About Annie

“You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you…I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.”

General Eisenhower

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Welcome and thank you for visiting my D-Day blog!

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Annie and I am a 20-year-old Journalism student from London.

2014 will mark the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy. In anticipation of this, the Normandy Tourist Board has asked me to produce a series of articles and video blogs during this year’s commemorations.

I will be travelling to Normandy in the week surrounding the 6th June 2013 to take part in a series of commemorative events throughout the region. As well as visiting museums and attending memorial services, I will be interviewing fellow visitors and taking part in a variety of celebrations!

On the 6th June 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed along the 50-mile stretch of French coastline to fight German soldiers. Over the next twelve weeks, the fierce fighting in Normandy was decisive in determining the outcome of the Second World War. More than 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft supported the invasion and more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded during the campaign.

My time in Normandy will be an educational experience as well as an emotional one. Hopefully, I will leave with a clearer understanding of the sacrifice made during the D-Day landings and I also hope that by reading my blog, you will feel the same.

I’ll keep you all updated on my whereabouts via the Normandy Tourist Board’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Use the hashtag #anniesddayblog on Twitter to share your thoughts, images and videos with me!

26 thoughts on “About Annie”

  1. Hi Annie – have enjoyed your blog and posts on Twitter. Good to see Normandy being promoted.

    If you’d like a copy of my D-Day guide for your next visit (for free) drop me an email to legerguide@gmail.com

    Paul @sommecourt on Twitter

  2. Interesting blog. Thanks for the posts. My father flew one of the horsa gliders into D-day in a flooded field carrying a jeep and some troops. He had already flown in earlier in the day dropping charges over Calais to confuse the Germans. After reading about the glider pilots and how many died, I feel lucky to be here.

    Thanks
    susan

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Susan. That’s a truly inspiring story. I will be putting up some information about the Horsa Gliders and those who flew them over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy reading!

      Annie

      1. Hi Annie
        My Dad fought in the Battle of Normandy. Please add any information you have, He was from Wilkes-Barre, Pa area. I would love to find information, I am not sure where to research, Thank You

        Linda Z

      2. Hi Linda, thank you so much for sharing. It is always so interesting reading about people’s own personal connections to Normandy. I’m currently trying to find out more info on my Grandfather who I’ve written about on the blog. I would definitely recommend trying to locate or track down any of your father’s comrades. In the past I’ve also had some luck with war forums (although they are British, so I have no experience with American forums). Member’s of those sites are always so interested in WW2 and helpful at sharing data they may have collected over the years! Thanks so much for reading, Annie.

      3. 
Hi Annie

        Can you direct me to where i should start?

        Thank You

        Linda Zamerowski

        On Tue, 10 Jun 2014 22:55:06 +0000

  3. Thank you for posting these articles. I am considering visiting next year for the 70th anniversary. My grandfather was in the 1st (Airborne) Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles and landed near Ranvile on the evening of D-Day by glider. I have my grandfather’s photograph proudly hanging in my hallway – Pegasus flash and glider badge on his arm. Thanks again. Kate

    1. Hi Kate, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m so pleased you like the blog and it’s so nice to hear that you are so proud of your grandfather! I’ll also be reporting from Normandy during the 70th anniversary next year and I hope you make it out there! Annie

  4. Hello Annie,

    Thank you for this really interesting blog. I found your blog today via Twitter because I searched photos of the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville and your posts are really great !!
    I’m french and 22 years old but for me it’s important to don’t forget these heroes who liberated my country 69 years ago. I also collects few items from WWII and when it is possible I speak with the families’ soldiers. For example I recently found a letter written in 1943 by a soldier who was killed in August 1944 in Normandy, this soldier is Pfc Walter C Malbomb from the 2nd Infantry Division.

    I made a blog about this subject (sorry it’s in french lol) : http://memoire1944.canalblog.com/

    Thanks again for your work,
    Pierre-Ba

  5. It was wonderful reading your comment, Pierre-Ba.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying it. It’s always brilliant to hear that someone our age is interested in WW2 and those who fought on D-Day.

    Your blog looks very informative and the photos are great! The letter regarding Pfc Walter C Malbomb also sounds extremely interesting.

    I look forward to your new posts and tweets!

    Many thanks,
    Annie

  6. Hi Annie,

    Sorry for this late answer but I was very busy (holidays,beach, …) 🙂
    Thank you for your kind comments about my website. I will post soon other topics.

    I recently found a great website about the D-Day and when I read it I immediately thought you might be interested because there is some characters from lots of countries : http://dday7.channel4.com/?intcmp=homepage_main

    And an other website that a friend created about the womand during the WWII : http://www.dutyforvictory.com/ There is lots of photos and informations !!

