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tv   D- Day 75  BBC News  December 29, 2019 5:30am-6:02am GMT

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heard car and drove away. the last i heard was just a couple of minutes ago, was just a couple of minutes ago, was that a person was apprehended in new york city, the bronx new york, the same and supposedly they have one person in custody. that is as much as i can verify. david, thank you, and of course we will update oui’ you, and of course we will update our view was on the news you were telling us there about a potential arrest. we will check that out ourselves. i am wondering, would there have been security provided by there have been security provided by the community for this hanukkah party at the rabbi's house? well, first of all, it was not a hanukkah party. it was just... first of all, it was not a hanukkah party. it wasjust... it is first of all, it was not a hanukkah party. it was just... it is a very, very wonderful community and we have never had issues like this. this is something that is shocking because these things, we have not experienced anything like this. the rabbi was lighting the menorah for hanukkah. it wasn't a
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party, it wasn't a big event, it wasjust... it was just someone who does not like i don't know. it became a fad. to attackjewish people. this person, i don't understand how this happened. a terrible, terrible thing. david hoffman, thank you very much forjoining us. just repeating the news. there have been reports of a stabbing at a house of a rabbi in u pstate n ew a stabbing at a house of a rabbi in upstate new york in the area of monsey, an area with a large population for unorthodox jewish people and we will continue to watch this. you are watching bbc news. now on bbc news, we're looking back to june and the events to mark the 75th anniversary of the d—day landings. robert hall followed three hundred veterans as they boarded a ship to return
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to the beaches of normandy. it's a duty to go back. it is, i feel it's a duty to go back. what these men did on d—day was the most important moment, just that one d—day, in the whole war. in june 1944, allied forces invaded nazi—occupied france, marking the beginning of the end of hitler's domination of europe. 75 years on, we follow a group of five veterans as they return to the beaches for what could be the last time. you never, neverforget it. it's there. i mean, sometimes you lay in bed and you go through it all. well, it's the last round—up, isn't it?
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i mean, i'm 95, i've still got one or two more. they're here to pay tribute to everyone who never made it back. i hope it's going to bring it home to all the people exactly what happened. not what i did — what we did. by the man, salute! hello, ken, how are you? 75 years ago, these men set sail for the normandy beaches.
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i was wounded on sword beach, the first wave in. everything all right, yeah? now, helped by the royal british legion, 300 of them are returning to normandy. the veterans were part of one of the most ambitious military operations ever attempted, d—day. newsreel: boarding ship for the battle of normandy, the army group carrying out the assault is made up of british, canadian and american forces. some of them have been back before, but never on a journey quite like this. this will be my third visit. it'll be totally different to the other two. cos the other two, we were just a small group of normandy veterans. but nothing as big as this one. they're aged
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between 90 and 101. for some, this will be the last time they're able to make the trip. did you ever go to caen? 0h, did i go to caen! well, we shelled the hell out of it. we took caen on the 8th ofjuly. it'll be an amazing adventure. i kept in touch with quite a few of my comrades. there's always quite a comradeship. not that we ever talked a great deal about all the things we done, i don't think any of us ever did. big battle, that was. you were doing what you were told to do and hoped everything was going to be ok. i'm looking forward to meeting other veterans, certainly. when these men boarded ships and landing craft injune 1944, many of them had no idea what lay ahead. i wanted to go in the air force,
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but everybody else did, so i was given the option then of the army and navy, the royal marines, and my mother thought i'd look better in navy blue, so we joined the navy. ended up as a sub—lieutenant, one little gold stripe, pretending to be a gentleman as well as an officer. newsreel: part of our invasion fleet, tank landing craft here engaged in divisional exercises in britain. what did you think of tanks, ken? horrible bleeding things. i wouldn't say i suffered from claustrophobia, but i was always uncomfortable inside one. very rarely did we ever goes down into the... and never ever put the lid on the
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top. it was the war time, and you were simply called up, and that was it, and off you went. you said, "goodbye, mum and dad," and that's it. he was only a boy. well, all of them were, weren't they? and i was thinking, "i'm looking at you, and that could be the last time i see you." we didn't know it was called d—day then. we were simply soldiers training to do a job later on. newsreel: across the water come more landing craft giving us further evidence from which we may gauge the scale of operations. we were training every day, yeah, doing assault courses and whatnot. i was very fit in those days. i was called up, and i went to a training battalion. i will remember that horrible soldier putting you through the mill
