Derek Robinson & Wilhelm (Bill) Khors

The following article appeared on the front page of the Derby Evening Telegraph on 24th May 1994

This is the story from inside the paper

Fifty years ago Derek Robinson and Wilhelm Khors fought each other on D-Day, but today they are the best of enemies on the bowling green

The ex-tank drivers who confronted each other on the Normandy beaches play for opposing teams at Chaddesden Park Bowls Club, and former Panzer trooper Wilhelm (70) of lLenton Avenue Chaddesden joked
 “If he'd shot me then, I wouldent have beaten him last week”.  Wilhelm fought for the 21st Panzer division, defending the key town of Caen against the 8th Armoured – Derek’s Brigade

Both joined he Bowls club in 1991 – and found out they had been living lesds than a mile apart for 30 years.
Retired Lace Maker Derek (70) of Oregon Way, Chaddesden, who drove a Sherman tank onto Gold beach in the D-Day landings said “It’s a million to one chance”

Wilhelm who everyone knows as Bill, settled in derby after he was brought to britain as a prisoner of war. 
He worked in a Buxton limestone quarry before being granted civilian status in 1948 and moving to Shelton Lock.  He met his wife Irene (64) at the Rialto dance hall in Allenton.

“when I met Derek and he told me where he was in the war, I couldn’t believe it” he said

Wilhelm, a retired plastics factory worker said “We’ve been best of frinds ever since we met.  There are no hard feelings at all and they all call me Kaiser Bill at the Bowls club.

 

Notes from the author of this article

I remember both of these players when they were members of the club, and played both of them in our internal competitions. 
They were regular players in our second and third team veterans teams. 
I have no records of any results, but I know they played each other in many of our internal competitions and also played together as a pair in some of our veteran’s matches against other clubs in Derby

They had been playing in the club as friends for nearly 3 years before one of their conversations got round to “What did you do in the war” and their unusual story then made it into the local papers

I know that Wilhelm was alive in 2006 as he was a winner in our club triple’s competition, sadly Derek never made it onto the list of competition winner’s but both of these gentlemen were fun to bowl against