Ted Owens (1924-). Royal Marine Commando. D-Day Veteran. Pembroke Dock

Ted Owens was born on 12th August 1924 in Pembroke Dock. In the early years of the war Ted joined the fire brigade as a teenage messenger. He was on duty during the Pembroke Dock oil fire of August 1940, when German aircraft bombed the oil tanks and the blaze burned for 18 days. Ted joined Royal Marine Commando (41 Commando) who landed on Sword Beach, Normandy, on the morning of 6th June 1944 (D-Day). Badly injured after being hit by shrapnel, Ted was recovered from the beach and sent home by ship, spending many weeks in hospital. He was sent back to the front in August 1944. On 1st November 1944, Ted took part in the landings at Walcheren in the Netherlands to help clear the route for shipping into the port of Antwerp. Two of his friends were killed by a landmine, and Ted was injured, but he fought on into central Holland. Shortly before Christmas 1944, Ted was wounded for the third and final time when a bullet ricocheted off a wall and went through his throat. He spent several weeks in hospital and was demobbed after VE Day. On his return to Pembroke Dock Ted re-joined the fire brigade and later worked for many years on boats on Milford Haven waterway. He also married Laurie, who had worked as a plotter for the RAF during the war. It was not until after Laurie died that Ted began to talk publicly about his wartime experiences. In 2019, he starred in a three-part ITV Wales television series called Lest We Forget, which followed Ted as he retraced his wartime footsteps in the company of two young friends – aged just 10 and eight. Ted was also proud to receive the Legion d’Honneur from the French Government for his service in the liberation of France. On the 77th anniversary of D-Day,6th June 2021, Ted attended the WW2 Veterans Celebration in Aberporth, organised by Age Cymru Dyfed. There he met for the first time Tony Bird (RN) who also served on D-Day. Remarkably Tony and Ted live only live a few minutes from each other.

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