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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.
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