D-DAY remembered…

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June 12, 2014 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette on June 6th. 2014

TODAY IS the 70th anniversary of D-DAY and to remember one brave soldier is to remember them all and on this day I remember a Canadian Private, Jerry Lashkovich. I have the vaguest recollection of a huge man in khaki who gave me his cap badge before he and his platoon left for Normandy on the same day our little Scotty Terrier Jock also vanished, victim of a road accident amid the chaos of the massed army motorised vehicles parked in Wendy Ridge or taken as a talisman of good fortune I know not. I also have a faded letter to my parents written in green ink posted in France sometime after D-DAY an extract of which reads thus: ‘Here is that letter I promised and I am sorry that it took me so long to do it. It is a very poor way of showing my thanks for all that you done for me and the signal platoon. I realise now more than ever that I had the best time in England….There are only a couple of the boys left now that tilted the pint glasses of bitter with you at The Lamb. You would not know the platoon as it is today and you probably wouldn’t want to…Hoping this finds you in the best of health. Yours sincerely, Jerry. ’There is a PS; ‘The boys say to give you their best.’ I still have that cap badge with the beaver on it and I will always remember Jerry Lashkovich…

CAROL TURNER’S Top Hat reunion went with a real swing, ‘it was a night, oh, what a night it was…’ A hundred or so good natured folk gathered in Wetherspoons recollecting the good times in Littlehampton, The Top Hat and The Clifton Café, some with happy memories and only distant recollections and many with more recent memories as the younger set came along and we oldies moved on or followed the big bands to Worthing. Quiet to begin with but, after a few muddled identifications (mostly on my part), and a red wine or two, swiftly turned into a group of people determined to enjoy themselves. Had there been a toast, it would have been ‘to absent friends.’ I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I hope that Ms Turner will lead the charge again next year. 

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