Arromanches +65 - A National Disgrace

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by Paul Reed, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Piaf and welcome to the forum.

    Ps we have a few 'D-Day Dodgers' on here ;)

    Regards
    Andy


    Ref Prince Charles:

    Did I see him wearing a South Atlantic Medal and more importantly-Did it have a rosette on it? I caught a quick glimpse of him and did a double take.

    I thought only his younger brother Andrew fought in the Falklands....I hope his Valet didn't give him his brothers medals by mistake?
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Just out of curiosity.
    Who was actually organising it? And on what sort of official/formal/informal level?

    The Mayor, local do?
    French government?
    NVA? (I kept instinctively thinking 'Why are the North Vietnamese Army there?' while watching it yesterday...are their plans for world domination so advanced...)
    British goverment?
    Someone else?

    Seems wise to know who was IC of that particular do. If it was a disgrace, who's was it really?

    They said of the big official Omaha ceremony that they were desperately hunting for chairs as many more veterans had turned up than were expected.
     
  3. chow

    chow Junior Member

    The French police behaved in an absolutely disgusting manner. Having been at Arromanches since about midday, I decided to leave at 5pm. The French police suddenly closed the exit gates to the car park and implemented road blocks on the roads out of Arromanches - without warning. I was stuck for 2.5 hours in a car park (the duration of the convoy with Brown/Sarkozy arriving, doing their stuff, then leaving) - now that's not so bad for me, but annoying, as I'm a healthy 24 year old.

    The most disgusting part was that there was D-Day veterans themselves stuck in this car park, unable to leave. After being stuck for an hour, I witnessed a D-day veteran pleading with the police to be allowed to leave so that he could go to Cherbourg and fetch his ferry back home.

    French police hold D-day veterans and celebrators hostage in Arromanches car park for hours | chrishowells.co.uk

    This was an appalling end to what was otherwise, for me at least, a very enjoyable day.

    People in the car park were absolutely furious with Brown and the French police. When the convoys eventually headed out there was much tooting of horns and booing - I hope that he heard, inside his cosy car, and felt fully ashamed of himself.
     
  4. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Paul, Although I have never personally attended the ceremony at Arromanches I have watched it on the T.V. and always thought it seemed a fiasco.
    I remember one year seeing the Veterans assembled on the beach with the oncoming tide lapping at their feet, whilst waiting for the Queen to appear.
    Yesterday I attended a ceremony at Creully as I do every year to honour the memory of my cousin who was killed on June 28th 1944 aged just twenty years.
    We had no problems in getting from our home near Carentan to Creully even though the N13 was closed, the only hold up was at Bayeux where the coaches taking the Veterans to the ceremony were given priority which is as it should be.
    Phillip, The French Prime minister delivered his speech in English at Arromanches ,it was President Sarkozy who gave his speech in French at Omaha.
    It is known that Nicolas Sarkozy does not speak English , but by the same token would you exepct Gordon Brown to deliver a speech in French ?
    I noticed both President Obama and Gordon Brown wearing earphones during President Sarkozy's speech,however Prince Charles was not and he could be seen conversing with Sarkozy afterwards .
    As I live nearer to the American landing beaches than the British , I can only conclude with my own feelings that the Americans look after their veterans with more respect than us Britsh?
    Regards
    Piaf
    (daughter of a 'D Day 'dodger)

    Perhaps he knows French?

    OT: This is appalling, I wouldn't want anyone to be treated like this, the fact that they were war veterans just makes it so much worse! I just hope those that suffered through it remain healthy.
     
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Don't know why so many people are surprised and upset - most veterans I know - expect bad treatment it's what they have always known and it won't get any better probably -

    goes without saying that Canada and the USA treat their Veterans like human beings - and not something the dog dragged in...

    Rudyard Kipling got it right - "when the shootin starts 'es an 'ero - when it's over - ignore'im" - or words to that effect -

    won't change...the idiots are still in charge ...
    Cheers
     
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  7. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Don't know why so many people are surprised and upset - most veterans I know - expect bad treatment it's what they have always known and it won't get any better probably -

    goes without saying that Canada and the USA treat their Veterans like human beings - and not something the dog dragged in...

