In June 1944, Jim Radford was a galley boy on a deep sea tug, They had sailed to Poole in Dorset from his hometown - Hull in Yorkshire to be part of the Normandy invasion fleet. Jim was only fifteen years old and at eighty five now he is the youngest member of the fast diminishing Normandy Veterans' Association. After visiting the beach at Arromanches-les-Bains many years after World War II, he created this song - "The Shores of Normandy" which he said he was unable to perform in public for quite a few years after because of the emotions it recalled. I would like to share it with you now. Soft sod that I probably am, it had me in tears when I heard it for the first time on the BBC this morning... For all those dear boys who never came home...
"O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams." - Hamlet Act II scene ii
5 November 2014
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I can't fault the sentiments. He is brave to sing it but not half as brave as he was seventy years ago.ReplyDelete
Yes Adrian. It's no wonder he looked so calm and self-assured on the stage of the Albert Hall.Delete
One can barely imagine the enormity of that day's events. Mr. Radford gives very touching voice to the experience of one young lad amidst that massive clash. Imprint of memories never to be forgotten.ReplyDelete
As Jim sang, those of us who were not born have enjoyed the liberty that they fought and sometimes died for... Lest we forget.Delete
On 7 June 2000, we were in Arromarnches with our then-14-year-old grandson. The town was full of celebrating and remembering British vets. It was wonderful to talk to them, and a great learning experience for all three of us.ReplyDelete
6603 American troops died on D Day - more than twice the number of British fatalities. I am glad that your summer tour took in Arromanches and that your grandson was there. He will be 28 years old now. I hope he recalls that day.Delete
He does indeed!Delete
I have cold chills on my body and tears in my eyes after listening to that song from that man. What did he do with the rest of his life after such an introduction to hate and destruction? I hate war....any war.....all war!ReplyDelete
He was a seaman all his working life but after retirement he turned his hand to folk music and became an ardent campaigner for peace. The fact that he was there on D Day gives his song an extra poignancy. He really knew what he was singing about.Delete
Thank you. Simply wonderful.ReplyDelete
I am glad that it touched you too Brian.Delete
I am lost for words adequately to express the emotion and admiration within me.ReplyDelete