Pegasus Bridge Para Dies After Long Illness

SidOne of the first British soldiers to land during D-Day as part of the assault on Pegasus Bridge in the early hours of 06 June in 1944 has died aged 91 after a long illness.

Parachutist Sid Peck from Jersey, who was part of the assault on Pegasus Bridge 70 years ago, landed alongside future film star Richard Todd who starred in the 1962 film The Longest Day, playing the part of Major John Howard who led the daring glider mission.

After fierce fighting they captured and held the bridge, opening the way for an allied breakout to the east, and preventing a German counter attack.

Peck, who was badly wounded in a mortar attack during the war and had shrapnel in his legs for the rest of his life, often talked about how he got to know Todd while training before the Allied invasion.

He recalled how they had a cup of tea before getting in the plane that took them across the Channel to the Normandy coastline and how they knew beforehand where they were going so that they could practice for what they knew was going to be a hard mission and landing.

‘We all got up ready to hook up on the static line, it was so quick I don’t know who went first, Richard or myself but we went out, I went out and had a bit of a bounce when I got out. We more or less landed together at the same place, I just made a dash for the bridge, I didn’t know what to do after that,’ he said in an interview with the BBC.

He had decided to run straight for the bridge. ‘I said if I’d have gone first I would have chased for the bridge, I wouldn’t have bothered who was with me and that is what I did. That was the best thing I ever did, made a dash for the bridge and that’s where I ended until others came along from the platoon,’ he remembered.

He also recalled narrowly missing being shot during the battle for the bridge. ‘Behind the wall and behind the hedge we heard the tanks go by at the back of us and for some unknown reason one of the lads there fell on the floor beside me. I looked at him and he was dead, he had been shot at. And I suppose fortunately for me he got the rifle bullet I didn’t get,’ he explained.

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About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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