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Still Waters

D-Day 70th anniversary

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France's president has led the D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations by paying tribute to those who died on a day that "changed the world".

Francois Hollande attended a veterans' service in Bayeux, where the Queen laid a wreath and US President Barack Obama said the US commitment to liberty was "written in blood" on France's beaches.

They will gather at Ouistreham, one of the beaches where Allied troops landed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27727518

RIP

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Posted (edited)

on my Dads side - My Great Grandad fought in Burma as part of the Kings Regiment (Liverpool) he was in the 1st Chindits, and still to this day i have his hat and foot locker, he went on to survive the war, His Brother fought in Europe on D-Day. he landed on Sword beach made it to D+2 and got killed linking up with the Canadians securing a railway line towards the town of Caen. before the battle for the town of Caen itself. his name is included on his mums headstone though he his buried with his mates in France. my G-grandad went on to live until age 84, but his last few years he went senile were by he'd sit by the old coalfire looking at the flames and in the flames he'd see the Japanese - randomly saying 'there they are - there look at them' people would ask who, and he'd say look, there the Japanese. so obviously the effect of war lingered mentally for years.

on my mums side, they were all naval men, my G-Grandad and his three brothers served on numerous ships in the Battle of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Far East. all returned home. His youngest brother went on to take part in Britain's nuclear testing in the 1950's. were they tested the nuclear bomb. he told me of how they simply detonated the nuclear bomb, they had to all face away from the flash, but then after a few seconds were allowed to turn around and watch the mushroom cloud forming. unbelievably the ship was ordered to sail through the epicentre of the explosion - as they approached they sailed through masses of dead ocean life, simply floating on the surface, fish, sharks etc...and the crew were only wearing T-shirts and Shorts and socks - no protective clothing or equipment. many of his ship mates went on to develop rare forms of cancer. they fought for compensation from the government but the fight continues with only three of the 280 crew still alive.

Edited by stevewinn
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My great grandfather on my dads side was born in the year 1900, he lied about his age and served in WW1, survived and went on build his own printing company, then served in WW2, and survived that....he had a fantastic life, brave, adventurous (and a bit of a lady killer lol)....he died in his sleep at the age of 94.....he talked to me when I was a teenager about loads of things, but he wouldn't talk to me about the war, he'd simply say "you'd never understand, so no point in me reminding myself"....it obviously impacted him more then he'd admit.

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Interesting stories, thanks for sharing.

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My Uncle landed on Sword Beach as part of the first wave of British forces, only a teenager himself, it really did affect him in later years, and we as a family saw that effect on him. He fought his way through Europe and bizarrely ended up shortly after the war being captured by the Russians whilst guarding the new East / West German border. He was not seen again for 10 years, then one day my Grandmother had a knock on the door from our local press, the reporter stood there announced, 'how does it feel to know your son has been found alive and well after 10 years thinking he was dead?' My grandmother then passed out as she had not heard the news until then. She was re-united with him around a week later. He had escaped the Russian prison, stolen a Bicycle!? and cycled from somewhere east of Moscow all the way back to Germany, riding by night, hiding by day. A great story that was recounted by our local press.

But today we remember that fresh faced teenager, in the midst of the horror of D-Day and we say thank you Uncle Dennis.

And to all that served, and those that paid the ultimate price, out thoughts and respect are with you all today, we are in your debt. Thank you all.

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Thank you everyone who fought and died during the war. We owe you everything. RIP

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My Uncle landed on Sword Beach as part of the first wave of British forces, only a teenager himself, it really did affect him in later years, and we as a family saw that effect on him. He fought his way through Europe and bizarrely ended up shortly after the war being captured by the Russians whilst guarding the new East / West German border. He was not seen again for 10 years, then one day my Grandmother had a knock on the door from our local press, the reporter stood there announced, 'how does it feel to know your son has been found alive and well after 10 years thinking he was dead?' My grandmother then passed out as she had not heard the news until then. She was re-united with him around a week later. He had escaped the Russian prison, stolen a Bicycle!? and cycled from somewhere east of Moscow all the way back to Germany, riding by night, hiding by day. A great story that was recounted by our local press.

