Tag Archives: D-day

D-Day from Great Grandma’s perspective

“Churchill?” “Nothing but an old war monger!” Thus spake Lil my great-grandma. Lil was the sort of woman who doesn’t get into history books but the words “doughty” and “feisty” were fashioned just for her.

Even as a six-year old I remember her tutting through all the sentimentality of her 90th birthday and making it perfectly clear that she wasn’t going to bother getting to 91 (she didn’t). When her day came the grim reaper must have been vastly more daunted to meet her than she was to meet him.

Amid all the militarism of the D-Day commemorations it would also be good to remember the wartime mums. Because some of Lil’s bluster and displays of character were surely a result of the awful blow she endured in 1943 when her adored elder son was killed in the war. He was 33.

There were so many like Lil. Jessie Bowles for instance. I live in what was once Jessie’s house. Her son Bert was in the RAF during the war and was killed over Berlin in January 1944. He was 21.

And Mrs Mackenzie, Barbara Mackenzie was my Dad’s landlady when he was stationed in the Highlands during the war. She treated him like a son. Her own son Archie was killed in the aftermath of the Normandy landings. It will be 75 years on June 28th. Archie was just 20.

Posted in Op-eds | 2 Comments

We Need To Do More For Our Veterans

This year is the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings and we are seeing a lot of media coverage of this important historical event.

When I think of D Day I think of my Grandfather Denis Warwick who was 25 years old at the outbreak of WW2 and underwent surgery in order to be fit for military service. He was a private in the 6th Airborne Division of the Parachute Regiment, took part in the D Day landings, went on to fight in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge and ended his war in Germany. Returning from service with a war wound in his left knee (an injury that troubled him for the rest of his life) he supported his family as a coal delivery driver and then as a building labourer; he died from a heart attack aged 62.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

LibLink: Paddy Ashdown – ‘I used to think the party of Gladstone would end with Ashdown’

Today’s Telegraph has an interview with Paddy Ashdown, timed to promote his new TV documentary The Most Courageous Raid of WWII.

From the BBC:

Lord Ashdown, a former special forces commando, tells the story of the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’, who led one of the most daring and audacious commando raids of World War II… Lord Ashdown recreates parts of the raid and explains how this experience was used in preparing for one of the greatest land invasions in history, D-day.

As well as the documentary, Lord Ashdown’s Telegraph interview covers Europe, the Liberal Democrats and the art of compromise:

When Ashdown became leader

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment
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