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and that. we were allowed, i think, one card to send home through our parents. and when i was home on leave, i said to my mother, we'd got a little dog, and i said, if i mention the dog being better, i'll say, you know, that i'm about to go over, d—day, yeah. we had plenty to carry, you know, cos i had two hand grenades in each trousers pocket, a magazine in my pouches... d—day was the largest naval, land and air operation ever attempted. they landed on the beaches as the beginning of the biggest, most successful, most important, triumphant operation of the war. the pushback of german forces in france and the final collapse of germany, of course with russian help, in germany itself. what they did on d—day was the critical moment where they got the foothold
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on the beaches, and they held that foothold. now 95, ernest has never been back to normandy. he's travelling there now with his son. you can read a book about everything, but when you're talking to the actual men who did it, it's amazing. ijust think it's humbling in a way, what they've been through, and they're all modest people, they don't bang the drum about what they did, but they've all got the medals, and that shows they were there. i'll never have another opportunity to understand first—hand what it was like. eric is here with his granddaughter michelle. i suppose it's one of the few times we do talk to each other, we've never bothered much in the past. i don't think even their families knew a great deal about it. oh, it's been an honor and a privilege. i couldn't have expected anything just as big as this. to be able to share the memories
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with my grandad and other veterans, yeah, it's just been a real privilege. give them a wave, dad. all those generations who knew nothing about it, what they're going to learn from all of this. i'm overwhelmed, to tell you the truth. it's lovely, isn't it? it makes you feel so proud and yet so humble at the same time. newsreel: the allied invasion of europe from the west is launched, d—day, the second front and the second battle of france. i still have my service book, which says "embarked 4th of june 1944. " we went to southampton. get on the ship. that had already been over once with the canadians. well, i can
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remember getting wet through cos we were on the open deck. we were out in the solent in a long line of ships. and being scared maybe, apprehensive certainly. it took us something like more than 14 hours at sea. they offered us some rum, but i wouldn't take any, because i thought i'd better keep a clear head. there was a point where everybody had to make for. newsreel: 4,000 ships and thousands of smaller craft. what the gathering of the mighty armada. and what were conditions like? do you want me to swear?
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they were horrendous. oh, it was awful. i remember we had some small destroyers escorting us, and one minute they would be on top of a wave, and the next minute you couldn't see it. i was never so seasick in all my life! the whole crew were. everyone were a bit quiet, you know? there was a lot on their minds, i suppose. we were just wondering what was going to happen when we got over the other side. it was on the eight o'clock news in the morning that some of our troops were in france, and i thought, "right, jack, i know where you are now " if you'd just like to turn round, sir, and try to hold onto the arms? thank you. i could have run down there! one of the highlights of the voyage is a trip to portsmouth, where some of the men originally
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set off for the normandy beaches. a bit emotional, i will cry when i get there, but nevertheless i'm looking forward to it. my old sergeant major would have had this organised in no time at all. it's a huge spectacle, watched by millions. world leaders havejoined the queen to recall the events of d—day. but the focus is on the veterans. i'm honoured to be stood here today in front of so many other veterans. you never forget your comrades, because we were all in it together. it is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country, indeed the whole free world, that i say to you all thank you.
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it's an unforgettable day, and after the ceremony, some veterans have a chance to tell their stories to visiting royalty. today has been great, lovely, beautiful. i shook the president's hand, and i saw the queen's head! so...! very good day. the day ends with a ceremonial sendoff from the royal navy. they must think a hell of a lot of us. more than we deserve, i think.
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i never expected that. seeing my grandad emotional sort of got me going, because he does deserve this, as does everybody else. but he'll never get that bit. he won't know how special he is. i thought all the services were very, very good, well up to standard. i think i burst out crying once or twice. it was real touching. it was the old wartime tunes and stories, what they were saying, you know, itjust went home. and he kept saying, "are you all right?" you know! was he getting a bit choked? yeah, he needed a couple of tissues. yes, i did, i couldn't help it! he was all right. the ship steamed south towards the beaches that are always in the veterans' thoughts. the memories of thatjune morning feel closer than ever. well, first light and first sight of the french coast was about... i don't know, i would suspect maybe a quarter of a mile away in the half light.