But today we remember that fresh faced teenager, in the midst of the horror of D-Day and we say thank you Uncle Dennis.

And to all that served, and those that paid the ultimate price, out thoughts and respect are with you all today, we are in your debt. Thank you all.

Wow! Did he have any stiories of his time in Soviet captivity or did he avoid talking about it?

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Posted (edited)

Wow! Did he have any stiories of his time in Soviet captivity or did he avoid talking about it?

Not much beyond what was reported, I know he was treat harshly, much of his diet revolved around stale water and fish heads if you can believe it, normal meals were given to him at random and sometimes rare intervals. He was somewhat emaciated upon his return as you can imagine, and never ate fish again. He did drink a fair amount which I can't blame him for but he never became a 'drunk' nor what I would term as an alcoholic, he always kept it under control.

I did as a teenager when I became aware of his story ask him about it, he looked at me as if I had made the most terrible mistake, but smiled after a few seconds, patted me on the shoulder and said...'son, I fought through a war and endured things beyond it, all so you and young ones like you never have to live that life, or have to face that yourselves....so you don't want to know, and I would rather you never did.'...I took that as my cue not to ask again...

On the whole he was a great guy and went on to live a relatively normal life, and this is going to sound cliche and a bit corny, but it is the truth, he always seemed to have a look in his eyes, my other uncle called it a 'thousand yard stare'....I knew what he meant whenever I was with Uncle Dennis....

Edited by Silent Trinity
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Not much beyond what was reported, I know he was treat harshly, much of his diet revolved around stale water and fish heads if you can believe it, normal meals were given to him at random and sometimes rare intervals. He was somewhat emaciated upon his return as you can imagine, and never ate fish again. He did drink a fair amount which I can't blame him for but he never became a 'drunk' nor what I would term as an alcoholic, he always kept it under control.

I did as a teenager when I became aware of his story ask him about it, he looked at me as if I had made the most terrible mistake, but smiled after a few seconds, patted me on the shoulder and said...'son, I fought through a war and endured things beyond it, all so you and young ones like you never have to live that life, or have to face that yourselves....so you don't want to know, and I would rather you never did.'...I took that as my cue not to ask again...

On the whole he was a great guy and went on to live a relatively normal life, and this is going to sound cliche and a bit corny, but it is the truth, he always seemed to have a look in his, my other uncle called it a 'thousand yard stare'....I knew what he meant whenever I was with Uncle Dennis....

Brutal decade and a half for your uncle to say the least. Thanks for sharing.

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'son, I fought through a war and endured things beyond it, all so you and young ones like you never have to live that life, or have to face that yourselves....so you don't want to know, and I would rather you never did.'...I took that as my cue not to ask again...

Wow...that's quote of the month right there...

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Wow...that's quote of the month right there...

Yeah it has kind of been the quote of my life, a key moment for me and that is the reason why I remember it word for word, don't have the image of him from the front page of our local paper on the computer but can scan it at some point, but I have this image of him from after the war, I am not sure if this was prior to his capture or on a second world war commemoration in the years afterwards, it was only found after my uncle's death.

Left is Uncle Dennis, right is his brother Uncle Henry.

10168164_641273789271014_6077049848068838872_n.jpg

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My Grandad on my Mums side took part in the Malta Convoy and lied about his age to join up.My Grandad on my Dads side was killed at Dunkirk in the retreat whilst my dad was in the womb.When I think how immature and stupid I was in my teenage years it staggers me to think people of the same age were fighting and dying.We owe so much to the troops who fought for us.

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An 89-year-old WW2 veteran disappeared from his nursing home without saying where he was going and went to France for the D-Day commemorations.

The former mayor of Hove, Bernard Jordan, left the home at 10:30 BST on Thursday, and was reported missing to Sussex Police that evening. Staff later discovered he had joined other veterans in France and was safe and well at a hotel in Ouistreham.

