IT’S wonderful that people like Ken Scott are around to remind us how lucky we are to be here, to be living in a free society, and in a relatively peaceful existence.
Ken is in Normandy at the moment. Seventy years ago he was part of the Allied forces which took part in the D-Day landings, seen by many as the decisive action that led to the end of the Second World War.
Ken, from Royal Wootton Bassett, will meet up with other D-Day veterans. He has taken his original Army uniform with him, along with his memories and his anecdotes.
He is 98 years old.
We have been hearing a lot about the D-Day anniversary this week, and will continue to do so in the next few days. It is important that we commemorate it for many reasons, not least because of the many lives that were lost in the push to bring a conclusion to the war.
And we should be grateful that Ken is still with us to tell us about his experiences.
There is an almost matter-of-fact manner in his recollections of that fateful day – but then even as a 28-year-old he was a battle-hardened soldier, having fought at El Alamein, another decisive battle, in the Western Desert campaign.
But the Normandy landing itself will never be forgotten: “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.”
Perhaps that is something we should think about next time we are tempted to moan about trivial things in life.
Have a great time in Normandy, Ken – and thank you.