With the passing of Queen Elizabeth we've lost a significant connection to those who lived and served through WWII, those who could provide a real memory of the events, the bravery and sacrifices. My mum was born in the same year as the Queen and also served in the military as a WAF ( the Women's Air Force), sadly while she didn't live into her 70's she carried the experiences and memories of the war throughout her life.
We were fortunate to be in France recently, on the Normandy beaches where the memory is still strong.
Above the photo of main street in Douvres la Delivrand, a few miles from the coast showing the allied troops as they liberated the town on 8th June shortly after D-Day, although the nearby Germany installed radar bunker took some 12 days of fierce fighting before it was surrendered.
Below the street today, with most of the bombed and damaged buildings in the main street now restored.
On Sword Beach, the most easterly of the allied landings, the two houses adjacent to this slipway are also featured and named in the commemorative information sign below.
I tried to take the photo above from the same position as those men who were crawling up the beach under fire in 1944 (click photo to enlarge the 1944 photo)
In Luc Sur Mer the allied invasion of 1944 is commemorated together with a lesser known 1941 reconnaissance mission by men of No 1 Commando B Troop. A navigation problem landed then not at Courseulles-sur Mer but a few meters away from the German command post at the Hotel Beau Rivage ion the Luc seafront.
The memorial at Luc only a few meters from the Hotel which still stands
On our way into Ouistreham the road was closed for a group who we learned from a policeman, had gathered to celebrate a 100 year old local veteran. A large crown had gathered including the mayor and local dignitaries in his honour.
The living memory of WWII is slipping away as the few reaming veterans are now in their late 90's or over 100 years old, it's important that we who have benefited so much from their bravery and sacrifice, carry on the memory of their stories, their deeds and their lives.
To all our service personnel past and present we remember and honour you this day.
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