Veteran recalls D-Day landing

Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

First published in News

A Second World War veteran has spoken of his memory of taking part in the D-Day landings.
 

Fred Glover, from Brighton, was speaking ahead of the 70th anniversary of the event next month.
 

When 18-year-old Fred Glover volunteered in May 1944 for a "special operation", he had no idea he was to become part of a military invasion that would change history.
 

On June 6, 1944, the daring mission for Mr Glover and his comrades in the 6th Airborne Division was to silence the guns before the first seaborne troops hit Sword Beach.
 

Mr Glover, 88, of Brighton said the hours and minutes which ticked down towards the start of their operation seemed like a lifetime
 

To help time pass, the crew checked and re-checked their weapons, played cards using French liberation currency and drank endless cups of tea.
 

But then the time came for them to board trucks to take them to a Dorset airfield and reality struck about what lay ahead.
 

On the runway stood three Albermarle tugs along with the Horsa gliders that would send the men into war.
 

As they crossed the coast of France, the glider pilot jettisoned the tow-rope, sending the glider into free flight.
 

But there was not the expected flares to light up the battery and as the Horsa glided down to the gun casements several men were hit by anti-aircraft fire, including Mr Glover who was wounded in both legs.
 

He said: "Just at the crucial moment, the glider pilot lifted the glider over the minefield and crashed into the corner of a small orchard smack-bang into a German patrol that was coming to reinforce the defenders of the battery.
 

"Within no time we were in a firefight with this patrol but due to the thoroughness of our training, there was no bewilderment or anything.
 

"We just crashed the glider, got out of it, took cover and returned fire. Bear in mind that all this happened just a couple of hours after leaving the peace and quiet of the English countryside.”
 

Feeling blood in his boots after the Germans withdrew, Mr Glover's wounds were dressed, but as he tried to follow his comrades to their next objective, he felt unable to go on.
 

He eventually underwent an operation to remove metal fragments from his legs at a German Field Hospital and was transferred to a Parisian hospital, which he eventually escaped from by dropping out of a 14ft window.

 

Comments (9)

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7:25am Mon 19 May 14

esh lad says...

Best wishes to Fred,we owe so much to him and all ex Servicemen like him who were prepared to give their lives,and thousands did,to protect our Country.
Best wishes to Fred,we owe so much to him and all ex Servicemen like him who were prepared to give their lives,and thousands did,to protect our Country. esh lad
  • Score: 11

9:30am Mon 19 May 14

ARMANA says...

If anyones interested, I went on a (Guided Battlefield Tour) with Steve & Susan ****, to all the D.Day beaches, A fantastic husband & wife team, I would recommend them to anyone who might be interested in having a look were Fred & many others fought the Germans, in 1944, !! 5 star trip +++++
If anyones interested, I went on a (Guided Battlefield Tour) with Steve & Susan ****, to all the D.Day beaches, A fantastic husband & wife team, I would recommend them to anyone who might be interested in having a look were Fred & many others fought the Germans, in 1944, !! 5 star trip +++++ ARMANA
  • Score: 6

11:12am Mon 19 May 14

PatChat says...

I was most interested to read of Mr Glover's experiences. My own brother was in the 6th Airborne Division and dropped at the Merville Battery on D-Day. There is a very interesting book called "The Day the Devils Dropped In" that gives a very good description of the event. There are many personal experiences given in the book and my brother has written two of his own experiences in it. He attended most of the anniversaries but, unfortunately, a stroke has stopped him being able to do so now. In any case, there can't be many people left, unfortunately. Good luck, Mr Glover.
I was most interested to read of Mr Glover's experiences. My own brother was in the 6th Airborne Division and dropped at the Merville Battery on D-Day. There is a very interesting book called "The Day the Devils Dropped In" that gives a very good description of the event. There are many personal experiences given in the book and my brother has written two of his own experiences in it. He attended most of the anniversaries but, unfortunately, a stroke has stopped him being able to do so now. In any case, there can't be many people left, unfortunately. Good luck, Mr Glover. PatChat
  • Score: 11

2:19am Tue 20 May 14

Mr chock says...

i wonder why my comment was removed i appreciated the censorship when someone comments nasty things but i met this old chat and found him to be most delightful . i am sure he would be in favour of the UKIP stance on immigration no other party has managed to come up with anything on Europes interference with uk laws so who will you be voting for ?
i wonder why my comment was removed i appreciated the censorship when someone comments nasty things but i met this old chat and found him to be most delightful . i am sure he would be in favour of the UKIP stance on immigration no other party has managed to come up with anything on Europes interference with uk laws so who will you be voting for ? Mr chock
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Tue 20 May 14

ARMANA says...

U.KIP Bud, ;)
U.KIP Bud, ;) ARMANA
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Fri 23 May 14

spa301 says...

I have the greatest of respect for you Mr Glover.
I have the greatest of respect for you Mr Glover. spa301
  • Score: 0

11:51pm Sat 24 May 14

cptflint says...

The courage of men like Fred Glover is a shining light from a very dark period in our history
The courage of men like Fred Glover is a shining light from a very dark period in our history cptflint
  • Score: 0

12:09am Tue 27 May 14

clubrob6 says...

Well done my father who has sadly just very recently died at 97 was involved with D-Day he served on the Belfast the ship that's on the thames now.He often shown me his photos he took on the Belfast which are now passed onto my older brother.We must remember what these men did and protect what they thought for.My father always had a lot to say and he was not happy with our modern day career politicians who now think its there job to tell us what we can vote on,he said they are taking away the freedoms they fought for.
Well done my father who has sadly just very recently died at 97 was involved with D-Day he served on the Belfast the ship that's on the thames now.He often shown me his photos he took on the Belfast which are now passed onto my older brother.We must remember what these men did and protect what they thought for.My father always had a lot to say and he was not happy with our modern day career politicians who now think its there job to tell us what we can vote on,he said they are taking away the freedoms they fought for. clubrob6
  • Score: 1

12:17am Tue 27 May 14

clubrob6 says...

Mr chock wrote:
i wonder why my comment was removed i appreciated the censorship when someone comments nasty things but i met this old chat and found him to be most delightful . i am sure he would be in favour of the UKIP stance on immigration no other party has managed to come up with anything on Europes interference with uk laws so who will you be voting for ?
I see you are getting negative votes my father who recently died aged 97 served on the Belfast during D-Day,he totally fell out with the three main parties run by millionaire career politicians that have flooded our country with uncontrolled immigration.People don't realise the sacrefices that were made for our freedom and lifestyle,my father could not understand why the main parties were giving our country away.He was going to vote UKIP,he aso had a hatred for the UAF who he said was trying to remove free speech by force.
[quote][p][bold]Mr chock[/bold] wrote: i wonder why my comment was removed i appreciated the censorship when someone comments nasty things but i met this old chat and found him to be most delightful . i am sure he would be in favour of the UKIP stance on immigration no other party has managed to come up with anything on Europes interference with uk laws so who will you be voting for ?[/p][/quote]I see you are getting negative votes my father who recently died aged 97 served on the Belfast during D-Day,he totally fell out with the three main parties run by millionaire career politicians that have flooded our country with uncontrolled immigration.People don't realise the sacrefices that were made for our freedom and lifestyle,my father could not understand why the main parties were giving our country away.He was going to vote UKIP,he aso had a hatred for the UAF who he said was trying to remove free speech by force. clubrob6
  • Score: 1

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