Back when I was a nurse, a quarter of a century, one of the Nursing Officers at Langdon Hospital was a Scottish chap called Bill Millen. I have no idea where he is now, or even whether he is still alive (and as he would be 86 now it is certainly a possibility that he won't be). But I knew him quite well for a few months in 1983-4, and I know exactly what he was doing 65 years ago tomorrow. He was one of the pipers who obeyed Lord Lovatt's illegal instruction to lead the trrops up the beach on D-Day, and was, and I hope still is, a living embodiment of the sort of foolhardy silliness that makes Britain a great country. These days the Health and Safety officers would never have allowed it, and Britain is a far poorer place because of such pettifogging wussy idiocy.
Tomorrow is the 65th Anniversary of D-Day, and as readers of a political bent will know, there is more than a little stink internationally about the celebrations. So we have jumped in with both feet (as usual) and can salve our consciences by saying, quite truthfully, that we are doing it to boost literacy (one of our stated aims as the CFZ)
Today our friends at the Appledore Book Festival launched this year's catalogue by staging a re-enactment of one of the more bizarre events of WW2 - the testing of a peculiar `secret weapon` (that actually was not so secret after all) on the beach at Westward Ho!
We would not have missed it for the world, and are happy to mark the event with a couple of articles, a slideshow, and a filmed report...
Graham Inglis on the historical panjandrum of 1944
Corinna Downes on today's events
Appledore Book Festival