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  • Writer's pictureSteve Davies

D-Day Memories: By Gwilym Morgan, Almor, Bellevue Gardens

The sea was rough and we took as much sleep as we could as we knew there would be many sleepless nights later on.



I was a Telegraphist on the HMS Kingsmill. As we approached the French coast we could see large clouds of smoke, shells from the big warships out at sea were passing over the ships. We were the Headquarters Landing ship responsible for lading the Green Howards on Gold Beach. As we neared the beach there was pandemonium, landing craft being blown up, machine guns and small arms fire, an awful din. Bodies, everywhere in the sea.


The troops had been terribly seasick before going ashore. We could see lots of Germans running back over the sand dunes. Very luckily our ship was not hit but our Headquarters Ship on Sword Beach I heard was blown up. I heard the din as I was below deck working on the Radio, passing and taking messages from our boys who had been put ashore to set up a station. It could have been me, but again I was lucky as I didn’t go ashore until the second day. The messages we took were instructions from the Beach Master (R.N), reports on killed and wounded, reinforcements required etc. Boats of wounded were frantically coming off the beach seeking a bigger boat to take them back to the troop transports out at sea. We were off Arromanches, a major on our ship was sniped as soon as he put his foot ashore. They say there were women snipers on the church steeple.


The first day was the worst. We were dive bombed several times but escaped. I believe we were attacked by e-boats in the night, as I heard a lot of shouting and guns. Some mines passed very close to our stern I was told. I did see a row of cottages containing Germans being blown sky high by what was called ‘L.C. (Landing craft) Rockets’ which could get very close. We had some sleep the second day when we were put back in seagoing watches – 4 hours off & on.


After a fortnight the Navy had completed the landings and we returned to Plymouth, disbanding and returned to barracks.


On the last day I did go into Arromanches village. No sign of anyone as I believe the population were in the cellars. Even in these circumstances some of our boys Made efforts to see if there were any girls about! The beach was covered in guns, machine gun bullets, broken down land craft, lorries etc. This briefly was my experience,


We sailed back to Plymouth Barracks where we were sent on 14 days leave. We retuned and were immediately drafted out to the Pacific to take on the Japs.


That’s another story.


Gwilym Morgan

March 1995


Elinor Gwilym

(With thanks to Margaret Bevan Gwilym’s niece who gave me Gwilym’s story and photograph)

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