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15 October 2014
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D-Day: Father and Son Reunitedicon for Recommended story

by mikewillcocks

Contributed by 
mikewillcocks
People in story: 
Walter Joseph Willcocks
Location of story: 
Normandy
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A2070190
Contributed on: 
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.

Reunion

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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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - 106 Coy RASC

Posted on: 24 November 2003 by Andrew Groves - WW2 Site Helper

Mike,

Thanks for your posting. I have a personal interest in this subject and would be pleased to hear any more of your fathers recollections. Please leave a message on my personal page. I have a copy of the report on the assault by 106 Coy RASC if your father would be interested?

Best Regards
Andrew

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