Major John Redfern has had a lifelong interest in WW1/WW2 Military History. From an early age he was fascinated to hear stories of the Great War from his grandfather “Pop” Davies and later on from his mother, Jean, relating her Normandy veteran experiences in August 1944 to the end of the war.
John joined the Territorial Army in October 1978, was Commissioned at Sandhurst in 1980 and went on to serve in the British Army in an Infantry Regiment with subsequent service in many Brigade headquarters, the 1st British Corps, the ARC and the RAF as a Ground Liaison Officer. His military service totalled 43 years as a Regular, Territorial and mobilised Reservist.
As a specialist area of interest, John has set up Army Group 1944 Battlefield Tours Ltd to enable his passion for preserving the memories and experiences of the British Army in Normandy from the coup de main assault on to Pegasus Bridge, the Operational Breakout battles to force the Germans out of France at Falaise to the 43 Divisional Assault River crossing at Vernon in August 1944.
“I have often thought (as have many others) that the significant British efforts to breakout in Normandy have been frequently brushed over in favour of the significant American breakout (Operation COBRA) at Avranches. Yes, it was a combined allied effort but the British took the brunt of the German effort to “fix” the invasion on the Eastern flank around Caen to enable this breakout to occur. Controversy abounds still to this day and on these tours we will be able to discuss the merits or not of the various arguments and most importantly remember the sacrifice made by our forebears to achieve victory in Europe”.