D-Day fighters not only ones; VIEWPOINTS.
Now, I have no problem with remembering the sacrifices of the Normandy campaign, but it seems to be at the exclusion of everything else.
What about the heroics of Burma? The heroes of North Africa? The heroes of Sicily and Italy? No one, certainly of the younger generation, seems to have heard of them.
It may be the 65th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day campaign this year, but it is also that of Anzio, Cassino, Kohima and Imphal, all which appear to have been forgotten.
I joined the Territorial Army in 1938 and ultimately went on to serve in the 8th Army in Sicily. We were in Europe many months before the 21st Army Group, and we had many D-Days before the 6th June 1944.
I was present at Cassino, one of the bloodiest battles of the war, where nearly 50,000 soldiers lost their lives, and witnessed the Americans reduce the monastery to ashes, for all the good it did.
Despite all the blood that had been shed in Italy by the time the Allies landed in Normandy, Lady Astor had the temerity to call us the "D-Day Dodgers", always on the spree in sunny Italy.
Whenever this is brought up, my reply is invariably: "Which D-Day do you mean?" As I say, I have no objection with remembering and commemorating the heroism of the Normandy D-Day or promoting the excellent work of the SSAFA, but please, let us also ensure that the sacrifices of all those who served abroad in the Second World War receive equal remembrance before they are forgotten forever.
James Hall, RA (retired) Woodside Court Llanishen