D-Day Decoy

By Pam Piercey (nee Suhr)

It was not until June 2004 and the TV coverage of the anniversary celebrations of D-Day, that I realised that our invading forces had, in fact, departed from Hampshire and not from Kent. This made me wonder if I had been selected to receive a decoy postcard.

Apparently the powers-that-be had gone to great lengths, including the employment of a famous author, to create the illusion that the forthcoming landings would take place at Calais and that large invasion forces were assembling in Kent.  Quite suddenly most of the military forces departed from Kemp Town so we realised something was about to happen. Just before D-Day I received a picture postcard from Sandwich in Kent. It was from a Canadian soldier I had met briefly while doing voluntary canteen work. Being intensely patriotic, with the slogan "careless talk costs lives" imprinted on my mind, I thought he was an idiot, particularly as I had a very German sounding name - SUHR - so like the river RUHR in Germany.  I am, in fact, Danish and have a Family Tree dating from 1615 to prove it. My British-born Danish father had fought for England in the First World War and was heavily involved in voluntary ARP work in the current conflict.

Now, all these years later, I found out that the Forces departed from Hampshire, not Kent, so was I singled out as a suitable recipient for a Decoy postcard?

A few days after D-Day I received a phone call from the Canadian soldier. He had been wounded and was being sent back to Canada, but wanted to see me to say goodbye.  He said he was a bit of a mess as he had lost the sight of his left eye and been burned all down the left side of his face. It all seemed to have happened so quickly, within a few days in fact. I met him in the Old Steine at Royal York Buildings as I cycled back to work.  He promised to contact my sister in New York to say we were OK; this he did but although she invited him to dinner, he never turned up.

This page was added on 16/06/2006.