Friday, March 07, 2008

Pathfinders, Normandy, 1944

Lieutenant Bob Midwood briefs his platoon of the 22nd Independent Parachute Company on their pathfinding role in Normandy. In the top left hand corner is Lance-Corporal Edward Delaney O'Sullivan, who was killed on the 6th June 1944. His body was found by two French youths at approximately 04:00, ten yards from the body of a dead German. It is believed that the two men shot each other simultaneously with their sub-machineguns. His friend, Griff Thomas, is sitting at the front of the second row up from the bottom, with the arm of Sergeant Leverett over his right shoulder. Directly above Thomas, with his right arm hidden behind Lieutenant Midwood's back, is Sergeant Smith, and behind him, standing tall over Smith's left shoulder, is Sergeant Kidd. At the very bottom of the photograph, left to right, are R.A. Stoodley, unknown, and Ken Norton. A man by the surname of Gordon is on the back row in the centre of the photograph, wearing a medal ribbon on his chest.


Andrew said...

I'm one of Jack Leverette's grandsons.

I always treasure this picture, and my memories of my fantastic grandad and his incredible friends and colleagues.

Paul said...

I am the nephew of Lance-Corporal O'sullivan, who was killed on D-Day, as stated above. He was buried and still lies at rest in Trouffreville village church close to where he was found by the two young boys.
Have never seen this picture before, thanks !

Jean-Michel Vecchiet said...

Dear Paul,
I just finished a film on the first men of the Invasion in Normandy, and Robert Stoddley is doing a special tribute to your uncle Paddy O'Sullivan in it. A very touching moment. We are showing the film in Normandy this year on June 5th and if you'd like we could send you a copy of the film.
Here is the link to my blog:
My very best
Jean Michel

Rob Thomas said...

Hello all.
I am the grandson of Griff 'Taffy' Thomas. I have previously spoken with Sgt Kidd and my father has made contact with Bob Stoodley.
I have more pictures and some film.
Rob Thomas

Sean Aldrich said...

Hi Jean Michel
I am also related to Lance Corporal O'Sullivan (His sister Annie's grandson). I have not seen these pictures before. I too would love to see your film and learn more about what they did.


elaine said...

Hello, does anyone know how to identify the other people in this photo? I would be extremely grateful to know! A family member believes that my father (whom I don't remember), Maurice Heathwood Smith of the Royal Ulster Rifles, is the man shown in profile in the bottom row in the right hand corner. Thank you so much!


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