Friday, 7 June 2013

7th June: RIP Private Daniel 'Roddy' Hurley

Today is the anniversary of the death of my Uncle Roddy - Private Daniel R Hurley, who passed away on the 7th of June, 1944.

We know he made it it to the Battle of Merville Battery which took out German coastal guns to protect the D-Day landings. What we do not know - as yet - is if he died there, the day after the battle perhaps of his wounds cared for by the German doctor who stayed behind to care for the British soldiers (Paras).

Or perhaps he died the day after the battle at an engagement with a German 'Ostruppen' unit. These were soldiers from Turkmenistan in the USSR who volunteered to fight for the Germans.

Hopefully one day we'll know exactly where and how he died...

Please say a prayer for the repose of his soul.

Daniel Roderick Hurley, RIP.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Private DR Hurley Jumped from Dakota Alongside Glen the Para Dog

An Update from Steve Smith whose grandfather fought with my uncle, Daniel "Roddy" Hurley, in 9 Para A Company at D-Day:

I just wanted you to know that Daniel Hurley jumped with Emile Corteil, Glen (para dog) and James Baty.  Emile and Glen were due to jump first but due to the dog being scared James stayed and helped Emile retrieve Glen from under a seat.  Emile jumped after Glen then James was the last to jump from the plane.

Daniel made it to the RV on the drop zone and was collected with a number of others by Brigadier Hill.  The rest I am sure you know.

I also found a letter in the National Archives from a Private Franklin detailing how my grandfather, jumping number 8 from a different Dakota, had jumped after him.  They both met up at the rendezvous on the drop zone but the battalion had already moved off the drop zone.  They made haste and managed to catch up to the battalion before it reached the battery.  Both were present for the assault but sadly that was the last time he was seen by Franklin. 

How fabulous to know that Uncle Roddy jumped with the famous Glen the Para Dog - seen in many wartime pictures - was at the the Battle for Merville Battery (as we long suspected, knowing that he died the day after, 7/6/44).

A big thanks to Steve for all his work and for sharing this!