Seventy years on — 2 Comments

  1. A close friend of my family landed on that very beach most likely alongside Archie. He only spoke once of what he had seen and experienced. I still remember sitting outside in the garden while he told me what had happened only stopping to repack his pipe or taking a sip of his drink. He didn’t sugar coat anything or leave anything out even though I was 11 at the time. That talk would put pictures in my head and wake me up at night. I understood in a child’s sort of way why he always looked so tired. Many years after he died his wife spoke to me about the talk he and I had. She said that after that afternoon, he was able to sleep more soundly with less interuptions. He never told her about what he said to me, only that we talked about history. She never asked me again about that afternoon in the garden. I just wish he had a garden to speak to others long before I was 11.

  2. I used to go on long distance walks with Archie. His stories were always anecdotes of things unconnected with battle – such as how a .303 rifle was ineffective for shooting rabbits and the tragedy of three soldiers who died after drinking rocket fuel at a captured launch site.

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