74 years ago Allied troops began landing on the beaches of Normandy, beginning the long haul back through France and the Low Countries to Germany.
My family connection to these heroic (not a word I use lightly) events is via my Uncle Archie. He landed with the 2nd wave on Sword beach with the Black Watch, behind Lord Lovat's Commandos who had landed earlier. He made it through the day and as far as Caen where a sniper shot him through the cheek and neck.
|Soldiers from the 51st Highland Division|
Somehow he survived this and was shipped back home. Family legend has it that this was actually very lucky as the rest of his platoon were wiped out shortly afterwards...I've no idea if this was actually true but it makes for a good story.
He returned before the end of the war with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders before finishing his career in Palestine, serving under Lt. Colin Mitchell...better known as 'Mad Mitch. He was eventually demobbed in '47, returning to his work in the Lanarkshire steelworks.
Like many of the men who took part in these events he said very little about them.