Guelph Remembers: The 80th Anniversary of D-Day

To mark the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, we share the words of Private LaVerne Thomas Wilson, Sr., whose poem “D-Day – June 6th 1944” is preserved in the Guelph Museums collection. Private Wilson, son of Thomas Henry Wilson and Julia Welsh, was born in 1913 in Keppel Township, Owen Sound and died  December 19, 1995 in Guelph. He is buried in Woodlawn Memorial Park.

Upon returning from the war, Private Wilson settled in Guelph on Harris Street, and worked at IMCO. May he rest in peace.

We remember Private Wilson and all those who served and sacrificed under unimaginable circumstances on that fateful June day in 1944. Lest we forget.

D-Day June 6th, 1944

‘Neath the morning light of the sun so bright,
We lay off the shores of France
On the L.C.T. my comrades and me,
Moved around as though in a trance.

We knew right well as the waters did swell,
In the choppy channel below,
Though life seemed sweet we soon would meet,
With a strong and bitter foe.

On the English coast the folks could boast,
For as far as the eye could see,
There were planes over-head and soon the dead,
Would be counted to set men free.

The tanks were chained,
“What would be gained?”,
When loosed they would be that day,
The sky was now black with smoke and flak,
And wet the deck from the spray.

‘Twas the great “D” Day in every way,
Outstanding from the rest,
When all we had to make Hitler mad,
Was put to the final test.

The wind she blew and we all knew,
As the tide went rolling in,
When we hit France we had a chance,
The second front to begin.

The cannons roared and each side scored,
And much blood there, was shed,
We hit the Beach with an awful screech,
Where many men lay dead.

The Crimson tide so high and wide,
Took the salvage out to Sea,
But we cared not as on we fought,
To set the French folk free.

The plans were laid a Beach head made,
And a Bridge head on the way,
“Twas forty-four and what is more,
It was June the sixth that day.

2017.60.1 – Poem, “D-Day June 6th 1944” by Private LaVerne Thomas Wilson Sr.

Posted by Devin Hogg on June 6, 2024