A veteran of 41 Commando has made an emotional return to the beaches of Normandy.
Ted Owens, aged 88 and from Pembroke Dock, Wales, returned to the spot at which he had been wounded during the landings as part of filming for an upcoming television programme.
Ted also made an astonishing visit to a town in the Netherlands where civilians paid a terrible price – not only at the hands of the Germans but of the British too.
“It was an amazing trip into the past for me,” said Ted. “I was able to walk near Sword Beach where I landed and was wounded.
“We also went to the Walcheren Islands where I took part in a commando landing exactly 68 years ago this November.
“I spoke to many local people there. That was very moving indeed.”
Ted’s trip was filmed for the first in a special three-part series, titled ‘Welsh Heroes of World War 2’, which will be broadcast on ITV Wales on Thursday, November 1.
Ted attended a special service at Bayeux War Cemetery and was invited to the village of Maizet, along with other Welsh veterans.
Maizet holds a service every year to honour the Welsh soldiers who liberated the village in 1944.
From France, Ted travelled to Westkapelle, a town in the Dutch Walcheren islands, which were the scene of a crucial battle late in 1944.
Ahead of the invasion by troops, including Ted, the RAF bombed dykes to flood the island and weaken the German defences.
In Westkapelle, Ted met people who remember the destruction that the bombing caused.
* Watch WELSH HEROES OF WORLD WAR 2: D-DAY COMMANDO online now. D-DAY COMMANDO
I watched this programme about Ted Owens tonight and had tears in my eyes. My late dad served in WW2 and I proudly display his 5 medals in my home. He would never talk to me about his experiences during his time serving and I could never understand why. Now at a more mature age, I understand that maybe it was just too painful. I fear that time is running out for our brave soldiers like Ted Owens, to be able to tell us their stories from the heart and if I could have one wish it would be able to sit with Ted for a little while….and just listen.
I am enormously proud of my Uncle Teddy
Ted is a star and a gentleman. Thanks for your comments.
I will post a collection of tweets which I received about the programme soon.
Article on Ted in Western Telegraph and Milford Mercury: