Swindon AdvertiserKen prepares to revive the D-Day spirit for last time (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Ken prepares to revive the D-Day spirit for last time

Swindon Advertiser: Veteran Ken Scott gets all spick and span ready for his memorable reunion with  fellow soldiers for the 70th  anniversary of D Day Veteran Ken Scott gets all spick and span ready for his memorable reunion with fellow soldiers for the 70th anniversary of D Day

D-Day veteran Ken Scott will travel to Normandy one last time today and has packed his original British Army uniform for the trip.

The 98-year-old from Royal Wootton Bassett will join fellow veterans for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. He fought in the battle of Normandy as an infantry sergeant with the Durham Light Infantry.

He is looking forward to his return under very different circumstances and is keen to show French youngsters “what a real Tommy looks like”.

The trip, organised by The Wiltshire Normandy Veterans Association, runs from tomorrow until Saturday and includes a ceremony involving 40 heads of state at Gold Beach, Ouistreham.

Ken began his journey to Normandy in 1944 with a train ride from Cambridge and landed on a section of coast codenamed Gold Beach, one of five areas chosen for the attack.

He said: “We were put on the train at Cambridge. You couldn’t tell where we were going, you couldn’t see the names on the trains because they were all blacked out anyway.

“Eventually the train stopped, we disembarked and we got on to the landing craft and it was dark. I couldn’t even remember what time it was.

“I don’t know to this day what port we left from; nobody told us where we were – they just told us to get on the boat. We set off and it wasn’t so choppy, but some boys were sick.

“We all had a smoke because we were frightened to death. The thing pulled up, there was a beach, the craft opened and you just had to go.

“You just ran like hell up the beach to get some cover.”

Ken was already a seasoned fighter, having spent three years in the Western Desert in North Africa serving as a quartermaster with the eighth Army 30 Corps.

During this time he fought in the battle of El Alamein, from October 23 to November 11, 1942, and helped win a key victory for the Allies.

Up to 3,000 Allied troops died on D-Day alone and he believes his experience helped him survive the initial onslaught and the weeks of intense combat that followed.

He said: “We knew what it was like to be under fire. In the Western Desert it was worse than being in France, we had no cover and we had to sleep in the sand.

“Once we got ashore there was a ditch, a fence, there was a house for shelter, but there was nothing in the Western Desert. There was nothing at all.

“We didn’t know, you never thought about it being the last battle. They said ‘the war is over, the war is finished’ and we thought ‘what do we do now?’”

Comments (5)

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10:37am Wed 4 Jun 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Safe trip Ken hope this journey is a little more comfortable for you.
You have come through some of the defining moments of modern history, If I could look that healthy at 68 never mind 98 credit to the nation sir.
Safe trip Ken hope this journey is a little more comfortable for you. You have come through some of the defining moments of modern history, If I could look that healthy at 68 never mind 98 credit to the nation sir. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 7

11:48am Wed 4 Jun 14

Wildwestener says...

I'd just like to say thanks to Ken and all who like him served in WW2 to ensure our freedom today. As the wartime generation sadly become fewer and fewer, it is more important than ever to remember their bravery and sacrifice and perhaps, when we are all whinging about some petty problem we have, look back on those times and realise that we have it pretty good these days.
Have a good trip Ken and thanks
I'd just like to say thanks to Ken and all who like him served in WW2 to ensure our freedom today. As the wartime generation sadly become fewer and fewer, it is more important than ever to remember their bravery and sacrifice and perhaps, when we are all whinging about some petty problem we have, look back on those times and realise that we have it pretty good these days. Have a good trip Ken and thanks Wildwestener
  • Score: 4

12:50pm Wed 4 Jun 14

cushman says...

Dear Ken you've got my full admiration and Respect like all those others who fought sadly alot didn't come back! and all you Guys who did! From the bottom of my Heart a big Big Thank you for giving me the freedom to live my life the way I wanted to likewise my family! have a safe and happy journey Nigel x
Dear Ken you've got my full admiration and Respect like all those others who fought sadly alot didn't come back! and all you Guys who did! From the bottom of my Heart a big Big Thank you for giving me the freedom to live my life the way I wanted to likewise my family! have a safe and happy journey Nigel x cushman
  • Score: 4

2:49pm Wed 4 Jun 14

trustnopolitician says...

Thank you Ken , the thousands who fought with you , and those who never returned.

I rember the troop concentrations around Swindon and the armarda of aircratft when I was just 11 years old .

We would all be living a very different life but for the likes of Ken and his comrades.
Thank you Ken , the thousands who fought with you , and those who never returned. I rember the troop concentrations around Swindon and the armarda of aircratft when I was just 11 years old . We would all be living a very different life but for the likes of Ken and his comrades. trustnopolitician
  • Score: 1

4:13pm Wed 4 Jun 14

IfItsONtheNet says...

Thank you Ken and safe travels.
I hope you wake up everyday knowing how proud people are of you.
Thank you Ken and safe travels. I hope you wake up everyday knowing how proud people are of you. IfItsONtheNet
  • Score: 2

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