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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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D-Day in Leicester

by Imazad

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People in story: 
Dennis Neal
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01 June 2004

Tucked away in the midlands, we were just about as far from the invasion coasts as could be. We, however, were totally aware that there was a massive build up of forces for the invasion.

I was 14 at the time and for some months we had been very aware of the american presence in the city. Their forces encamped in and around the county were primarily airborne units. I walked several times the six miles to Stoughton aerodrome to watch the huge gliders being towed up and released to land back on the airfield. I also saw sticks of parachutists landing on the golf course at Evington.

I passed through the city centre every day on my walk to school and it was heaving with american uniforms. There was a noticeable absence of yanks in the couple of weeks before June 6th and we could only speculate on the reason.

Late on the evening of June 5th we watched a sky full of aircraft, many towing gliders, all displaying broad white stripes on their wings, formating over Leicester and we knew this must be the real thing at last.

An excited schoolboy went to bed very late that night but was up early to listen to the news on the wireless next day.

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Childhood and Evacuation Category
Allied and Commonwealth Forces Category
Leicestershire and Rutland Category
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