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the first thing i saw, as we approached the coast, was a dead sailor floating in the sea, which was a little bit of a "oh, dear". newsreel: enemy shells begin to drop among the landing craft closing the shore. the sea was full of life jackets and blood everywhere. it was quite a mess ‘cause the canadians had been in front of us. it was the first wave, you see, what got shot up. newsreel: there comes the grinding of keels on shingle, and our troops spill ashore across that open stretch menaced by enemy gunfire. i was one of the first out. and they dropped the ramp, and i was on the left—hand side, and as soon as i hit the water, i went down, nearly under. ijust managed to keep
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my head above, and i kept walking, and it was a shallow wall, you see, i'd dropped into. and i came up the other side and managed to get into the dunes, ‘cause there were shots flying everywhere and shells still coming over. when we got onto the beach, probably four or five dead canadians on the shore. and the tide was lapping over their faces. and we couldn't do a darn thing about it. it's a very sad story. there was a lot of fire, a lot of gunfire going on from whatever big ones, there were rocket ships out in the bay, out in the channel that were firing. i went like that, i don't know why, but i did, and a piece of shrapnel hit the tin hat, so it was a good job
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we ducked. the beach itself hasn't changed. that's the vision from up there going up to le havre, wherejerry used to shell us from. as a young officer, eric commanded a landing craft at sword beach. well, they're the boots i wore on d—day. they're the lads that kept me dry. very good boots. it makes you think a bit. damn lucky that i'm able to come back here to do it, i suppose. notjust because i survived the time, but i've managed to get to 95, which i suppose is not bad these days. there you are, mate. are we good? we were good, weren't we?
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we were bloody lucky! we were bloody lucky, as you say! d—day was just the beginning. once they'd fought their way off the beaches, the troops pushed forward into occupied france. newsreel: d-day plus one, a widening and deepening foothold on that deadly shore, strenuous efforts are made to penetrate inland before the full weight of resistance can be brought to bear. the germans occupied the hill, and they can see over a large area, and it was up to us to try and take it from them, and that was outside caen. well, we took it eventually, yeah, we took it, but we lost 12,000 men. i looked up over the cornfield it was, when i saw this tiger tank
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about 20 or 30 yards in front of me, and about 20 jerries each side. and i grabbed the chap next to me, ‘cause he was wounded all in the face, he couldn‘t see very well, and i dragged him along best way i could, to slide down this embankment, this railway embankment, and as i slid down there, that‘s where ss were coming up. they fired at us, but missed us. the bullets hit the ground around ourfeet, about five bullets. that‘s where i was wounded and taken, you see? ken suffered a shrapnel wound in his leg after being caught in the crossfire. he was captured by the ss and received treatment as a prisoner of war. he gave me a spinal injection, which paralysed me from the waist down,
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and took the shrapnel out of my leg, and he placed it in my hand, which was all blood, and he said, "there you are, a souvenir for you." and i‘ve still got it. not everyone was as lucky as ken. 0n d—day alone, there were 10,000 casualties — over 4,000 allied servicemen were killed. the final stop on the veterans‘ voyage is bayeux military cemetery. well, this is really what it‘s all about, to come here, this is where we say thank you to those that
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really did the work. seeing our boys, we'd been talking to them minutes before, but they were cut down with machine—gun fire. it was pretty bad at that time. they fall into the water, floating face down, and we couldn't get them out, we get... we couldn't help them. and that is my most abiding memory, and i can't forget it. thank you for listening. applause # the lord‘s my shepherd, i‘ll not want # he makes me down to lie # in pastures green,
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he leadeth me # the quiet waters by... # there's a lot of lads there that were unlucky. i've got to thank god that i was lucky. but it's very moving when you see them, they're the people that did give their lives for it. i‘m very proud and i‘m very sad. but i‘ve met some of the most brilliant people. and nobody‘s above anybody else. we‘re all mates. thank you, prime minister.
