officer at the head of the marching column.
    All the best
    (Captain, Royal Wessex Yeomanry)

    1. Hello Mike.
      O f course I remember, also Col Chamberlain, who was the one who attach to me when I was preparing for service for the tank on the Hill in 2000, is he still around I know I met him at Exeter last year when the 43rd ass. Standard was laid up.
      Do you think that anyone within the one Artillery S/W Brigade would like to buy my book,I can let you have one free, and you can show it around,.
      My email, myname as one word at hotmail dot com

  5. Dear Albert,

    congratulations on your new site and on your book! Haven’t read it yet, but if Albert Figg sets out to get something done the result is invariably superb. All Hill 112 supporters can testify to that!
    My wife and I are looking very much forward to seeing you again in Normandy !

    Tricia and Koen Van Parijs- De Smet.

  6. Hi Albert its Sue we spoke only yesterday I cannot wait to read your
    book not just that but I want everyone to know what a kind and very
    friendly man you are many thanks for your support
    love Sue good luck Mr Figg .

  7. Hello my dear friend.

    Your book is looking great!
    We’re also working on a book about you; when you were with us; in Hengelo and at Hill 112.

    Love, Arie & Judy xx

  8. Thanks Judy, I understand that you and Arie will be comming to Normandy in June, will you come onto the Hill at 10,30 5th June, where there be a small service as a tribute to me given my the Cote 112 Assoceation, afterwards there be a meal at the Cafe at Everecy[ pay for yourselfs] the Cafe do not normaly open on a Sunday, however they will do so providing there at least 20/30 people come, will you be able too, it is then that I can bring you your book.
    I do hope you will, I have also ask Ria, but, at the moment not had a reply,

  9. Good luck with the book! It was a pleasure speaking with you on the phone today. (I said I’d look you up)

  10. A very compelling book written by a truly inspirational man. What a fantastic read. Couldn’t put it down until completed. Congratulations Albert! It was a true honour to meet you & read your life story. You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you so much. Xx

  11. To be honest, I thought I’d have to wrestle through boring recollections of the “childhood years” to get tot the “interesting stuff” about WW2. Wrong! Not only does Albert draw a quite vivid and interesting picture about a bygone era, I also laughed aloud on one occasion. And I still have to get to the “interesting” stuff!
    Superb job Albert!!!!

    Koen Van Parijs ( foreword to “ups & downs of a gunner- by Alber Figg)

  12. Had the pleasure of meeting you at the war and peace show . I read your book from the beginning to the back page . I read your book and it was one of those that I couldn’t put down as I am interest in World War 1& 2 . Also my Great Grandfather was in the Royal Artillery in WW1 and my Great Uncle was in the Royal Artillery in WW2.

    Kind regards

  13. Dear Mr Figg. Last Sunday I was in Oosterbeek for the commemmoration of the Battle of Arnhem. Since 1989 I collect autographs of Second World War veterans. Last Sunday I got 16 signed cards by veterans. I was trying to find you there, but I did not see you. Can you please provide me with your address? I will enclose a card, hopefully you will sign this card for my collection.
    Last week was your photo on the fontpage of the largest newspaper in Holland.
    I hope you will send me an reply.
    With all good wishes,
    Rene Vlug

  14. Albert,

    It was a pleasure to meet you last night at the Poppy Ball 2016 here in Dubai.

    You touched everybody’s hearts, especially mine.

    I spoke to you about my Dad, we hail from Cassino, (MonteCassino) and I have sent your book to my Dad, with our photos.

    Meeting you was a moment I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life.

    Safe journey home!

    Best wishes and thank you!

  15. Albert,
    It was a pleasure to meet you at the Dubai Poppy Ball this year and your stories are astonishing, i have started to read your book “The Ups & Downs Of A Gunner” and i’m hooked.
    I wish you well with all your future endeavors and very much hope we can chat again some time.
    All the very best and my sincerest regards,

  16. Hi uncle Albert it’s your great ,great nephew neil holgate ,I spoke to mum the other day and she told me you had a book out ,I would love to get a copy just asking how I get one sent to Australia and how much it would cost if possible ,so interesting read about you ,very intrigued to learn more about your amazing life look forward to your reply sincerely your great ,great nephew neil .

  17. The Ups and Downs of a Gunner – review

    First of all, I suppose that I should declare an interest: I’ve known Albert Figg for a number of years since first meeting him at the museum in St Martin des Besaces in Normandy.
    Since then, we’ve met every year on the summit of Hill 112 in Normandy to recall & remember his comrades of 43rd Wessex Division and those soldiers from other divisions and nationalities who fought & died over this piece of Normandy real estate in the weeks following the D-Day invasion on 6th June.
    Albert served with the 112th Royal Artillery Field Regiment (quite a coincidence given the Hill reference!) throughout the Second World War & in addition to serving throughout the fighting in Normandy, he went on to support Operation Market Garden targeted on Arnhem.
    This autobiography covers this period of Albert’s life in detail, as you would expect, and it’s interesting to read of his experiences as a sergeant in charge of a 25-pdr Field Gun; but it does that and much more as, in many ways, his “back story” either side of the war is equally interesting.
    When you reach the summit of Hill 112 – which is not so much a hill as a high point on a long, low ridge – your attention is immediately drawn to the memorials there – a stone monument to 43rd Wessex Division, a finely detailed statue of an advancing infantryman and a British Churchill Tank… these latter two largely as a direct result of the fundraising efforts (and general “pushiness”) of Albert – the story behind their installation & the challenges overcome (in some way by Albert’s stubbornness & refusal to take “no” for an answer) to get them in place is inspiring.
    There are large parts of the book that would have many English teachers in tears due to the way that it is written. However, for me, that’s part of the charm of this book… it is as though Albert is right there next to you telling you his life story rather than you reading it in “your voice” – you can almost feel his pat on your knee as he emphasises some of the points and the frustration and annoyance in his voice as he tackles one form of bureaucracy or another.
    If you’re interested in the Second World War, you’ll enjoy this book; if you’re interested in people, you’ll enjoy this book and if you’re interested in both, you’ll love it!
    Definitely recommended reading & what’s more, some of the proceeds will be going to add further memorials & support the ones that are already there on Hill112, so you’ll be doing your bit to help preserve the memories of the men that fought & died for our freedom.

  18. Hi Albert hope ur trip home was not too arduous. It was a pleasure and an honour to meet and spend time with u all at Arrowmanche. VIc and I look forward to joining u again on the hill on 9th July.

  19. Albert
    I am so glad I got to meet you on the 5th of June at the book fair in Tilly-sur- Seulles.
    Thank you very much for signing your book which I am so looking forward to reading.
    Thank you also for all of the work you did to make the memorial on Hill 112 what it is today.
    My good friend Charles Hanaway a veteran of the 6th Royal Scot Fusilliers was delighted to see this memorial when we I took him there in 2014. That day was very special as he got to meet with Eric Bissoir by pure chance and for all us who were lucky to be there,will remember this very special occasion for a very long time.
    This would not have happened without your endeavor and I so thank you for this.

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