1944

D-Day

"I lost my Mum in 2005, and my Dad last year, and even though they were children during the war, it had a profound impact on them and their parents and families and friends. This is the day my Mum, at 12, and all the neighbours ran out into the street in the Midlands, in the early hours, wondering what the terrible noise was that was shaking all the roof tiles. She said the sky was black with planes, which I guess would be some of the glider assaults heading for Normandy. Those memories are almost from a different world. The reverend, who took Mum's funeral service, had been round to see Dad and me beforehand, chatting at length about Dad's books, and indeed his own collection - those two got on like the proverbial house on fire. Dad wrote the eulogy for Mum, and included this story. The reverend hadn't said anything when he called in, but on the day, he was wearing the jacket and badge of a Normandy Veteran, and I saw his eyes light up when reading that story; he had been on one of those planes, a young man, terrified but determined, heading for Normandy. He has now passed as well, but those memories live on..."

(Julian Baum)

Arnhem

“My grandmother’s younger brother, Uncle Arthur, was a paratrooper during the war and was one of the men dropped into Arnhem in September 1944.  His sister, my great Aunt Nora, said that he would never talk about it except once, when he said that he and a couple of other men had survived by lying in a ditch and pretending to be dead whilst a number of German troops went past. Seeing Uncle Arthur and his friends lying in there, the Germans had stopped and spat on ‘the dead British’ before going on their way...”

(Julie Warrington)

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