Honouring Victor Goodwin, a D Day Veteran Living at Galanos House

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A service commemorating and honouring the service and sacrifice given by the D Day generation was held last Thursday at Galanos House, a care home in Southam, exclusively for the Armed Forces community.

At the service, Southam Town Mayor Cllr Angela John paid tribute to Victor Goodwin (99) a D Day veteran living at Galanos House with his wife Vera (96).

Victor was just 19 when he went to France on June 6th, 1944. He spoke fluent French and was serving in the Durham Light Infantry. Vera, who much later was to become his wife, was at that time a novice waiting to take her vows and working in the catering division.

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Victor landed on Sword beach and was thankful to reach the shore. He couldn’t swim and was quite short so had to wade to shore, mostly underwater, with his gun held above his head. He was soaked but said “the Sun was out and I soon got dry”. He remembers the seasickness to this very day. Luckily, he didn’t experience any fighting until he got four miles inland but then he was involved in a battle in a cornfield. Victor remembers General Eisenhower coming to talk to his troop and saying that they (the British and American troops) must all get on together. Apparently, the American troops had huge buckets of orange juice whilst the British only had water!

Victor pictured with the Southam Town Mayor, Cllr Angela JohnVictor pictured with the Southam Town Mayor, Cllr Angela John
Victor pictured with the Southam Town Mayor, Cllr Angela John

Victor fought with his troop all the way through France and Belgium up to the German border. It is here that his hip was hit by a bullet, and he had to be flown home with fellow American soldiers that had been wounded.

Despite his part in the D Day landing, Victor had been reluctant to accept his war medals, believing that it had not done anything special. However, last summer he agreed to accept them and they were presented to him by the Town Mayor, to his and his family’s great pride and pleasure.

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