In 1944-45, Capt. G.H. Davies served with the hard-fighting 53rd Welsh Division. He was an artillery officer in command of a battery of 25-pdr field guns and saw action from Normandy to the final surrender of Nazi Germany. Capt. Davies was present at the Normandy battles, the fierce fighting for s’Hertogenbosch and the Battle of Arnhem. During the course of the war, Capt. Davies kept a diary and also snatched a few photographs on his treasured camera. When the opportunity arose Capt. Davies liberated a camera from a fallen SS officer and, after the war, had the film developed. The film contained graphic images of the war from the German side of the line. Seventy years on from the events, the wartime diary, the photographs of the guns and the photographs taken by the dead SS officer were the inspiration for the son of Capt. Davies, television producer and writer Gwilym Davies, to undertake an emotional return to the battlefields, which his father had described in his diary. The result of that pilgrimage is an important new book which builds upon the wartime diary and the photographs to produce a powerful record of one man’s war service with the guns of the 53rd Welsh Division.The book also contrasts the experience of Capt. Davies with those of the Germans on the other side of the line. Gwilym Davies is himself an accomplished photographer and his photographs of the 70th anniversary celebrations and the memorials provide a poignant counterpoint to the events of 1944. In My Father’s Footsteps is also a major TV documentary, which will be broadcast to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem.
IN MY FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS With the 53rd Welsh Division from Normandy to Hamburg
With the 53rd Welsh Division from Normandy to Hamburg tells the story of the author’s father, Captain G.H. Davies, who was an officer in the 497 Battery, 133rd Field Regiment (RA) of the Division, who were equipped with the 25 pounder field guns. The book was created with the help of his father’s dairy, memories and photographs from his album. His son and author, Gwilym Davies, completed it with extra background information on the famous British 25 pounder, the battles his father participated in and German intelligence reports in order to let the readers know what devastating effect the Division’s artillery had on the German units.
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