Down Memory Lane

Allied troops head onto the beaches on D-Day
Allied troops head onto the beaches on D-Day

Like many millions of people, I watched the recent 70th Anniversary of D-Day on the television. Operation Overlord was a momentous day in world history and hundreds of thousands of young men from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and France fought their way ashore on five beaches.

The Americans on Utah and Omaha, the Canadians on Juno and the British on Gold and, along with the French, Sword Beach.

One of the units landing on Sword Beach was the 1st Special Service Brigade. Famously their commander, Brigadier Lord Simon Lovat and his piper Bill Millin came ashore wearing Tam O’Shanters with Millin playing his pipes.

This scene was immortalised in the film The Longest Day. The beach was taken at great cost and many fine young men lost their lives that day.

One of these men was 28-year-old Able Seaman Drummond Stewart, from Polton in Midlothian.

Drummond was aboard the LCI(S) 524 Landing Craft Infantry (Small) very similar to this one seen at Juno on D-Day.

She had beached under heavy fire and took a number of casualties after landing her Commandos.

Read more of John Duncan’s feature in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.