AN APPLESHAW resident who fought at Imphal during the Second World War has retained the hope that others that fought alongside him are still alive.

The Andover Advertiser recently ran a story on Malcolm Connolly who is believed to be the last surviving member of ‘C’ Squadron 3rd Carbineers, who played an important part in crucial action at the Battle of Imphal in 1944 – one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War.

Now, former gunner, Percy Charles Rolls, aged 96, believes he could be the last surviving member of 10th Field Regt, Royal Artillery, but says that he would love to be proved wrong and find others who fought alongside him.

Percy spent two years in India and then Burma and was stationed in Imphal and then Kohima.

“I joined on 15 February, 1940 as a gunner and stayed in the army until 16 March, 1946,” said Percy.

“My memories of that aren’t very good, we had a tough time there.

“I was there for nearly six months.

“I was a lorry driver, I used to deliver the shells to the troops.

“I slept on top of boxes of shells, it was either that or sleep on the floor.”

Mr Rolls explained how a lucky draw got him out of seeing the end of the war.

“The major came up one day and said ‘I have got vacancies for four men to come back to England for a month’s holiday,” he said.

“They put the names in a hat and my name came out and I came home.

“Afterwards I had to go back to India, but by that time the war was over.”