D-Day Heroes and smoking ... but don't mention the French!

This Graye Churchill tank in the car park at Courseulles-sur-Mer is situated about 100 metres from the beach where it came ashore at the junction of the Green (left) and Red (right) sectors of Mike/JUNO Beach. Thus is where the Royal Winnipeg Rifles came on D-Day 6th June 1944. They suffered 128 casualties, the second heaviest Canadian regimental casualties of the day.

This tank came ashore and slid down into the flooded culvert, it sunk and was then hit by mortars. The sunken tank was incorporated into the exit road and there it stayed until 1976 when it was recovered, restored and moved to the car park. Also in the car park is a granite monument about 0.75 metres wide by 1.25 metres high. This monument is dedicated to the Canadian Scottish and Royal Winnipeg Rifles. h/t vicherley

Take a closer look at the photo and you'll see in the top right hand corner a cross. This cross is about 50-60 ft high and in chrome and is actually on the beach. There is a large area decked out to accommodate it. lt is the Charles De Gaulle Cross commemorating his landing there as the Liberator of France. No he didn't come on the 6th or 7th ... not even the 12th when Churchill came. He came on the 14th! The only thing missing in the tank photo is there is also a flag flying there ... yes, the French one.

The 3 D-Day vets that l'd taken were not very complimentary about it to say the least. Comments like 'Fucking typical, our lads are shoved in the car park and that big nosed cunt gets a fucking giant memorial to proclaim himself Liberator of France" ... "Cunt" ... " Do you know that there's no figures for French casualties on D-Day?" ... " Yeah, did you see the leaflet on the war cemetries? 1000's of Allied graves and even the Poles have 690 odd. The French one? ... 90 ... fucking 90!" ... " Liberator of France? ... Cunt!"

l looked later at the leaflet and it did indeed say that. Later on when l'd taken them to bar and we were sat out in the sun having a beer ... and a smoke, one of the vets said " Y'know, l used to enjoy a pint and a smoke at the pub but it's not worth going anymore. Hardly anyone goes. When l have been and l want a smoke l've got to shuffle out on these fucking sticks. Doesn't matter if it's pouring with rain, blowing a gale, fucking snowing ... out l fucking go"

He went on "What really pisses me off is all them fucking anti-smoking cunts. They say it's better for me, it's healthier, it's for my own good ... l'm 85 for fucks sake!"

His mate replied " Makes you wonder why we bothered, fucking fascists won in the end"


  1. Very true, cannot argue with any of that and agree totally with those gentlemen...deGaulle was a Cunt!

    1. Yep, the French are pretty ungrateful for all we did for the frog bastards.

  2. excellent post as always. It seems those brave men suffered for fuck all

  3. We also visited Pointe du Hoc where the American Rangers scaled the cliffs to take it. From the landing force of 255 men only 90 were left who could still fight.

    The 85 yr old vet who had difficulty in walking only went as far as the end of the path as he could not negotiate the actual site. lt's very uneven with shell craters etc.

    When we returned he was sat on the remains of a bunker laughing. He told us that there was a guided tour and the guide was telling his group how the French and Americans were looking after the site and were in the process of making the cliffs safe as they were crumbling. He immediately interrupted the French guide and told the group straight that the French had nothing to do with the site. Everything on the site, including the repairs and upkeep was paid for by the Yanks ... nothing came from the French. Wish l'd been there to see it.

    What l did see was the Vets at La Cambe, the German Cemetery. This site is maintained by the children from Germany who come in groups and stay a week or so maintaining the site. Why we don't do this is beyond me.

    Anyway, after visiting the cemetery itself they then went into the memorial centre building. They came out with another man who was a veteran ... except he was a German. They all came to the Jeep where l had all the beers in a cooler in the back (these guys can drink!). They took the beers and went and sat down on a bench in the sunshine. They were there for at least an hour. l did not join them as l felt l would be intruding. The scene gave me a warm glow inside. These former enemies who had lost friends and comrades were sat drinking, smoking and laughing together. Some may say it was disrespectful to drink at such a place but l do not believe that. Let me leave you with a poem we saw from a Canadian Cemetery.lt's called 'Voice from a War Grave'

    "Please don’t lower your voices as if your in some kind of pain.
    I can’t tell you how pleased we are to see you come back here again.

    There’s no need to stop yourself laughing, we all of us like a good joke.
    We used to laugh quite a lot in those days, despite all the noise and the smoke.

    We’re glad that you come here to see us. We like to see friends old and new.
    So laugh and talk as much as you like we wish we could come to see you.

    So please don’t lower your voices. We’re aware of the pain that you feel.
    It’s no worse than ours, I can tell you, and yours is the one that can heal."
    George Sewell

  4. great post. how we treat our veterans is a fucking national disgrace. the anti.smoking nazis should be fucking ashamed

  5. Damn good post. Could be my dad talking there as he no longer went to the pub for the same reason. He can't go now even if he wanted to. lt's closed down!

  6. Anon

    Sounds like my friend too, sadly no longer with us. He was small in stature but a giant of a man. Was one of the first to land on Gold Beach with 4th Special Service Brigade (Commandos). Got wounded almost immediately and when medics came to him a mortar went off and killed the medics, wounding him again.

    He stopped going to the pub when smoking ban came in. He also called the anti-smokers fascists along with a lot of other choice words!

  7. Thinking about it his term for them was more often than not Nazi bastards. R.I.P. Jim

  8. l take my hat off to you, sir.

    An excellent blog.


  9. The old boy was right. I bet quite a few vets wonder why they risked their necks for politicians to throw the country to the dogs.

  10. Tenants of pubs are not to blame, they carnt do anything cos of the pub companies but the independent owners of pubs are gutless wimps

  11. Like your use of Vichy French over at Tea and Cigarettes. You should use it more.

  12. "The French one? ... 90 ... fucking 90!" ... " Liberator of France? ... Cunt!"

    We all have our myths. The French NEED to feel that THEY liberated France. The Germans NEED to believe that there were only ever a few REAL NAZIs and that they, those Nazis, somehow managed to 'seize' power (Hitler was a more-or-less democratically elected leader). The Brits NEED to believe that their 'lions led by donkeys' were somehow fighting a just war, a righteous cause(if you think I'm joking then just try reading some of reams that get written 'excusing'The Butcher of Dresden, for fucks sake they even put a statue to the man).

    Despite all the historical evidence to the contrary.

    I wonder how the Great Fight Against Tobacco will be portrayed in ,say, 50 years time? What myths will our great grandchildren NEED?

  13. Those vets mirror my sentiments. l was with the 22nd at Utah and god willing l will return there for the 70th.

    "Deeds, Not Words"


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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