NORMANDY VETERANS SIGNING EVENT – 1st OCTOBER
D-Day 6th June 1944 changed the course of the war in Europe. We’ll be joined at the UK Gallery in Wendover by WWII veterans who took part in the Allied invasion of occupied Europe.
Our special guests include:
Private CECIL JEFFCOATE - Serving with the 2nd Battalion Ox & Bucks Light Infantry, part of the 6th Airborne Division, he landed at Pegasus Bridge in a Glider on the evening of D-Day. The unit famously took the bridge in the early hours of 6th June and he was part of a wave of reinforcements to keep the Germans from re-capturing the bridge and also help protect the British 3rd Infantry Division’s approach to Sword Beach. He later took part in the Ardennes offensive, the Rhine crossing and subsequent advance to the Baltic.
Seaman JIM RADFORD Ld’H - He left school at the age of 15 and within 8 weeks had joined the Merchant Navy. He went to sea as a galley boy on The Empire Larch, a Deep Sea Tug owned by the British Ministry of War Transport and engaged in preparations for the invasion of occupied France. He later joined the Royal Navy on turning 18. Jim is thought to be the youngest known participant of the Allied invasion and as a folk singer graced the Radio 2 D-Day commemorations in 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall with his evocative song ‘The Shores of Normandy’.
Private BRUNO GOTTHARD LEIBICH - Called up for military service in 1943 he joined Grenadier Regiment 915 of the 352nd Infantry Division of the German Army. In December 1943 the unit went to Normandy where he was assigned to Signals (Melder) Company. On D-Day his unit were at Coleville and deployed to defend Omaha Beach. The next day, using ditches and hedgerows as cover, they fired on some US soldiers but the return fire was such that his group of 6 surrendered and he spent the remainder of the war as a PoW, first in America before being sent to England where he met a local girl and has settled ever since.
With Special Guest Signer:
Warrant Officer TED OATES - already serving with the Territorial Army before the outbreak of war, he later joined the Army REMI 9th Army Field Workshop. His unit were active in northern France in early 1940 when Operation Dynamo began and he was evacuated from Dunkirk on a little ship Riis1, a ration ship which went on to evacuate 200 troops from the beaches.
Our guests are happy to sign items for customers and entry is FREE but STRICTLY by ticket only. We are currently taking bookings so please contact us now to reserve your place.