Here’s a quirky tale from World War Two about a Huddersfield soldier who, legend has it, met two of the great war leaders from opposing sides ... on the same day.

It has been told by Margaret Deane’s husband, Dan.

He said: “Nearly all our family members (mine and Margaret’s) worked at David Brown Tractors in Meltham. We left in 1970, moving to Peterborough.

“My wife Margaret, my brother Glynn and I worked in the top floor office in Scarr Bottom Mill in Meltham. One of our friends and work colleague was Billy Dickinson who worked alongside us. Billy, his wife and daughter (she worked there too) lived within walking distance of Scarr Bottom.

“In the army Billy was a driver in the desert campaign and ran out of fuel in his jeep in the desert – so he waited for someone to come out to rescue him.

“After a while who should come over the horizon but Irwin Rommel with his army. They surrounded him and set up camp.

Scarr Bottom Mill in Meltham
 

“Rommel was informed about Billy and he was invited into his temporary headquarters for a chat.

“You must be hungry British soldier,” he said, and Billy was treated to a German sausage and a beer! Billy described Rommel as a perfect gent. After a short while someone came to the tent with a message and Rommel said ‘the British are coming so we are leaving’ and they up’d sticks and moved out. Billy was put back in his jeep as they weren’t interested in taking him as a prisoner.

“A short while later over the hill comes Montgomery with his entourage. Montgomery gets to hear of Billy’s experience and invites him into his caravan for a chat about it, treating Billy to tea and sandwiches. After this Billy became a bit of a celebrity!”

Dan added: “I don’t know if Billy or his wife are still alive – his daughter emigrated to Australia many years ago.”