D Day Anniversary..

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by lolimac, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. lolimac

    lolimac Total Gardener

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    Can't let today go by without a mention...
    Just watched 2 servicemen in their nineties parachute into Normandy as they did 75 years ago..My heart is full..Massive respect...:love30:
     
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    • wiseowl

      wiseowl Friendly Owl ADMIN Staff Member

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      Good evening @lolimac I to watched it and Woo shed a few tears when remembering lots of old friends who are no longer with us:sad:
       
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      • lolimac

        lolimac Total Gardener

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        :grphg:..All so very sad but by god how proud of them are we.Never to be forgotten.:thumbsup::grphg:
         
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        • Palustris

          Palustris Total Gardener

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          My Father was part of the landings. He spent the first few weeks ferrying American soldiers across the channel. He was Navy. He made 15 trips, but only landed once.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            Been watching the veterans on TV recalling their stories with a tear in my eye and a sense of pride. Many of them are still spritely and those who parachuted are still fearless.

            My Father-in-Law was the first of the soldiers to hit Gold beach on 6th June at 7:25am – only the frogmen had gone ahead, to attempt to dismantle the mined defences in the water, and they were all dead floating in the water or washed up on the beach.

            He was in the Assault Pioneer Platoon, his role was to clear the beach of mines before the main infantry landed. He tried to make safe lanes but the Germans were waiting for them and came under heavy fire, so his platoon ran up the beach laying white tape as best they could. He considered himself lucky, the Germans now changed their fire onto the infantry landing behind.

            As he laid on the beach watching the carnage he saw Rocket launcher barges sailing forward and firing tremendous barrages, the sky darkened as the rockets came over like clouds of birds.

            After weeks of fighting he stood on an anti-personnel mine, the type that pops up and explodes at head height usually fatally. Again he considered himself lucky, the blast caught his shoulder seriously wounding him. He recovered some months later and returned to fight just in time for the last major assault, the crossing of the Rhine into Germany.

            He had never wanted to fight, he was conscripted into a front line infantry regiment. With the Dorsets he took part in the three major seaborne assaults within 11 months, Sicily, Italy and finally Normandy. He never thought of himself as a hero nor brave but, like many of his generation, he was.
             
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            • Freddy

              Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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              One sees war films on tv and it’s all glamourised. The good guys against the bad guys, pretty straight forward. In reality, it must have been truly horrific, on both sides. One can’t imagine what they went through. It’s not surprising that many of our vets don’t want to talk about it. I was watching some of it on tv earlier, very touching.
               
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              • Palustris

                Palustris Total Gardener

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                One of the things which sticks in my memory (and my wife's too) from after the war, was the number of men who behaved very strangely. Talking to lamposts, seemingly drunk during the day, but not smelling of alcohol, the teacher who had panic attacks if a desk lid was slammed shut, I could go on. "Oh it's the War." was what was said. "Take no notice of them."
                We were taught not to make fun of these unfortunate people. Not that there was anything humorous about them though.
                My Father was on the Russian Convoys. He never ever talked about much about it, only the amusing things which happened. He only mentioned once that I can remember the destroyer he served on sailing through the bodies floating in the water off the beaches after D Day.
                 
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                • Freddy

                  Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                  In my mind, there’s nothing glorious about war, it’s all bad. When I think about it from another angle, it’s the ‘commoner‘ fighting on behalf of the hierarchy.
                   
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                  • CanadianLori

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                    @Palustris my father was the same. He only talked about the humorous things until one day when he was in his late seventies and he talked about a few things.

                    He suffered greatly from guilt over having to be as brutal as those he fought.

                    I had tears whilst listening to the ceremonies. Until our stupid Pm Mr Dressup opened his yap and started on about the indigenous women of which 97% were killed by their own people. Yes, the Dudley DoRight fell down kn nis jobe but this solemn occasion was no place to mouth his own platitudes.

                    To all of the servicemen, I give you my tears and moments of silence to say thank you.
                     
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                    • Palustris

                      Palustris Total Gardener

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                      Funnily enough Lori, I could have been born in Canada. My Father was stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a while and was offered a job there after the war. My Mother did not want to move while she was expecting so he did not take up the offer.
                      We hear a lot these days about post trauma stress, but there must have been many thousands of men and women who suffered from it after the war. No mention is ever made of how they coped in those days.
                      Freddy. My Father and his older brother did not feel they were fighting to preserve the hierarchy, they both knew the evils of fascism from the Spanish Civil war and joined up before being called up as they felt that they had to take a stand against it. One of the few times he mentioned the war was to explain why, as a very devout Christian, he felt he had to 'do his bit'.
                       
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                      • Doghouse Riley

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                        My dad was in 1st Batallion Grenadier Guards as a regular before WWll. So he was in the BEF in France in 1939 and was evacuated at Dunkirk. He then went to North Africa then I think Italy.

                        Never spoke much about his war service, his only comment about getting out of France, was that as they were on the beach waiting to get off, as he looked down the shoreline, he said the sand was black with discarded rifles.
                        One of the perks of being an "old comrade" was the garden party held that he and my mother attended for many years at Buck House, after the Trooping of the Colour, the Queen being Colonel in Chief of his old regiment.
                         
                      • Palustris

                        Palustris Total Gardener

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                        There was an interesting book which I think was written by one of the Huxleys in which he postulated that all warfare was nothing other than organised theft on a grand scale.
                         
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                        • Freddy

                          Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                          Hiya Palustris.
                          I think that maybe I wasn’t clear. When I mentioned “hierarchy”, I was referring to hierarchy in general. I have nothing but respect for those that put their lives on the line to preserve our freedom. Apologies for any misunderstanding :thumbsup:
                           
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                          • shiney

                            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                            I only used to hear stories of WWI from my relations and they were horrendous. My father was the second youngest of 10 children (7 boys) and was too old for WWII but his brothers all survived WWI. Most of their stories were restricted to the humorous side of things but they occasionally mentioned other things.

                            My father did tell a lot of stories about his experiences as an Air Raid Warden in London during WWII which were also traumatic.
                             
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