A SECOND World War veteran of the D-Day landings shared his memories at his care home in Bolton on Remembrance Day.
Jack Morgan, 97, a resident at Lever Edge Care Home, in Great Lever, was a corporal in the Royal Marines at the time of the invasion of Normandy on 6th June 1944.
He was part of a 13 strong party gathering intelligence on German positions and was due to drop off three Canadian troops at the start of the Allies’ bid to liberate Western Europe.
He was aboard one of the boats leading the charge to Sword Beach, the easternmost beach of the five landing areas of the invasion, when they were hit by an explosion.
Jack, just 20 at the time, was blown out of the boat and finished up on the seabed, as the water they were in was only 7ft deep, suffering injuries to his head, face and arm.
Seven members of his squad and all three of their Canadian passengers were not so lucky – all losing their lives in the initial attack.
Jack and his fellow survivors were picked up by a passing landing craft and transferred to a hospital ship before returning to Portsmouth.
Recalling the horrors of the invasion for staff and fellow residents at Lever Edge Care Home, he said: “The others were killed on impact. I feel very lucky because I could have easily drowned.
“We were trained for this sort of event, but nothing can prepare you for it happening in reality. It just happens and you don’t have time to think about it.”
After recovering from his injuries, Jack was transferred to the artillery in the Army and spent 18 months fighting the Japanese in Burma before returning to England at the end of the War.
He worked for 34 years at Lorival Plastics, in Little Lever, has twice been married and is a father to three.
Jack, who moved into Lever Edge Care Home in July 2021, will be watching the Remembrance Day events on television with his fellow residents and staff.
The care home also has a Remembrance Day window display, which Jack helped create, and a singer will be visiting the home to perform old songs from the 1940s.
Lisa Martin, home manager at Lever Edge Care Home, said: “Jack’s story is incredible and harrowing at the same time. He is incredibly lucky to have survived his ordeal and to lead and long and happy life – many others were not so fortunate.
“Most of the residents at Lever Edge Care Home were affected by the War in some way – either having served like Jack, living through it at home as children, or having grandparents, parents, and siblings who served.
“Remembrance Day is an opportunity for many of them to pay their respects to the fallen and all of those who have served in the Armed Forces. Everyone will be wearing their poppies with pride.”