Corporal
Name
Alex
Nationality
Canadian
Unit
Black Watch
Location
Normandy, France
Date
July 6th, 1944
Survived the war?
Yes
Royal Highland Regiment of Canada

Delayed by the waves...

The Royal Highland Regiment of Montreal, known as the Black Watch, is one of the most famous regiments in Canada it was my regiment. We prepared to leave for France on June 6th 1944, but due to bad seas we were delayed one month. We then left for Folkstone to board an American liberty ship at Tilbury where we sailed to France. Landing at Berniere sur Mer (Juno Beach) the morning of July 6th 1944. After unboarding our vehicles on the shore we proceeded to a big field where we waterproofed our vehicles with waterproof grease. The first thing that scared me was a big sign that said "Canadian Cemetery 3Km"!

On board deck of July7th, while watching things being unloaded, one of the cables snapped and missed Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Cantlie by inches. Colonel Cantlie lost his life when an undetected enemy post opened fire on the battalion's command group and MG 42 machine gunfire mortally wounded the Colonel near St. Andre, Normandy. Command of the regiment suddenly fell to Philip Griffin, a popular, 26-year-old major. I too was on deck when the cable broke.

On July 25th 1944 the Black Watch engaged the enemy at Verrières Ridge where we suffered many casualties. The Black Watch suffered 307 casualties that day. That evening a huge artillery barrage was in action to save as many of our men in retreat. The Allies and Americans made a huge attack later on with lots of big guns and so captured Falaise. After Falaise we moved on to liberate Dunkirk but we only surrounded that town we never liberated it. We moved on up the coast of France and the on to Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Corporal Alex


Copyright: D-Day, Normandy and Beyond


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