A WAR veteran aged 94 has told how he cheated death and was twice wounded in action.

Scotsman Harry Wibley, of Crosland Moor, saw action in Dunkirk, Italy and North Africa.

Dundee-born Mr Wibley, who lived in Honley for 32 years, served in the Highland Light Infantry and the Black Watch.

On Friday he attended the Birdsedge village memorial to those who lost their lives in war.

Mr Wibley joined the Army at the age of 20.

It was in Sicily in 1944 where he was wounded in action.

“We were on the heights looking down over the valley where the poor Yanks were getting bombed to hell with mortars,” he recalled.

“I had my right arm over my eyes to shield them from the sun and the next thing I felt were two thuds on my right arm.

“Without thinking I pulled my sleeve up and there were two pieces of shrapnel sticking into me.

“If I didn’t have my arm up I would probably have been buried in Italy.”

Twice widowed Mr Wibley, who had three sons, was also part of the dramatic rescue of more than 300,000 troops from Dunkirk and the surrounding beaches in May and June 1940.

A flotilla of boats large and small sailed across the English Channel to pluck British soldiers from the advancing Germans.

“I can’t swim,” said Mr Wibley. “I was afraid of water so I couldn’t wade out.

“Instead I headed for Dunkirk harbour which was being heavily shelled.

“I got aboard a requisitioned ferry boat called Maid of Orleans and landed in Folkestone. I was very grateful to the people of Folkestone.”

Mr Wibley, who also has four grandchildren and a great-grandson, also suffered a leg injury during the war, and shell-shock in Sicily.

One of his proudest moments was a meeting with military leader Field Marshal Harold Alexander while he was recovering from his injuries in Tunis.

“He had his HQ in Caserta and he stopped on the steps and inquired how I was,” smiled Mr Wibley. “He was a grand man.”

Mr Wibley, whose father was killed during the First World War when his Navy ship was torpedoed, said he held no malice towards the German people but was horrified by the Jewish Holocaust.

“No-one won the war,” he added. “British, German, French and the Yanks, we all suffered terribly.

“Wars will never stop and I am just glad my sons were too old to go to war.”