Om Regimental Piano
Born in 1918 Major Bob Orrell grew up in the Lancashire town of Tottington. His army career was briefly deferred so he could complete his civil engineering exams but he was drafted into the Royal Engineers in July 1940 and was soon at the heart of the war as Britain battled across Europe into Germany accompanied by the regimental piano of the title. Bob gave brave and active service, and was mentioned in dispatches for his courage and quick thinking when he and just two colleagues managed to capture a bunker and its 53 inmates on Sword Beach during the D-Day landings in June 1944. These actions belied Bob s peaceful nature and on leaving the army he and his wife, Nancy became active campaigners for world peace, with Nancy being arrested for her protests at Greenham Common and Bob even addressing a global peace conference in Moscow in 1991 at the age of 73. Many years later the bunker Bob had so bravely captured was restored and converted into a museum, which Bob was able to proudly visit taking with him his message of peace. The regimental piano, however, is sadly lost. A courageous and committed soldier, a passionate and proactive peace campaigner and a loving and loyal family man. These are the remarkable faces of Major Bob Orrell, RE and this is his story.