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- Walter Joseph Willcocks
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- 22 November 2003
My father was assembled in and around the New Forest with other troops. He departed from Lee-on-Solent late on 5 June 1944, sailed through the night and landed at 07:30 on 6 June at Sword Beach. He was part of the RSAC bridging unit that used Bailey bridge sections.
Bridging the Caen Canal
The company made their way to Caen and successfully bridged the Caen Canal to enable the advance to continue.
The company received casualties and returned to Deliverande for a rest period. The unit held a ballot for 72-hour passes in Bayeaux and my father was first out of the hat!
Instead of remaining at Bayeaux, my father made his way to the beaches at Arromonches, where the Army were building a Mulberry Harbour. On the way he saw a sign for the Royal Engineers and he knew that his father was attached to that company.
He enquired at the company HQ and they signalled a ship by morse code - his father (my grandfather) was brought ashore. They both returned to my grandfather's ship and the crew gave up their rum ration, so they could both get drunk!!
My father is still alive and remembers well the glorious time he and his father had in celebrating their reunion at Normandy.
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