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Return to the battlefield

David Holbrook and D-Day

There have been many commemorations of the D-Day landings and of the service personnel who were killed in the fighting. Holbrook returned to the sites of the Normandy battlefields in 1994 for the fiftieth anniversary, and provided this account of his visit for members of his old regiment. He recounted the wording on the gravestones of former comrades killed by the shelling on 21 June in which he was himself wounded: ‘On the grave of Major Tony Fitzwilliam-Hyde it says, “The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits”. On that of Sergeant L Harness, “Whosoever reads his name salutes a mighty company who died that we might be free”. On the grave of Cpl. A. Emsley, “Proud and treasured memories of a darling husband and daddy. Age 23.”’