    Rudyard Kipling got it right - "when the shootin starts 'es an 'ero - when it's over - ignore'im" - or words to that effect -

    won't change...the idiots are still in charge ...
    Cheers

    I've always taken for granted the treatment of Veterans in Canada, until I joined this forum. :lol: (Given I don't follow European news much of course)
     
  8. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    The beret had what looked like a red and white embroidered badge. i did wonder if it was Polish, but Russian convoy is good enough for me.

    I was given the opportunity to attend the South Lancs memorial service, but tbh I cant do it - I cant even walk round military graveyards, I just find it too upsetting.

    I watched the memorial service with my dad and great uncle - his comment was that there were a lot less politicians there 65 years ago.........

    Pete.
     
    dbf likes this.
  9. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    I watched the whole thing on TV from start to finish and thought the coverage was realy good and the services well executed, BUT the whole Arrowmanches episode was a total shambles, a church fete could have run it better. As for the French and the police, whats new there, I did a Normandy Tour in March and even had lunch in the cafe on the corner of the square and the attitude of the locals when you open your mouth and they find your english well!! enough said.
    Rob D.
     
  10. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    I have forwarded this behavior to Nick Ferrari & James Obrian on LBC Radio......

    Lets hope they will get time and not use all of their time spent on crap euro elections

    Lee
     
  11. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Ref Prince Charles:

    Did I see him wearing a South Atlantic Medal and more importantly-Did it have a rosette on it? I caught a quick glimpse of him and did a double take.

    I thought only his younger brother Andrew fought in the Falklands....I hope his Valet didn't give him his brothers medals by mistake?

    i think you were mistaken, Andy (though someone on another forum did quip that he actually did serve in the Falklands...as a radar dish!!!:lol:)...

    (medals (left to right)...Queen's Service Order (New Zealand) ,Coronation medal ,Silver Jubilee medal ,Golden Jubilee medal, Canadian forces decoration, NZ commemorative medal )
     

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  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Dave it was a quick glimpse I can see now there is nothing there that resembles it.

    I think it was a blurred merge of the Coronation and Jubilee medals.
     
  13. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    I was not able to check LBC today did anyone listen to find out if the topic was bought up between 8am to 1pm

    Lee
     
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Pete Keane -
    While the White Beret might mean ONLY the Russian Convoy service to you - it does commemorate the WHOLE of the Merchant Navy's service all over the world with it's attendant horrors - lack of recognition - pay and benefits - and loss of same when torpedeod - these men were - in the main volunteers and were treated very badly by the authorities but they still went about bringing food and supplies to all of us - as they still do.

    The Russian Convoys were horror filled - of that there is no question - but equally so were the convoys to Malta....Liverpool...Africa ...ET AL...just not quite so cold !

    Cheers
     
    Cpl Rootes likes this.
  15. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    Pete Keane -
    While the White Beret might mean ONLY the Russian Convoy service to you - it does commemorate the WHOLE of the Merchant Navy's service all over the world with it's attendant horrors - lack of recognition - pay and benefits - and loss of same when torpedeod - these men were - in the main volunteers and were treated very badly by the authorities but they still went about bringing food and supplies to all of us - as they still do.

    The Russian Convoys were horror filled - of that there is no question - but equally so were the convoys to Malta....Liverpool...Africa ...ET AL...just not quite so cold !

    Cheers
    Well said!

    One of my Great-Uncles died while in the merch after being torpedoed off Alexandria. Tragically my other Great Uncle was in the Navy (I'm not sure but think he was a pre-war reg as he was at Dunkirk etc) and was actually only about 2 miles away from his brother's ship.
     
  16. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Well said!

    One of my Great-Uncles died while in the merch after being torpedoed off Alexandria. Tragically my other Great Uncle was in the Navy (I'm not sure but think he was a pre-war reg as he was at Dunkirk etc) and was actually only about 2 miles away from his brother's ship.

