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GUEST,mayomick BS: BBC documentary: Irish WWII soldiers (29) RE: BS: BBC documentary: Irish WWII soldiers 29 Dec 11

My father was in London during WW11, working as a foreman on the docks where they were building the invasion barges for the Normandy landings. A deserter from the Irish army who had signed up for the British army got work on the site in the furlough period he was allowed before joining up with his regiment. My father recalled that the soldier -a father of eight children- was the fittest man on the job and one of the best workers he had ever come across.

Dad thought that this man was a conscript and told him that he would be able to help him obtain false cards so that he could carry on working , but the soldier insisted that he had signed up voluntarily and that nothing would stop him going off to kill as many Germans as he possibly could "to avenge the death of my brother". His brother had been killed at Dunkirk a few years before.

The soldier sailed over to Normandy on one of the same concrete barges that he had been building. They got the word back that he had been the very first man to alight when the barge reached Normandy and that the moment he stepped into the water he was shot though the head.

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