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Roger Waters discovers truth about father's death

October 11th, 2013 6:20am EDT | Lucy Hobson By: Lucy Hobson favorite Add to My News

Roger Waters

Roger Waters has finally found out the truth about how his father died.

The Pink Floyd musician's parent, Lieutenant Eric Fletcher Waters, died in action during the Second World War at the battle of Anzio in Italy, when his son was just five months old.

Until now Roger had known little else about his death, but another British veteran of the Italian conflict, Harry Schindler, has tracked down a wartime intelligence documents, which shed more light on Lt Waters' final hours.

In the documents uncovered at Kew House in London, it describes how on February 18, 1944, the area where Lt Waters, commanding officer John Oliver-Bellasis and their Z Company was attacked by German forces.

After describing various skirmishes, the report records: "Further attack on Z coy. This time in greater strength than previous attack. Enemy in close contact with forward positions. Unable to send assistance as Z coy having trouble on their rt [retreat].

The diary then later records: "Z coy reported enemy all round their positions, very stiff fighting going on."

A final entry adds: "Lt Waters killed and Lt Hill wounded, situation now critical. Message received over air that assistance would now be too late."

Roger was overjoyed at the news, and says he may now visit the site of his father's death.

He told The Times newspaper: "I think it is extraordinary. There is a possibility I may be able to visit the spot where my father died. I learned Harry Schindler has a list and on Schindler's list is my father's name. I am moved to tears by the fact.

Harry Schindler also served at the battle of Anzio with the Sherwood Foresters. He said: "We were saved by some British infantry units who held back the Germans. He [Lt Waters] was right up there."

Roger's father has been a key figure in many of his songs, with tracks such as 'Corporal Clegg', 'Free Four' and 'Us and Them' all referring to war. The album 'The Wall' also dealt with the influence and loss of his father as well as growing up in post-war Britain. The song 'When the Tigers Broke Free' is more explicitly about Lt Waters, including the lyrics: "It was dark all around. There was frost in the ground When the tigers broke free / And no one survived from the Royal Fusiliers Company Z / They were all left behind, Most of them dead / The rest of them dying. And that's how the High Command took my daddy from me."

Photo Credits: © WENN


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