D. DAY NORMANDY. ARNHEM. SAPPERS. Sword Beach to Bremen.

BopBopBop

Old-Salt
Rest in Peace Swordman.
I'm glad you were on our side.

I didn't have much contact with the RE during my service, but when I did they knew how to get the job done.
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BratMedic

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP Brian, I reckon Arrse is a lesser place without him.
 

Sttrory

Old-Salt
After reading the thread for the first time all I can say is Rip swordman. If this is the wrong place to ask but is anyone sending flower ect to the funeral
 
I have just found the news, as posted by Bad CO in another thread. The Facebook link, above, no longer works and presumably contained useful information, as well as the news itself.

Please can anyone let me know the date, time and location of Brian's commemoration?

I'm another satisfied memoir customer of his.
 
I looked up a few CWGC gravestones for him in the south of the Netherlands, names of good mates he lost in the fierce fighting there. By this time he wasn't too mobile any more.
Also I walked about the cionvent where he was taken to after he was blown up and took a few pictures.
Sent him the pictures.
His gratitude was overwelming. Such a nice bloke.
(will be re-visting Overloon museum later this year, the area where Brian nearly died)
 
RIP Brian
 

Stumpy4154

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP Swordman, I always enjoyed reading your posts and your book. My sincerest condolences to Brians family and friends.

Is there any info regarding funeral/commemoration?

Ubique!
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
I wrote this for all my long lost mates that styed behind.

From the fields of Normandy I bring back many memories.
Beneath them, I leave many friends:


Quietly! Quietly! Whisper my Name.

So many long years ago I died, under Norman apple trees.
But now my Spirit wanders, as a warm and gentle breeze.
Hush! Quietly, Whisper my name, in that long forgotten place.
Then feel the warmth of my Spirit, caress lightly on your face.

For now, I am the jewelled Summer Lark, that soars on high.
Bright in heavens concert hall, my song will fill the sky.
I am the tumbling cloudâs that rise, to touch the face of Joy.
No longer held by earthly bonds, a once young and vital boy.

In an instant life was swept away, in a brutal savage war.
Look not for me in Normandy, for I am there no more.
I am the peace in woodland glades, in veiled cascades of green.
Feel me close, in your times of joy, sensed, but never seen.

Whisper my name, and hear my voice, in cascading woodland spring,
Or England's flowered primrose banks, wherein the bluebells ring.
Donât mourn for me, quietly call my name, I'll visit in your dreams.
And, fill your mind with the beauty, of heavens joyous scenes.

Hush! Hush! Just whisper, quietly, call my name.
Whisper quietly.

Swordman 246 Field Company RE.
Third Div Montyâs Ironsides.
The long summer of 1944.

Next we set sail!
Swordman
Worth sharing for our lost friend.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
Hi Friends.
Oddly enough I have done no research. I picked up a few dates here and there, and quoted a few passages.....but no. I did not research.

As this tale progresses, and it has a long way to go. The great part of it is of my own memory...Now you may ask how the hell could this 81 year old disabled old buzzard recall all this? Indeed, remember all of what is posted.

Then let me turn the question around. Imagine you are just 19, a Dorset lad, very impressionable, but bright. At this young age you are suddenly thrust into the greatest endeavour the country has taken part in. You now experience things that you could never imagine.

If you have a good memory, do you think you would forget. Anything?
I can recall all that happened, but like a black and white photo. Sadly, if you recall, some memory blocks are gone, wiped clean. during my tussle with that bloody horrible looking ugly old bloke with the great big Scythe.
But I did beat the ugly old fellow.....

The other thing was sound tapes... Oh come on mates! can you imagine this old geezer sat in front of a recorder,
I tried that once, where my voice was to be heard on the stage, when the recording was played back to the audience...Took me hours, could not stop giggling! I did it in the end and it was played on stage.

That was for the show the severely disabled of Poole put on, We used to go and talk to them they loved it! It was a poem I wrote for all the brave lads.

Les Fleurs de Normandie.

On Norman soil, they fought and died.
Now young men's graves in rows abound.
In Mother Earth's arms, now sanctified,
The fragrant flowers of our youth are found.

And yet, to rise again, as in a distant song.
Small voices that call, in dead of night.
Fleeting figures only in our dreams belong.
Alas, they fade, in dawn's bright light.

I see them yet, a sad, forgotten throng.
Shadowed, lost faces, marching on.
Over dusty roads, and high golden corn.
The call of long lost friends are borne.

We must not forget, the flowers of our days,
Lest they lay unquiet, in numbered graves.
For we lived, and loved, and life was sweet.
Still yet, for us, awaits our last retreat.

Flowers of our youth, now long since past.
Our sweet autumn days are fading fast.
We, who are left, flowered in our prime.
Enjoyed golden moments, on borrowed time.

