6 June 1944 was a momentous date in world history as on that day in 1944 the largest-ever seaborne invasion force, supported by airborne troops, set sail from Southern England and Wales for a series of landing beaches in Northern France. Their mission was to liberate Europe from Nazi rule, with each participant carrying their weapons, ration packs and supplies, plus the world’s hopes for freedom.
After over a year of meticulous planning and preparations, D-Day took place on Tuesday, 6 June 1944, with an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the northern coast of France starting at 0630.
The operation proved to be the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea and air elements under direct British command involving 73,000 Americans, 61,715 British and 21,400 Canadians, with landings taking place along a fifty-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
A number of Glamorgan cricketers were involved in D-Day and the subsequent advance through Normandy. John Madden-Gaskell was involved in the planning and preparations ahead of Operation Overlord, whilst Hugh Vaughan-Thomas helped to design the assault vehicles and other landing craft. Jim Pleass, a member of Glamorgan’s Championship-winning team in 1948, went across the English Channel on June 6th itself whilst Maurice Turnbull, Glamorgan’s captain, tragically died during the skirmishes associated with the advance through Normandy as part of the Liberation of Europe.
During 2019 – the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Glamorgan Cricket – in conjunction with the British Legion – commemorated the actions of these Glamorgan cricketers. Click on the download buttons below to read more………