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Today, on the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, we had the pleasure of spending time with Day Therapy patient Alex McInnes, who spoke to us about his memories of serving his country on D-Day.
On June 6 1944, Alex was an eighteen-year-old Navy conscript helping American troops storm the Omaha beach on a LSI (Landing Ship, Infantry): a British Commonwealth vessel used to transport landing craft and troops during the Second World War. As he recalled his memories of that infamous day, he reminisced about the bravery and camaraderie of those who fought all those years ago.
“When we brought over the first lot of Americans to the beach, the Germans still had control and were shelling our ship, so we had to transfer over to another ship, but by the time we did that the Germans had been pushed back,” said Alex. “All the military worked together that day; people don’t often realise it but the RAF played a huge part, chasing off the stukas and heinkels so we could get those boys to the beach.”
He acknowledges that luck was also on the side of the allies when it came to planning the invasion. “On June 6 there was some hesitation about going to Normandy because it was cloudy, but if we’d have waited until June 7, D-Day would’ve been cancelled due to bad weather, and who knows what the outcome would have been,” he said.
Signing up at age 16 in 1942, Alex started his stint in the Navy as a boy signalman and then progressed to D Squadron on HMS Cossack as a mail courier. He described the navy as ‘the best time in his life’, giving him the opportunity to travel as far as Tokyo and Hiroshima, but was happy to get home ‘safe and sound’ and go back to being a civilian when the war ended. He went on to marry and have two daughters.
Alex came to use the Day Therapy services at Prospect Hospice after having a stroke that left him with impaired mobility, and enjoys the social side of his visits in particular. “The people and the staff are lovely, so welcoming and friendly. It’s the highlight of my week coming here,” he smiled.
We ended our chat by wishing Alex a happy birthday (he turns 93 at the end of this month) and he thanked us for taking the time to listen to his stories, and help him remember the events of D-Day. He also thanked the Day Therapy staff for all they do for him and for his friends.
For more information about our Day Therapy services, click the link here www.prospect-hospice.net/care/therapy/
31 May 2019
24 May 2019
Prospect Hospice is a working name of Prospect Hospice Limited. Registered Office: Moormead Road, Wroughton, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN4 9BY. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (1494909) and a charity registered in England and Wales (280093)Website designed & built by Boson Web