Earlier, it was believed care home staff stopped him going to the events.

Full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-27735086

:)

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My Grandad's brother died at the Normandy landings, - my grandfather was so distraught by his brothers death he never spoke of him, his name was never uttered. When my grandad died in 1989 I found a biscuit tin in his flat which contained his brother's service records.

He was 21 years old when he died on the shores of Normandy - Lance Bombardier Thomas Robinson Bain - service number 886293

I want to thank him for his courage and fortitude.

I only wish I had known him.

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Dunno what happened to the text in my last post ...woooooo!

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Dunno what happened to the text in my last post ...woooooo!

I think it worked out perfectly and well said.

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Great grandfathers brother-in-law landed on Omaha on D+1 I believe. Served in an anti-tank unit and was the only member of the family killed in the war, somewhere in Normandy on D+13. My great grandfather and 3 of his brothers served in various branches, he himself was the youngest and was wounded in the neck on Okinawa while serving with the 1st Marine Division.

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My fathers brother fought and died on D-Day. I never knew and did not find out until my father died last year. It was when I was cleaning out his house that I found the papers that he saved after the war...They were all true Hero's....

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One of my Dad's cousins was killed at Normandy. My Dad served in the Pacific as a Seabee. My uncle (Dad's brother) served under General Patton. Just about every male in that generation was somehow involved in the war.

It must have been utterly terrifying to see Hitler and the Axis powers taking country after country...full knowing that unless you prevailed your homeland would be next.

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One of my Dad's cousins was killed at Normandy. My Dad served in the Pacific as a Seabee. My uncle (Dad's brother) served under General Patton. Just about every male in that generation was somehow involved in the war.

It must have been utterly terrifying to see Hitler and the Axis powers taking country after country...full knowing that unless you prevailed your homeland would be next.

Couldn't even imagine being a Soviet citizen, having to take the full force of the German war machine. Even the women struck direct blows on the Eastern Front:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_witches

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyudmila_Pavlichenko

Good job ladies.

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Great grandfathers brother-in-law landed on Omaha on D+1 I believe. Served in an anti-tank unit and was the only member of the family killed in the war, somewhere in Normandy on D+13. My great grandfather and 3 of his brothers served in various branches, he himself was the youngest and was wounded in the neck on Okinawa while serving with the 1st Marine Division.

Okinawa was a brutal battle, horrendous for both sides. Thankfully your grandfather survived.

My fathers brother fought and died on D-Day. I never knew and did not find out until my father died last year. It was when I was cleaning out his house that I found the papers that he saved after the war...They were all true Hero's....

What an amazing find and what questions you must have now for your Dad but he never would've answered, they didn't want to relive the nightmare.

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These stories are really cool.

Well my paternal grandad was 16 when the war ended. He was too young although years later he fought in the Suez and survived being shot at. My other grandad was an American G.I. who was in England where he met my gran.

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I think one thing runs through these stories, the way afterwards so few openly spoke about what they experienced, only for relatives to discover the level of their heroism after they are gone. It is a humility that is as awe inspiring as their heroism, and a desire like my Uncle had to not let the following generations have to face the same horror. I am reminded of a quote, one which I said to a friend of mine who sickeningly said to me that D-Day shouldn't be celebrated as it is just war mongering, and the guys who fought in the war did nothing special and were doing a job that's all.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Nobody likes war or wants it, but without it, and the heroism of those before us, our lives would be a very different place, and who knows if my ignorant friend would enjoy the freedom of being able to have an opinion at all..

Bless them all, we will remember them.

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i wish i had more to say. my grandfather was at utah beach the first day, and was involved in the fighting until the end. he was wounded twice. and that's all i know. due to family problems, we were never close until towards the end of his life. i always think about him a lot this time of year though.

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They were indeed the greatest generation ( there's also a book by that name).

At the National Military Cemetery on Cape Cod both my parents now peacefully rest. Thanks Mom and Dad without your generation our lives, our children's lives would not be free.

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