The Orange Lilly "O"

The Orange Lilly "O"

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Shores of Normandy (V)

One of the youngest participants on D-Day was James Radford aged just 15 years old who served on the tug Empire Larch as a galley boy. His first voyage was from Poole to the Normandy coast where they came under heavy bombardment, whilst towing block ships into place, for the construction of the vital Mulberry harbours.This saved countless lives as it meant the allies didn't need to capture a harbour to secure critical supplies for the invasion forces. His song recalling the events of that fateful day, is titled, Shores of Normandy. Jim himself performed the song, as part of the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance 2014 

Shores of Normandy
In the cold grey light, on the 6th of June, in the year of 44,
The Empire Larch, sailed out from Poole, to join with thousands more,
The largest fleet, the world had seen, we sailed in close array,
And we set our course, for Normandy, at the dawning of the day,

There was not one man, in all our crew, that knew what lay in store,
Well we had waited for that day, through 5 long years of war,
We knew that many, would not return, but all our hearts were true
For we were bound, for Normandy, where we had a job to do,

Now the Empire Larch, was a deep sea tug, with a crew of 33.
And I was just, a galley boy, on my first trip to sea
I little thought, when I left home, all the dreadful sights i’d see,
But I came to manhood, on the day, when I first saw Normandy

At Aramanche, off the beach called Gold, neath the rockets deadly glare
We towed our Blockships, into place, and we built a harbour there
Mid shot and shell, we built it well, as history does agree
While brave men died, in the swirling tide, On the shores of Normandy

For every heroes, name that’s known, a thousand died as well
On stakes and wires their bodies hung, wrapped in the ocean swell
And many a mother, wept that day, for the sons they loved so well
Men who cracked a joke, or caged a smoke, as they stormed the gates of hell

As the years pass by, I can still recall, the men I saw that day
Who died upon, that blood soaked sand. where now sweet children play
And those of you, who were unborn, who’ve lived in liberty
Remember those, who made it so, on the Shores of Normandy

The tune which Jim sang this to will be familiar to Orangemen everywhere as it is the tune of the air titled My Sweet Boyneside (LINK BELOW VIDEO)