Memories of ‘Ambush Alf’ – a World War II veteran – are to be put into a time capsule

One of the most remarkable stories that have come out of the Second World War has been preserved for generations to come. This is the story of a soldier who narrowly escaped one of the worst atrocities committed in the Second World War.

A Housing Association called Cartrefi Conwy has decided to save the memories of Alf Davies, 94, by putting them into a time capsule. Cartrefi Conwy has announced that it is going to bury the capsule at the site of one of its newest housing developments. This housing scheme is called Cysgod y Gogarth, which is the Welsh for ‘Shadow of the Orme’. It is located off Trinity Avenue in Llandudno, Alf will move into this development early in the summer, after it gets completed.

Alf recorded his memories last year in a documentary film, ‘Bringing Back Memories’, which was made by Cartrefi Conwy. The documentary was later added to the archives of Llandudno Museum.

The wartime story of Alf Davies starts when his convoy of fifty soldiers in three trucks was making its way to a friendly area. On the road, they were ambushed and attacked by the German SS. Around forty of the men were captured, while others escaped, Alf escaped by jumping into a river.

This convoy was on its way towards Dunkirk, believing that from there they could be rescued. Previously, they had been surrounded by Germans, who were dropping leaflets urging them to lay down their weapons and surrender, otherwise they would be crushed. Alf said that their captain came up with an idea to make it to Dunkirk using a shortcut from a town called Wormhout. However, when they reached Wormhout, SS snipers were waiting for them on rooftops and behind street curves. From that point onwards, according to Alf, every man had to fend for himself: there were bullets raining down on them from all directions, the Mail Online reports.

Alf managed to escape the initial chaos by jumping into a river; he was followed by some other soldiers. When they got out of the river, they stole a motorbike and made their way to Dunkirk beach, where they were rescued by other Allied forces. Alf recalls that the men the SS had captured on that day were taken to a POW camp and were later executed one by one.

The chief executive of Cartrefi Conwy was very delighted and grateful to Alf for allowing them to record his memories and save them for the next generation. He said that these memories give us an insightful glimpse into our past. He added that he was certain that future generations will find these memories and the idea of preserving such memories equally amazing.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE