Surfing on D-Day

I went for a surf today on Anglesey, full in the knowledge that 70 years ago today many peoples fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, sons and uncles were poised to make one of the most audacious and dangerous pushes in the Second World War, when a multinational force attacked the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

Whilst only a film, I still believe that the depiction of the initial landings in Save Private Ryan are probably as realistic as I want to ever witness. As today I stood on top of a sand dune looking out to sea and everything was in range of small arms fire. I can barely imagine what the devastation would have been for the invading force.

Yet 70 years ago, 150000 allied men attacked 50000 well entrenched and the loss of live was considerable. They did it so we didn’t have to live under the fear of being the next nation annexed by Hilter. Who was busy trying to instigate his ‘final solution‘.┬áIt is almost not worth thinking what could have happened if our men had given an inch in that battle.

I like to think that me getting out the house and doing something that celebrates our freedom was in a way, just that, a celebration. So this weekend get out and do something with the freedom that those soldier sacrificed everything for you to have.

I was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to write about one small part of that D-Day machine in this months Climber Magazine. When I look back at the Cliff Assault Wing of the Royal Marines, that were stood ready if required during the landing but were never deployed in anger. It was a real privilege to look into their history and tell a small part of their story.

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