A HOLIDAY village has welcomed back a Royal Marine who was stationed there in the weeks leading up to D-Day.
Ted Turner, 88, left South Downs Holiday Village on June 4, 1944, bound for the beaches of France.
“I wasn’t scared – that’s the funny thing. I wasn’t frightened at all. I suppose I was too young and stupid,” he said.
Ted was just 18 at the time of the landings, having joined up in 1943 when he was 17.
Growing up in Portsmouth, he said he was used to the sound of the bombing, which was why it did not scare him when he was heading to Normandy.
Once on the boats heading to Juno beach, he said nobody spoke a word.
“Because in church they asked me about praying and I said well everyone was praying, whether they were religious or not.
“That’s probably what people were doing.
“They weren’t talking because they were praying and wondering what’s going to happen when that ramp goes down and they hit the beach.
“Will we survive or will we get wounded and lay there in agony? All these things.
“I worried about getting shot and laying down somewhere in agony and you know, things like that.”
In the weeks leading up to D-Day, Ted was stationed in Bracklesham with the 652 Flotilla Royal Marines for around three months.
They used to practise every day until June 4, 1944, when they were given the order to move out.
“We didn’t really know much about it,” he said.
“Just suddenly, one morning they commanded that we all had to go to the landing craft.
“We just assumed something was happening.”
He added: “We didn’t really know what was going on until we got out into the Solent and saw all those ships there.”
On Tuesday (June 3), Ted returned to the South Downs Holiday Village and stayed the night, before heading to Normandy the next day to take part in the commemorations – exactly 70 years on.
“It feels very good to be back here,” he said.
During the evening, a plaque was put up at the holiday park in honour of the Royal Marines stationed there.
While in France, Ted was set to attend Pegasus Bridge and Bayeux Cathedral as well as the Canadian House on Juno beach.