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15 October 2014
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D-Day: 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regimenticon for Recommended story

by Pamela Wootton

Contributed by 
Pamela Wootton
People in story: 
Dennis Charles Holt
Location of story: 
Gold Beach, Normandy, France
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
04 May 2004

This is a story about my father Mr Dennis Holt of 40 Walton Road, Shirehampton, Bristol. My Dad served with the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. He was with the 7th Armour Devonshire’s. My Dad was only 19 when he landed on Gold Beach on D Day.

He was one of the first to land in the first few minutes of the invasion. There were over 4000 ships that went across. The ship my Dad went across in was called the Glenroy. He was only 5’ 3” tall and he was up to his neck in water. He held his rifle above his head, and waded ashore. A lot of his friends disappeared into deep water and got killed or drowned in bomb crates. He was one of the lucky ones he survived the invasion. The actual invasion should have taken place on the 5th of June but owing to bad weather it was cancelled to the 6th June. My Dad served under Lt Col C.A.R. Nevill O.B.E. He fought along side him many times in action. Later on Lt Col C.A.R. Nevill O.B.E. got badly wounded. He never returned to his Regiment he was presumed dead. My Dad told the family he was one of the finest Gentlemen you could ever wish to meet and it was a real pleasure to have served under him.

After the War my Dad became a Normandy Veteran. On the 40th Anniversary he returned to France. He tried to find Lt Col C.A.R. Nevill’s grave but it was not there. He wrote to the grave commission but they had no information.

Many years later my Dad was at a reunion talking to a Veteran and he mentioned Lt Col C.A.R. Nevill, and was told he was still alive and that he knew where he lived. My Dad wrote to him and arranged to meet him on the 50th Anniversary.

Some of the family was there to see this reunion. It was a very proud and emotional moment for both men. My Dad was one of the proudest men you could have ever met. He was proud to have served for his Country.

Unfortunately my Dad passed away four and half years ago. He wrote a book over the last years of his live and called it A Passage Through Life. A lot of the book is about army life he also wrote about D Day.

My Dads dream was to go to the 60th Anniversary. His wife and family are all very proud of him.

Two Veterans who live in Shirehampton Stan Carter and Phil Reed will return on the 60th Anniversary. I think everyone should be proud of them.

I have the story about the 2nd Battalion the Devonshire Regiment “We landed on D Day” it was written by Lt Col C.A.R. Nevill O.B.E. I also have detailed information leading up to D Day and the actual assault and maps of D Day.
Yours sincerely,

P Wootton
Dennis Holt’s Daughter.

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