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In My Father's Footsteps: with the 53rd Welsh Division from Normandy to Hamburg

Gwilym Davies
After a short account of experiences from call up from Clydach, a village in the Swansea valley, through basic training at Towyn, defence of Scapa Flow, War Office Selection Board, Battle School in Lake District, firing practice at Sennybridge ranges, plus time spent in other UK locations, the main part of this book takes place in mainland Europe.

This is the story of ten months overseas service of Captain G H Davies, from arrival in France as part of Operation Overlord in June 1944, through Belgium and Holland into Germany, until the end of World War II in Hamburg in May 1945. Davies was troop leader of F Troop, 497 Battery of 133rd Field Regiment of Royal Artillery, part of 53rd (Welsh) Division. In particular, 497 Battery often supported 2nd Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment, “the Mons”.

Written by his son, Gwilym Davies, a historian and broadcaster, this book is based on very detailed diaries written by G H Davies, probably in late 1990s, plus photograph albums, including a few photos found in the camera of a dead SS officer. The son also acknowledges that he draws on several other historical accounts of the period and units.

It is largely the story of 25 pounder guns and the men who manned them. There is lots of technical detail, interspersed with human stories.

Sadly, there is no index, so it is difficult to use this book for reference. A great shame due to the great detail.

4 out of 5.

Publisher Pen & Sword. Published in UK 2015.
First release
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