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D-Day 75th Anniversary

Freebasing Greedy Mick

 
Posted (edited)

In remembrance of all the men and women who took part in operation overlord I think it would be a good idea  if any of us who had relatives who took part could share their stories and memories.  Both of those who came home but more importantly to the memories of those  who gave everything and never returned home. 

The photo below is of my father Fred Welsh and it was taken in May 1944 when he was in his early twenties.  He was a military policeman and he assigned to land on the 2nd day of D-Day in Normandy.  I can only give some details as unless he was very drunk he would never talk about what he had seen and taken part in.. This is what I know.  He landed at Arramanche in Normandy at dawn on june 7th 1944  which was Gold beach and although the beach was taken they were still under sniper fire as they disembarked from their landings crafts. And one of the first things he saw was rows of soldiers laid out in lines and his initial thoughts were that they were sleeping. Then he realised that they were the dead waiting to be repatriated and the reality sunk in. 

I know that because of being a military policeman he was assigned alongside the 101st airbourne and followed them through France and the battle of the bulge and he ended up guarding Belsen Bergen concentration camp after it was liberated.

I along with all my family are immensely proud of my Dad and not a day goes by without thinking about him since he passed away when he was 90.

 If anyone is interested I can share a few stories but I only know little bits. 

So I  think it would be humbling anyone else has relatives who took part in the D-Day landings and would like to share their experiences so we can thank them with our thoughts and prayers

Many thanks Mick 

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Edited by Greedy Mick
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Posted (edited)

Our great uncle Frank was there d-day 1 , he was seriously injured in hand to hand combat and lost his eye ,socket ,and part of his temple , and from what I remember that he suffered terrible headaches well into his elderly years . He was a very very humble bloke who didn’t say much about it ( like most of these veterans) but he didn’t care for being labelled a hero as he said he was just lucky ( even though he was almost killed)  and everyone was a hero especially the dead . He lived a very quiet peaceful life and passed away in his cottage when he was 80 ish having been widowed for 30 years but had 2 daughters and a son and grandchildren too . Almost forgot to mention he was stuck on the beach at Dunkirk too , I guess you could say he was lucky ! 

Edited by Colnago
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Posted

Great thread Mick.

Unfortunately I don't have any stories myself but would be interested in hearing more from any other members.

Ste.

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21 minutes ago, Colnago said:

Our great uncle Frank was there d-day 1 , he was seriously injured in hand to hand combat and lost his eye ,socket ,and part of his temple , and from what I remember that he suffered terrible headaches well into his elderly years . He was a very very humble bloke who didn’t say much about it ( like most of these veterans) but he didn’t care for being labelled a hero as he said he was just lucky ( even though he was almost killed)  and everyone was a hero especially the dead . He lived a very quiet peaceful life and passed away in his cottage when he was 80 ish having been widowed for 30 years but had 2 daughters and a son and grandchildren too . 

My father was very lucky he was  made deaf in one ear from enemy  mortar fire.  Which he used to his benefit as when my mum was giving him an earful he used to put a finger in his good ear and just replied  yes dear which still makes me smile lol

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Posted

Been to Normandy a number of times in the past few years.  It's awe inspiring and humbling. The high regard that allied veterans are held in by the French, still to this day, is something else.

 

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Posted (edited)

my mum lost 2 uncles on d day ,  one was the first military policeman killed on the beach, the other never made it to the beach............she remembered her dad crying when the telegrams came.............and still identified there photos until she died of dementia last year ,even when she couldnt recognise me.....................

and dont forget the thousands of civilians who died in france during those momentous days

Edited by ezzie brown
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Posted

Lining up 2nd June at Portsmouth to Caen ferry

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Posted

I have never been to Normandy so I'm really jealous. Hopefully I will go one day and will be able to lay a tribute to all those who fell in their prime.

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Posted (edited)

Went to Pegasus Bridge last year, my whole family really enjoyed it. 

All my uncles were in the services, one in each service during the war years, uncle George the oldest was in North Africa with the dessert rats but his time in Europe is less documented, obviously being part of General Montgomery's main force he had his work cut out for him as a Tank driver,  all we really remember from the seventies is a kind man who made ships in bottles and always had to bump start his car when he visited... lol 

god rest their souls 

*pictures from Pegasus bridge last year, inc the grave of Lieutenant Brotheridge.

 

 

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Edited by Mal C
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Posted (edited)

Watching some of the preparations on the BBC got me thinking back 25 years ago to the 50th anniversary of D-Day.  My ship, HMS Sandown, took part in the Fleet Review off Spithead.  The Royals, including the Queen, Phil, the Queen Mum and Anne, sailed past in HMY Britannia.  The Clintons represented the US, John Major was the PM and Princess Diana was still alive.  The QE2, SS Canberra and USS George Washington were some of the ships on show.  It's sad to think that tomorrow's commemorations will be the last major anniversary featuring D-Day veterans.  God Bless Them All.

Edited by Steve S 60
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My father never would speak about the war, but on the odd occasion he would say the odd thing after a good few beers late at night. It was only after his death in the 90's that we actually learnt that he was one of only four survivors when his boat was blown up in the Channel. He was lucky when he was called back from going on the Hood to serve on another ship and his best Naval mate went on it and the Hood was sunk.

He had 4 other Brothers who went to War. Billy was injured and discharged. Matty had such severe stomach injuries on D-Day he had the last Sacraments 3 times and did survive, but mentally scared him for life. Tommy was one of the last few from the retreat of Dunkirk beaches and heading back to the beaches the Officer said "Every man for themselves" Tommy said he can't swim as the boats were pulling out and the officer said then "God help you" He went in to the sea and Doggy paddled as much as he could and was finally pulled on to the last few remaining boats. Dennis, was on Corvettes and had a near miss when he got blind drunk on his leave an missed the train back to port. The boat he should have been on, only sailed for 1hr an it was blown out the water and all hands lost. The ironic thing is that he is listed on the War Memorial as going down and killed, but he was moved to another ship and survived the war.

 

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Posted (edited)

Just watching on the BBC, and I was pretty surprised by what I heard. The Americans and Canadians have memorials to their D-Day fallen in Normandy, but the British do not. Apparently a statute has just been erected and a memorial will be started and completed in about a years time. For a country, that is supposed to have the highest regard for it's armed forces, and despite all the pomp, ceremony, events and words, from the "great and the good" in the last few days, it begs the question, why there isn't already a British memorial. 

I apologise if this post isn't in tune with the intent/rest of this thread, but I find it to be a national disgrace.

Edited by Kegsy

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Posted (edited)

We owe so many people a debt of gratitude,it must be so emotional for the veterans to go back and re live some terrible memories and lost companions.

Heard a short story last night re a 96 year old survivor who was in the second wave at Normandy,he was going across a field when a shell landed nearby and he woke up hours later on his own up in a tree with half one of his legs hanging off.Someone eventually found him and he was attended to and sent home.He  has walked with a profound limp for the rest of his life, and he's one of the lucky ones.

It puts all this Brexit shite into pesrpective ,why can't we  just all live together as Timmy Thomas once sang.

Deep respect to all who took part in whatever capacity I'm not sure i could have .

Edited by smudger
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