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thank you. good to see you. thank you for what you did. thank you. i landed at sword beach. the majority of these lads here most likely saved my life. that's why this place is so dear to me. and in this place of remembrance, thoughts turn to those who are not here. one of my mess mates there, a gentleman by the name of freddie gardner, he was a great friend, and he was also...he was also a great pianist. on our way from bayeux up to belgium, we went through caen. there was a canteen in a bombed—out church building,
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and in the corner, there was a grand piano. dust, bricks on top of it, all covered. so we cleaned this piano up, and freddie got on that piano, and i cry now because...within ten minutes, the place was heaving. the place was heaving. 0n hearing the piano, there was hundreds, the place was absolutely heaving with soldiers, they were shouting out, "play so—and—so, play this," and freddie played it. he was a great... sorry to lose you, freddie. i was very lucky. i had some narrow escapes. i think about it
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every day. it's another friend. i'm hoping it's an old friend. absolutely wonderful. captain... so young. you talk to younger people about events during the war, and they look askance at you as if it never happened. i hope it's going to bring it home to all the people exactly what happened. not what i did, what we did. i came home and i'm thankful for that. and i appreciate waking up every morning just to see the sky. the lads who are the heroes are still out
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there. so grateful to be alive. so grateful to have survived. so sorry so many had to die. so many heroes, and there they lie. normandy. hello there. saturday sunshine was in short supply. many of us got stuck with grey, gloomy conditions. only the favoured few got to see much in the way of brightness. iam hopeful, though, that through the day ahead,
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a few more of us will get to see something just a little bit brighter. and it certainly is going to feel mild, especially in the north of the uk, with this feed of really warm air. you can see these orange colours extending in our direction from the south or the south—west. and at the same time, we‘re going to start to tap into some of this drier air across the near continent, so that should allow us to break some holes in the cloud and give us a little bit more in the way of sunshine. so this is how we start off sunday — with a lot of cloud, that cloud thick enough in parts of the west to give the odd spot of drizzle, some misty, murky conditions, but through the day, for east anglia, the south—east, also north wales, northern england, northern ireland, southern and eastern scotland, these areas likely to see at least some bright or sunny spells developing. some rain will continue to plague the far north—west of scotland. the southern half of the uk seeing highs of 8, 9 or 10 degrees. the northern half of the uk, 12 or 13 degrees. and with this south or south—westerly winds blowing across the high ground, where you get some shelter
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to the north of higher ground — the north coast of northern ireland and the moray coast of scotland — well, you could get to 1a or 15 degrees — that is pretty exceptional for this time of year. now, as we go through sunday night, we will keep some areas of cloud but i think that cloud is going to tend to break up a little bit more. so we‘ll see more clear spells developing. this band of rain in the north—west will try to make some progress south—eastwards. it‘s going to be a slightly cooler night than we‘ve had of late. so as we go into monday then, this front will be sitting around across the north—west, trying to make some progress south—eastwards, bringing some rain for scotland and northern ireland through the day. you can see these outbreaks of rain pushing very, very slowly south—eastwards with a mix of sunny spells and a few showers coming in behind. ahead of that rain band, it‘s a largely dry day for much of england and wales. some areas of cloud. but i think a fair amount of sunshine by this stage. and at this point, the mildest weather will be in southern parts, with highs of 12 or 13 degrees. now, into tuesday, remember the weather front in the north—west? it will have worked its way southwards, still lingering across the south—west of england, maybe the spot of drizzle, certainly some extra cloud.
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but for most, we see bright skies but we also feel the effects of something cooler and fresher — just 5 degrees in glasgow. still, perhaps, up to 10 in london. and then as we go through tuesday night into the very first part of 2020, well, it is looking predominantly dry. there will be some clear spells, it will be quite chilly, but there could be some fairly dense fog.
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good morning. welcome to breakfast with victoria fritz and nina warhurst. 0ur headlines today: calls for an independent inquiry after a new year‘s honours data leak — the addresses of celebrities, politicians and police officers appeared online. three, two, one! a quarter of a million people sign a petition calling for sydney‘s new year‘s eve fireworks to be cancelled and the money spent on fighting bushfires. andy murray is out of next month‘s australian open. he says he‘s gutted after failing to recover from a pelvic injury. and west ham are looking for a new manager after sacking manuel pellegrini just hours after losing to leicester city. good morning. it has been an sexually mild night across the uk, particularly for scotland where temperatures have been in the mid
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teens. all due to


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