As the 70th anniversary of D-Day draws near may I, as one of the many who landed early that morning on Gold beach, and who subsequently made our way through France, Belgium and Holland, where we just failed to meet up with the gallant ‘Paras’ at Arnhem in time to shorten the war, but eventually taking Arnhem the following spring, pay tribute to: Our Navy and Air Force for the tremendous backing they gave us - the ordinary soldiers - and to the resistance forces who unbeknown to us at the time, must have been a major factor in turning the invasion into the success it was; The Americans who suffered heavily in the initial landings and who eventually broke out on the right flank; to the Canadians, Polish and other allied forces who were with us.
I was one of the many who didn’t perform any great feats like the paras and those who landed from gliders and the special forces like the Commandos.
Our orders were just to push inland as far as possible for the first 24 hours and this we did.
The feeling we all had right through our training and during the weeks leading up to the landings and particularly during the last 48 hours prior to D-Day was this: “This is it, and its going to succeed, so lets get on with it.”
The atmosphere and feeling was widespread even during the horrible night crossing and the grey stormy dawn that followed.
Remember those who didn’t return, and those who did and may perhaps need help from associations like the Royal British Legion - I will remember on June 6 and November 11 - will you?
To those who are too young to remember, be proud that your fathers and grandfathers did what had to be done at that time and did it well.
*Are you a D-Day veteran? If so please contact Philip Broomhead, 4, Harrison Crescent, off Oxcliffe Avenue, Heysham. He would like to hear from anyone who was involved in the D-Day landings.