    I agree entirely. The merchant Marine was the real unsung service.
    A friend of mine who comes from the Shetland Isles told me that his father was a Arctic fisherman who owned his own trawler. It was laid up during the war as he volunteered for the Navy and served on HMS Warspite.

    He was told that most of the fishermen ended up in the Royal Navy or Merchant Navy and the islands lost a high percentage of their menfolk.

    We do indeed owe a great debt to the Merchant Marine.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  17. yaksemaj

    yaksemaj Junior Member

    Paul, having been in attendance myself I too left feeling disgusted at the treatment of the veterans. Apart from the singing you mentioned I didn't hear a word of complaint,they all conducted themselves with far more decorum than was deserved.

    Additional points I would like to your post:

    Once initially gathered in the square the host announced over the tannoy that they hadn't been expecting so many veterans and probably wouldn't have enough of the 65th commemorative medals available (surely you order significantly more than you need to avoid any such embarrassment?).

    Whilst awaiting the parade next to the starting point, and packed in like sardines due to people trying to leave the town, the French police, parading soldiers and band blocked the road down to the start point thus forcing a large number of veterans, many frail and probably exhausted, down along the pavement and through the already heaving crowd. Eventually people managed to force a path down to the corner where I was stood and the imbecilic jobsworth of a policeman refused to open the barrier for them to join the parade. After much protest from the crowd and only seconds before the march took place - not a sore word from any veterans - they were let through. All this happening whilst the heavens opened up and soaked the patiently waiting march party.

    During this period it seemed that the entire schedule was on hold until Gordon Brown arrived which, apart from his obvious current unpopularity, was part of the reason he was booed when arriving. He got out of his car, proceeded to shake two or three hands in the crowd opposite and then file down inside the museum.

    Now it may only be my interpretation of events but it seemed as though the veterans had had enough of this shambles which seemed to hang on the timings of officials and politicians alike, the bemused french soldiers and band got bundled on to the pavement and the veterans started the march of their own accord.

    The cheering from the crowd at this act, coupled with the emotion of seeing these proud heroes, again, getting things done, briefly vanquished my disgust and dismay at the way they were treated for the greater part of this fiasco of an event - the last official one of its type! This should have been a day solely about them and their comrades, and not the police, or us, and definitely not any politician.
     
    Paul Reed likes this.
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    yaksemaj
    Well - it's all over now and it is very doubtful as there will be many D Day veterans left in five years time to parade - anywhere - except the big one upstairs -

    When the judge will ask - "and what did you do" to be answered - "I landed on D Day" -the answer will be - "then come on in son- you've done your bit " -

    NEXT - "what did you do ?" - "Oh, I was an important politician" - answer - "By the left - quick march to Hell "

    Now THAT - to my way of thinking - is the really important bit....but then - I'm odd !

    Cheers
     
    Paul Reed likes this.
  19. blacksnake

    blacksnake As old as I feel.

    I, like many others on here watched this ceremony live on the BBC. When the coverage first started (I think it was around 1600hrs) it was already raining and most already looked soaked through, which is not at all acceptable. I am shocked and disgusted at reading your post Paul about exactly how bad our Veterans where treated, disgraceful.

    There where three things that made 'chuckle' whilst watching, and seem even more relevant now we know the whole story .... The Vets standing in the rain singing "Why are we waiting?" (Good Question) ... Goblin Brown getting 'Booed' ... And the old boy, stood in the back of shot during an interview, with one of those fold-up chairs perched on his shoulders to provide himself with some protection from the rain.

    ......I did a Normandy Tour in March and even had lunch in the cafe on the corner of the square and the attitude of the locals when you open your mouth and they find your english well!! enough said.
    Rob D.

    Ditto, Rob ... Was in Arromanches last July, same cafe, same attitude. All this makes me wonder weather this poster on the side of the cafe is genuine, or just to get you to spend your Euros there?
     

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  20. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Yaksemaj,

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    A excellent first post and reiterating how the Veterans can show the Politicians a thing or two!

    I great pity that heroes should be treated so shabbily.

    Regards
    Tom
     

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