A song for D-Day
At a quarter past midnight on June 6th 1944, men from D Company, 2nd (Airborne) Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry landed in Normandy by glider, spear-heading the invasion Allied invasion of Europe.
Their objective was to capture two bridges, one over the River Orne and the other across the adjacent Caen Canal, to secure the Allied bridgehead against counter-attack from the east.
The canal bridge, once known as Bénouville Bridge, was renamed Pegasus Bridge in honour of the operation. The name is derived from the shoulder emblem worn by the British Parachute Regiment which depicts Bellepheron riding the flying horse Pegasus.
The song is based entirely on the accounts of two men who took part in the operation, and you can hear them telling their story at the end of the song if you skip to 5:30.
You hear ‘Titch’ Rayner first, then Bill Gray.
Thank you to David Bruce at Living Archive Milton Keynes for finding the interviews of the two men, which are held at The Imperial War Museum.
Thank you also to Dorien James for contributing the saxophone parts.
You can watch the full interviews with Titch and Bill here:
There is a fuller account by Titch here