Saturday, November 14, 2015

TO THE ISLAND (PART TWO)...

The first time I ever saw the sea was during World War II when, as a small boy, my mother and I walked from Blackfield, where we were living with my aunt and uncle, to Lepe on Hampshire`s south coast.  It was a long walk for a boy of four.  Prior to the D-Day invasion of June, 1944, Lepe was used for the secret construction of massive caissons which were towed across the channel to form part of the Mulberry Harbours used during the Normandy invasion.   Lepe was also used as one of the many embarkation sites for troops and equipment taking part in the invasion.  I still have vivid memories of the seemingly endless stream of military vehicles roaring through Blackfield on their way to Lepe and the generosity of the American servicemen throwing packets of sweets to us urchins along the wayside.

Back in the Spring of this year we stayed in the New Forest and made a return visit to Lepe.  It always brings back memories of those boyhood experiences but also reminds me of the awe with which I first saw the sea and the infinity of the skies above the water. This is a photo I took last time we were there and shows the skies above the Solent and a lone yacht making its way across to the Isle of Wight.   It was very different in 1944........





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