Monday, 17 October 2011
Britain is a country for less and less old men who fought in The Second World War and tell their story for the last time
Three of my uncles fought in the Second World War and here are two of them. Uncle Albert on the left was my Father's younger brother and I'm not sure whether or not he was in the Normandy invasion in 1944. The second one on the right was my Mother's younger brother, Lloyd George and I do know that he drove a lorry in the drive against the German General Rommel in North Africa in 1942 and later in Italy.
Both these men, who I once knew, are now long dead, but the last of the combatants from that War are still alive and Channel 4 TV has used some of them to make a series called 'The Last Heroes'. I saw the first episode and was moved by the fact that these old men were moved to tears when they gave their powerful and emotional testimonies and remembered and related what they had done on seen on the Normandy beaches 65 years ago, when they were very young men.
It was the first time most of them had been in combat and the programme examined how they managed to take the beaches against the odds but at a price. On of them, Jim Kelly said : "Utter chaos. Things were blown to bits... there was shell fire... all that sort of stuff. And men all over the place, lying all over the place."
They revealed what it was like to be under fire, how it felt to lose your best mates, the fear of fighting for your life, seeing things that no teenager or young man should ever witness.
A clip :
British casualties in the whole 'The Battle of Normandy' :
I wonder what these men who had once fought for Britain think of their country today ?