For all of you who remember this day

For all of you who remember this day

Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

June 6th, 2008, 4:46 pm #1

in 1944.... THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE!

LEST WE FORGET!

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Joined: June 20th, 2005, 10:48 pm

June 6th, 2008, 7:36 pm #2

CANT BELIEVE we are still around. WE were the lucky ones.
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

June 6th, 2008, 10:37 pm #3

Dedicated to the men of D-Day in Normandy
June 6th 1944.



Never again
A dawn will see
Those ships that day
Off Normandy.



At Dawning

On June the 5th of ’44
The armada it did sail
Determined that whatever
The landings would not fail
Five thousand ships or more they say
Were underway that day
Destination Normandy
A hundred miles away
Before they left…. a quiet time
For men to kneel …and pray
From all along the coast that day
The landing craft moved out
Never… in the mind’s of men
Was victory…. in doubt
In line astern they made their way
The the northern coast of France
The gunners on the craft that day
To the sky did often glance
For fear the German Luftwaffe
Might happen by perchance
In the early hours of June the 6th
The landing ships arrived
Twelve miles off they stood that morn
Waiting……..for the dawn
While out at sea, the LCT
Advanced .…though heavy laden
Churchills, Shermans, Centaurs too
Each craft it’s awesome burden
The sea swell grew, the wind it blew
And craft began to founder
Men in the sea, shouting a plea
All of them ignored
The CO’s of the craft assigned
Were acting under orders
Make for the beach…. whate’er the cost
Do not pick up survivors
The rescue boats will pick them up
Don’t worry… they’ll be fine
The soldier… in the water sir
Please stop….he’s a friend of mine
From line astern to line abreast
The landing craft stood in
While at the rear, bombarding ships
Sent shells a whistling in.
From twelve miles off the boats filled up
With troops to storm the beaches
They circled once...they circled twice
This time lads…..came the cry
AWAY ALL BOATS…..ALL BOATS AWAY
God speed….. and don’t delay
Keep your head’s down …. soldier boys
At last…..we’re on our way
And so they went… that distant dawn
That dull …and windswept morn
Craft were tossed and men were lost
With many….seasick too
Soldiers couldn’t wait
For the beach to be in view
To hit the beach then … run like hell
Avoiding shot and shell
Was to them… far preferable
To that remorseless churning swell
On they sped those LCA’s
In the morning mist
While out to port and starboard
Other craft were seen to list
Amid the shouts and noise and din
The assaulting troops went in
This was D-Day….Normandy…..a battle, to begin.
To Sword beach out at Ouistreham
The British 3rd Division dashed
8th Brigade were first ashore
With the beach by bullets lashed
Canadian 3rd to Juno beach
Where amid the waves they splashed
7th, 8th…..then 9th Brigade
Through obstructions crashed.
The Hampshire’s and the Dorset’s
Went to Gold at Le Hamel
Jig Green, Jig Red… the beaches
Crossing them… was hell
On their left…at La Riviere
69th Brigade did well.
Present in support that day
The landing craft assigned
Each craft with a task
For which they’d been designed
Royal Marines with Centaur tanks
Went off LCT(A)’s
Squatting… at the water’s edge
Gun howtizers did blaze
LCT(R)’s with rockets
And a few LCT(CB)’s
With tanks to silence pill-boxes
Concrete Busters these.
To each beach a squadron
Comprising LCT’s
Battle ensigns… raised aloft
Snapping… in the breeze
At Courseulles…it was K Squadron
Beaches Mike Red and Nan Green
Struben’s men with four flotillas
Present at the scene.
N Squadron …at Bernieres
And St Aubin that day
To beaches Nan White and Nan Red
Arbuthnot led the way.
To the east on Sword beach
E Squadron stood four square
Watched by Commander Sellars
The squadron officer there
Queen Red, Queen White the beaches
Which many… never made
Cut down…. on their arrival
Those men……of 8th Brigade.
To the west on Gold beach
D Squadron stood their ground
Squadron Officer Langley
Commanding could be found
Defenders on the beaches
Viewed the ships and craft with awe
All this… while on to the beaches
The British troops did pour
But those men were not untested
Of sturdy stuff… were they
They were the British 50th
And they would not give way
Into Le Hamel they went
And to Les Rocquettes
This would be a day
That no man would forget.
The Green Howard’s and East Yorkshire’s