    Pierre-Ba

  7. Hi Annie. I am so happy that someone as young as you is so interested in the history. I took my father to France for the 60th anniversary. We met up with his 4th division men and also Gen. Ray Odierno. My father was 90 and the oldest of his division, so they asked him to help place the wreath in the ceremony. He was on the first landing on Utah Beach. He will be 100 in May, and he is hoping to go to the 70th anniversary in France, but unfortunately his NJ group is not planning a tour this time. I will gladly take him, but I want him to again be with some fellow military so it will be meaningful to him. Any suggestions? Chris

    1. Hi Christine! Thank you so much for your lovely post. It means so much to me that you would take the time to share your thoughts on the blog. Are you still considering taking you father to France next week?
      Annie

  8. if you are visiting france in 2014 then travel by ferry from portsmouth ferry port , there is exhibitions from commonwealth war graves in the terminal for the war vets

  9. T was at Normandy at the 60th anniversary in 2004. I was in the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam war. It was amazing what they accomplished with their efforts.

    1. Wow, Patrick you must have some fascinating stories about your time in the 101st Airborne. Thank you so much for your comment and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog! Annie

  10. Annie,
    This is great stuff.Love to have been there.My brother in law,s father was a capt and landed there in day+1 . My brother in Law ROB Allan will follow this compliments from me. Matt greyvensteyn Gordons Bay RSA

  11. Hi Annie. I was fortunate to stumble across your post on Normandie Tourist site as trying to get my day togehter here in Normandie. Just have today and tomorrow. We are staying in Cherborg tonight and tomorrow night and want to make the most of the last two days in Normandie. Any thoughts as to the pennisula? Love your posts and twitter updates. BTW, I also shared your blog with friend from DallasTX who I thought would love. Was at small reception yesterday in Honflour and met mayor and took picture together. Was great moment and time there. Have a great remainder of trip.

  12. Hi Annie…….I have been researching my Uncle’s war records and have discovered he was one of the first pathfinders just before D-Day 1944 and he apparently became Lt Col Pine-Coffin’s radio operator when they took the Caen Canal/Pegasus Bridge. His name is William Arthur Hardy, known as Bill and I believe he was with the 6th Paras. I have recently found that there was another William (Billy) Hardy in the ist Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles and he may be the person shown in the Pegasus Archive as having been awarded the Military Medal for his actions on 9th June 1944 at Longueval. The service number shown is 7012420. They were both Sergeants and Billy’s son, Brian, has indicated on the Guest Book of the RuR site that he was a CQMS (Company Quarter Master Sergeant?). Up until the D-Day 70 anniversary, I/our family thought it was our Bill Hardy who was cited in the Pegasus Archive, but not having his Service Number we could not confirm this. I could not find a William Hardy listed in the Horsa Glider lists, so presume our Bill Hardy parachuted in, but again I could not find any mention of either William Hardy on the Paradata web site. As you can appreciate, we would like to sort out which William did win the Military Medal and hope you or any reader of your blog can help to resolve “the mystery”. BTW……our Bill Hardy became the Lord Mayor of Coventry. Thanks Tom D.

    1. Hi Tom, I haven’t really looked into this in too much detail as it can be hard to do without knowing service numbers. You can request military records from Kew if you’re a direct descendent as far as I know so that might be a good start.

      As for the the “two” William Hardys. You have said that your uncle was a ‘Pathfinder’ with the 6th Airborne. Pathfinder was a fairly new and Americanised term and the Pegasus Archive lists Royal Ulster Rifleman Billy Hardy as being part of the Reconnaissance Corps which was the British equivalent.

      It’s also worth noting that 1st Battalion (Airborne) Royal Ulster Rifles made up part of the 6th Airborne Division on D-Day so while a soldier could be listed as part of 6th Airborne Division he could equally be listed as 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles at the same time. My own grandfather was 1st Royal Tank Regiment as well as 7th Armoured Division.

      Basically ‘both’ William Hardys could well be the same person. If so, your uncle was a tremendously brave man and if not, well, all the William Hardys out their played a vital role which shouldn’t be forgotten.

      I’ll be including the story of 1st RUR William Hardy over on my website so if you find out any more details it would be great to hear from you.

  13. Thanks for your response Scott. I tried accessing your website http://www.scottedgar.co.uk to obtain a link to you, but it came up as no longer available. I also found the wwiini.org site but could not get a facebook link to you. On the plus side, I found the forces-war-records site and a search of William Hardy came up with 44 possibles for WW2. The first is William Hardy of the Royal Ulster Rifles, but you need to register for their “free trial” to get any more details. Do you happen to be registered with them and could check out this record for the service number and military service record + medals? According to my cousin, her father, Bill, enlisted with the London Irish Rifles near Fenny Compton in Warwickshire in 1937 and eventually joined the paras. She said he also obtained medals for operations in France, Germany, Greece, Norway and Italy.

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Direct from Normandy, France

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