Stratford D-Day veteran recalls his war time experience - The Stratford Observer

Stratford D-Day veteran recalls his war time experience

Stratford Editorial 7th Jun, 2024   0

THE D-DAY 80th anniversary remembrance services were all about veterans like Phil Sweet from Stratford.

Phil was chosen to attend the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance to mark D-Day 80 at the National Memorial Arboretum on Thursday June 6.

And the 99-year-old Almshouse resident recalls his war time experience.

He said: “I was sent to a place called Lochailort in the Highlands where I did six weeks of hefty nautical and ability training. Those six weeks were the toughest I have experienced in my life both physically and mentally. At the end of each week you had exams and if you were not good enough you would be dropped. But I lasted and was appointed an officer then sent to Troon for officer training for another six weeks and then appointed to a tank landing craft ready for the D-Day landings.

“The war had been going for quite a considerable period of time for my training was in readiness for the D-Day landings the time of which we did not know then.

“I was part of the initial wave that landed at the village of La Rivière as part of the Gold Beach landings. I was in a flotilla which were the first to go into the beach with two tanks on top of each other on the landing craft so that they could bombard the beach with shells as they were coming in to land. We didn’t lose anybody that day although the landing craft was damaged by the underwater objects as we were going in.

“Then following the landing we were offloading equipment to the beaches and whilst doing so I had to go to the tented hospital at Bayeux with suspected peritonitis which turned out to be appendicitis.

“I was sent to Plymouth to HMS Foliot, running all the movement of landing craft. We were tropicalizing (adding refrigeration and air conditioning) landing craft ready for the Far East but of course that collapsed because they dropped the atomic bomb.”


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