To the east at Ver sur Mer
King Green, King Red, the code names
For the landing beaches there
The craft that took them in that day
Those ships….without a name
Bore but a simple number
Too many to proclaim
Many craft were hit that day
And some indeed… were lost
If men were killed…their shipmates
Were left… to count the cost.
All along the beaches
Obstructions were in place
Designed to halt the landing craft
In their hell-bent race
Commandos and Royal Engineers
Strove to clear a path
In order for the soldiers
To make their headlong dash
The longest run.. of their young lives
For many…it was hell
For there… upon the beach that day
Young soldiers….. they fell
Others…. in the water
Swept away by the tidal swell.
But onwards still those landing craft
With troops and guns and tanks
Making for the beaches
To swell the growing ranks
The LCT’s did rise and fall
As into waves they crashed
But having once…. attained the beach
Down the ramps…. their cargo dashed.
Two beaches not yet mentioned
And they off to the west
Defenders…on one that day
Put Americans to the test
The name it bore was Omaha
Another landing beach
The US 1st and 29th
Assigned that day to breach
Three sectors bore the code name Dog
Their colours..White, Green, Red
Many….on their way that day
Were later…discharged dead.
Withering fire…. cut through them
Scything down…. those struggling men
Many there….who fell that day
Would never…rise again.
Soldiers fell….within their craft
Just as the ramps went down
Others….in the water
So heavily weighted down
While struggling… to release their packs
Were shelled...or shot...or drowned.
For several hours on D-Day
The landings there were stalled
As troops… caught on the beaches
For safety there...they crawled
Engineers and soldiers
Eventually…did pour
Through gaps blown in the defensive wall
By the awesome… Bangalore.
To the east of Dog was Easy
Two landing beaches there
Easy Green and Easy Red
Of fighting saw their share
The remaining beach
For men to reach
Bore the name Fox Green.
The final beach to mention
Out there to the west
Had two sectors assigned to it
Tare Green and Uncle Red
The planner’s named it Utah
Where the US 4th gave of their best.
Initially..the landings
Appeared quite unopposed
Even as the landing craft
Towards the beach they nosed
Later waves they had it rough
But the US 4th were tough
They were off the beach quite rapidly
So inland began to push
Two hundred men died there that day
LCT’s… were lost
Landings unopposed…..?
Not when you count the cost.
Rudder’s 2nd Rangers
To Charlie sector..Pointe Du Hoc
Assigned as all the others
In the race against the clock
Their LCA’s attained the beach
Grappling hooks were fired
Rudder…..there with them
His Rangers…..inspired
Their task to scale the cliffs that day
German guns..to sweep away
Sadly....so many....off the beach they did not stray
Later waves they landed
With the 29th on Dog
From there… it was through Normandy
On foot….they had to slog.
June the 6th of ’44
Was the opening of the door
Which would bring a final end
To that terrible six years war
The landings there on D-Day
Were…so historians say
The greatest ever mounted
And will remain that way.
Ten thousand men. ……did pay the price
Not all….of course, were lost
Wounded, dead and missing
A terrible human cost
Many there were wounded
But have no scars to show
The sights they saw… so terrible
The memories…they can’t let go.
For them… it is not easy
To speak of things they did
The sights..the sounds..their memories
They prefer to keep them hid
So ask not of a veteran
His memories recall
For many…..even now
Will never.…speak at all
Their memories…are theirs alone
Of friends…and pals… they’d known.
On that now distant summer morn
June 6th of ’44
So many men they landed
On that distant foreign shore
Within minutes....even seconds
So many....were no more
For many months they’d worked and trained
So each their part could play
Tragically….for many
It was the shortest...longest day
In Normandy they landed
It is there…that they remain
They died that day for freedom
But they did not complain
In Hermanville and Ranville
Bayeux and St Laurent
Lie men whom we should honour
Brave men… who knew the score
So visit them when passing
Stand with them there a while
Yes...we must remember them
Those men… who knew such trial
A few quiet words..is all it takes
To tell them how you feel
When doing so…..remember
To bow your head….and kneel.





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