Mid Sussex Branch member and Normandy veteran, Robert Piper, has been honoured with a named brick on the Project 71 Normandy Wall at the D-Day Museum in Southsea, Portsmouth. Robert first joined the Local Defence Volunteers in Southwater at the age of 14, and in 1940 at the age of 15 he advanced his age by three years so that he could enlist in the 70th Batt. Royal Sussex Regiment. In 1942 he was first transferred to the Royal Corp of Signals which was attached to the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division, did a short spell with the Special Operations Executive before returning to the 15th Inf., Div., and landed on Jig sector, Gold Beach at 21.00 hrs on 6 June as part of the division’s advance party to establish the wireless link, losing their driver as the were dewatering the wireless lorry. The division landed later on Sword Beach, Normandy on 14 June 1944.
Just before the war ended, he was attached to a Russian unit, returning to the 15th Inf., Div., and then to Belgium where they were broken up with Robert being attached to the 3rd Inf., Div., which was then deployed to the Middle East. Sent to Palestine to establish a wireless link between Amman and London he was, by that time, with the 8th Independent Brigade attached to the Trans-Jordan frontier force and returned to the UK at the end of 1947. He was called up to go to Korea but was never sent.