Memories of D-Day

As part of the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June, Gazette reader Janine shared with us the experiences of her father, Arthur Battersby.

His first service photograph shows him in 1942, as a youthful and newly enlisted 18 year old, in the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) at Aldershot.  Arthur Battersby, solider. 1942

RASC was the unit responsible for keeping the British Army supplied with many of the provisions necessary for the force to function, both during operations and also when not in the field.

Two years later, as a Lance Corporal in 1944, Arthur Battersby was deployed on D-Day +4. He carried this small note, telling him where to go when he landed, and the code name of his rendezvous point: ‘J/K Keats’.

Several days later, using the service-issued postcard (Army Form A 2042), he was permitted to notify his family of his safe arrival, but without giving away any details which might be potentially useful to the enemy.

Such mementos are small yet poignant reminders of the numerous individual stories of the men and women who took part in the invasion of Normandy.

Images: J Battersby

See also:

Why we should never forget D-Day

Despatch: The Assault Phase of the Normandy Landings

Despatch: Air operations by the Allied Expeditionary Air Force in N.W. Europe from 15 November 1943 to 30 September 1944

Combat Stress: 100 years of supporting former servicemen and women

Postcard address