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TITLE
Interview with William Shand about a ship that was blown up near Caen
EXTERNAL ID
WD_BF01_TRACK09_SHAND
DATE OF RECORDING
2005
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
William Shand
SOURCE
Am Baile and War Detectives
ASSET ID
3144
KEYWORDS
World War 2
World War II
Second World War
2nd World War
Armed Forces
mines
explosions
battles
audio

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William Shand of Nairn describes an incident that took place in the aftermath of the Normandy invasion of 1944.

After the immediate assault on the Arromanches beach - that's where the British were and that's where I was part of the fleet there - we were sent up the River Orne to the town of Caen and it was very, very badly mined, it was very dangerous and there was odd people firing at anything they could see, certainly from the river banks. And we went in with one American vessel and we got in there, and we were so pleased to get into this harbour. They invited us over and we were invited to come over to the ship. And they were given Coca-Cola, ice cream and a film with Rita Hayworth, which to me was amazing because it wasn't like the war it was in Britain at that time. And the next day they sailed from us and they were only about 200 yards when they were blown up and we had something like 250 dead people on board our ship plus another couple of hundred very seriously injured. And there was only 120 of us, so we'd to turn to and do first aid. And some of them were drowned because they'd been knocked out by the explosion and with their life-belts on in the water, of course, they were drowning and I was told to do artificial respiration on this big coloured fellow - a big coloured boy - and I only knew basic and he virtually died under me. And I think it was the most terrible thing. And you know, everyone - not just me - everyone in the ship was doing equally unfortunate, unpleasant things like that.

This interview was recorded as part of a War Detectives project in 2005 at Rosebank Primary School, Nairn.

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Interview with William Shand about a ship that was blown up near Caen

2000s

World War 2; World War II; Second World War; 2nd World War; Armed Forces; mines; explosions; battles; audio

Am Baile and War Detectives

War Detectives (interviews)

William Shand of Nairn describes an incident that took place in the aftermath of the Normandy invasion of 1944.<br /> <br /> After the immediate assault on the Arromanches beach - that's where the British were and that's where I was part of the fleet there - we were sent up the River Orne to the town of Caen and it was very, very badly mined, it was very dangerous and there was odd people firing at anything they could see, certainly from the river banks. And we went in with one American vessel and we got in there, and we were so pleased to get into this harbour. They invited us over and we were invited to come over to the ship. And they were given Coca-Cola, ice cream and a film with Rita Hayworth, which to me was amazing because it wasn't like the war it was in Britain at that time. And the next day they sailed from us and they were only about 200 yards when they were blown up and we had something like 250 dead people on board our ship plus another couple of hundred very seriously injured. And there was only 120 of us, so we'd to turn to and do first aid. And some of them were drowned because they'd been knocked out by the explosion and with their life-belts on in the water, of course, they were drowning and I was told to do artificial respiration on this big coloured fellow - a big coloured boy - and I only knew basic and he virtually died under me. And I think it was the most terrible thing. And you know, everyone - not just me - everyone in the ship was doing equally unfortunate, unpleasant things like that. <br /> <br /> This interview was recorded as part of a War Detectives project in 2005 at Rosebank Primary School, Nairn.