Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Saving two civilans in Antwerp, Belgium

Normandy Veteran Louis Williams, R.A.S.C.
Louis landed in Normandy Beaches on 8 June 1944 (D+2)
Later in the war, Louis saved two Belgian civilians in Antwerp.
For additional information click on ‘Comments’ below

3 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information:

Louis Williams originally comes from Sandwith village near Whitehaven, Cumbria. His Belgian father, Alfonso van der Vyver - a Merchant Seaman – was a refugee of WW1 after the Germans occupied most of his country in 1914. Alfonso remained in Britain after the war, as by then he had met and married Louis’ mother Mary Jane Williams. It became easier for the family to use the family name Williams rather than being mistaken for having a German surname. However, when Alfonso died his family name of Van der Vyver was written on his memorial stone.

During WW2 Louis initially worked at a Military Gun Range between Drigg and Ravenglass, Cumberland. Louis then went on to serve in the R.A.S.C and landied in Normandy on 8 June 1944 (D+2). After Normandy, Louis moved on to Belgium and the Netherlands with the Allied advance.

While in Belgium, Louis was able to meet up with some of his Belgian relatives in Antwerp. There had been no contact between the families since the German Occupation of 1940. Finding that some of his father’s close family had survived the Occupation was one of the happier things Louis experienced during the war.

During Louis’ time in Belgium parts of the country were under attack from the German V1 and V2 weapons. According to Louis, you could hear the V1 ‘Doodlebugs’ but you could did not hear a V2 rocket until it hit the ground and it exploded. While in Antwerp, Louis went into a house that had been hit by a V2 rocket and rescued the lady of the house who was trapped inside.

After getting this lady outside she said her daughter was still inside, so Louis went back into the building, found the daughter and was able to rescue her as well. Of course, the emotional embrace of the mother and daughter was something that Louis has always remembered.

After WW2, Louis worked as a coal miner at Haig Colliery, Kells, Whitehaven. He joined the local Kells Royal British Legion Branch shortly after the war. Later on Louis joined the West Cumbria Branch of the Normandy Veterans Association. Despite the many terrible things that happened during the war, the comradeship with other veterans and their families has always been something good that came out of it in the post-war years.

Tuesday, 09 February, 2010  
Blogger Ricardo said...

hello ...
I really enjoyed your blog, congratulations, I have a site here in Brazil on the subject, I would like to contact you by e-mail.
rlartes@gmail.com
ricardo@segundaguerra.org

my site: www.segundaguerra.org

Sunday, 14 February, 2010  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Hello Ricardo,

Thanks for your message. Possibly you could also join this site to contribute and have a link to your own site?

Tuesday, 16 February, 2010  

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