Monthly Archives: June 2013

Remembering D-Day – A salute to Harry Wheeler and all the veterans

On this day 69 years ago more than 150,000 Allied service personnel began landing in north west Europe. D-Day was one of the key actions of World War Two. It established a beachhead that allowed men and equipment from the UK, US, Canada and other allied nations to mount the offensive that would, with a Russian push from the east, liberate Europe from Nazi control.

One of my favourite and most memorable interviews was with Harry Wheeler, who was a sapper in 249 Field Squadron of the Royal Engineers in 1944. I am deeply honoured to have been the first journalist to tell the story of how this absolute gentleman was one of the very first Allied soldiers to land on European soil shortly after midnight on June 6, a few hours ahead of the ship-borne forces.

Sapper Wheeler and his comrades secured a crucial canal bridge that today is known as Pegasus Bridge. Had they not succeeded, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel would have been able to bring divisions from the east to halt the allied invasion as troops came off the beaches. Many would call Harry Wheeler a hero, but he told me:

“I’m not a hero. I was a scared young man. Those are the heroes, lying dead in France.”

They all played their part in saving Europe from Nazi tyranny. And the generations that follow should take a moment to say thank you to them and all those who served with them in World War Two.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Henley Standard 10th March 2006 - Harry Wheeler

Harry Wheeler’s D-Day story, as told to David Connop Price for the Henley Standard, March 10th, 2006

Notes:

  • Please click on the image above if you would like to read a larger version of the article.
  • Encyclopædia Britannica has a good introductory resource about D-Day for anyone wanting to learn more.
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Reflecting on the City of Glass

City of Glass has become a nickname for Vancouver – one given prominence thanks to Douglas Coupland’s book of the same name.

Reflection Coal Harbour

In the City of Glass it is often possible to see more buildings than those physically in front of you
© David Connop Price

The famous author’s observation about the city he lives in is borne out by an amble downtown. I took just such a leisurely stroll on a sunny afternoon this past weekend and my camera was drawn to the play of light and reflection off the glass.

Reflection Downtown Vancouver

One building mirrors another in downtown Vancouver
© David Connop Price

Sun peaks through Coal Harbour

The forest of glass tower blocks does allow some sunlight to filter through
© David Connop Price

Reflection Convention Centre

Vancouver Convention Centre makes a grand canvas on which to view an early evening sky 
© David Connop Price

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