Remember our friends, who passed this way.
For all our tomorrow's, they gave their today's,
On Utah and Omaha, Juno, Sword and Gold.
Oh! Dear Lord! See that they grow not old.
Swordman.
Veteran
And this.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
"Freedoms Bells".
Normandy. 6th of June. 1944
Hermanville sur mer Church.
The broken Church Bells rang out on D. Day.
The first joyous Bells of freedom to ring out
in France since the Nazi occupation.

Veterans! Now that we are old and frail.
Our gift of Freedom, still prevails.
On Englands green and pleasant land
No foreign troops have laid their hand
Listen! Hear the Bells of Hermanville?
We who fought there, hear them still.

Across the years, our memories saved.
Of fine young men, who's lives they gave.
No song of lark, there, in darkened sky.
In front of Caen, we all came to die.
In high golden corn, our wounded fell.
Then burned to death, for Freedoms Bell.

Pegasus Bridge, came under fierce attack.
Our friends are dead, No! don't look back.
Listen? Is that the English Bells we hear?
From across the sea, to drown our fear?
For Mother Earth claims those that fall.
With soft Norman earth, to cover all.

For what lay ahead, fear gripped my soul.
For the guns must be paid, a human toll.
Pounded in our Norman orchard here,
While men went mad, and died in fear.
Tell me? is that the call of Freedoms Bell?
Or is it the harsh strident chimes of Hell?

Time will not heal, the wounds of soul.
Nor still the Bells of Freedoms toll.
For young men that died, are waiting yet.
Across the years, their hands outstretch.
"Forget me not, just speak my name.
And call me back, from where I've lain".

For Freedoms grace, is valiant won.
Fought for, by Brothers, Fathers, Son.
Unfurl the flag, that they died to save.
Then fly it high, and recall the brave.
Now Freedoms Bells, are muted, still.
Our hopes and dreams are not fulfilled.

On darkened, late, Mid-summers night.
With restless dreams, before dawns light.
Familiar faces gather, call my name.
Come! for Freedoms Bell, lets fight again!
Then into battle, with troubled dreams.
Watch men die, scream, curse, blaspheme.

For we, who are old, the guns still roar.
And long forgotten, young voices call.
Searching mortars, for humans seek.
To maim and kill, and wounding's wreak.
Hear the screams of men, in mortal pain?
Are those the Bells? That dread refrain?

How short the Countries memory yet.
"You who fought, we'll not pay the debt.
Your dream of England, we still rebuff
Your life of pain, is still not enough.
The sacrifice paid, that we might thrive.
"Good Lord man! You are still alive"!

Now, Freedoms Bells no longer ring.
The debts not paid, and greed is King.
We, still live the years of mighty deeds.
And grieve for our fallen, our wounded bleed.
Who will ring the Bell of Freedoms song?
When we are gone? When we are gone?

Swordman
Sapper! Veteran! Old Buffer!
Another lovely poem to remember him by.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
I hope to add an article on the atrocities committed by the Germans troops and the SS in particular. Alan Westerman, a great and dear friend, one of the Dunkirk Veterans was at Belsen when it was discovered .He gave me a copy of the official Army Medical Report on what it was like in Belsen. Typed out on thin wartime paper, on a clapped out army typewriter. Then he gave me another description that he wrote about what he witnessed, by walking all the way round the outside of that dreaded place. Sadly my dear old mate has Alzheimerâs disease and recognises no one.

That begs the question? Have any of you been to, or heard about Orador sur glan? The little town where the Germans shot all the men put their bodies in the houses. Then burned the town down.

Locked all the women and children in the Church and burned them alive. With SS troopers outside, there to shoot any woman or child that escaped the flames. The French have left the town exactly as it was.

A place where even now, the ivy-covered walls seem to harbour the evil that took place there. It is with great satisfaction that the perpetrators of this ghastly atrocity The Das Reich Number 2 SS Panzer Division was one of those we caught in the carnage of the Falaise pocket.

Someone asked me. Do you forgive? Let me say this. Sound never goes away it just gets fainter. Somewhere out there in the universe the cries of souls being burned alive will still be echoing. I hope and pray, that those that committed these terrible crimes will be forced to listen to the cries of woman and little children being burned alive for all eternity.
The old town of Orador still stands today, a place of great sadness. The French built another town away from lingering sense of evil that still haunts the crumbling walls.
I will post the Belsen papers later.
Swordman.
Awful to read, what a gentleman we have just lost.
 
I have got some details from the. Funeral Directors.

Friday 16 August 1200 hrs Poole Crematorium.

Nothing else at this point in time but will do a bit more digging today.

Edit - And there will be a presentation on his life + beers and scoff at the Swanage British Legion after, time unconfirmed as yet.
 
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