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A song about the Allied forces landing at Normandy, written and sung by 90-year-old D-Day veteran Jim Radford has beaten songs by artists like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran on Amazon’s singles chart in the United Kingdom.

Jim Radford, who was a 15-year-old galley boy in the British Merchant Navy at the time, said he has been “overwhelmed by the response” to the song, “Shores of Normandy,” he wrote 50 years ago.

The Normandy Memorial Trust rereleased the song he penned after returning to the French beaches on the 25th anniversary of the landings to raise funds to build a memorial at the invasion site.

“I didn’t know when I went that my first trip was going to be the invasion of Europe,” Radford said. “The song is to remember the brave lads that didn’t come back.”

​The youngest of three brothers who served in the British Merchant Navy, Radford was aboard a tug boat during the D-Day invasion.

​He still clearly recalls the brotherhood ​that existed among those fighting that day.

​”Your main concern ​i​s not to let your comrades down,” ​he said. “You’re not thinking about king or country, you’re not thinking about democracy. You’re thinking about, ‘My mates depend on me, as I depend on them.’ That stayed with me. Anyone who was in Normandy, we all feel that bond to each other. And especially to all the lads who didn’t come back.”​

He now belongs to the anti-war organisation, Veterans for Peace, and hopes the song will alert a new generation to the horrors of war.

“The significance and seriousness has been forgotten,” ​Radford said. “I don’t think youngsters nowadays realize just how serious it was … 1 in every 4 merchant navy seamen was killed during the war.”

​He said when he returned to Normandy he saw children playing where soldiers had died and tried to capture that in the song. ​

​”And those of you who ​were unborn, who’ve lived in liberty, remember those who made it so on the shores of Normandy,” he sings.

Acknowledging his recent fame won’t last, he encouraged ​others to download the song from the trust’s website and help build the memorial.

“The message I want to get across is that we must not let this happen again​,” he said.

You can download the single via the usual digital music services that can be accessed via the Normandy Memorial Trust web site:

  • Kathleen McCreery 10/06/2019, 17:27

    I met Jim Radford in London when he was involved in the squatting movement and I was working with Red Ladder Theatre, and making programmes for Canadian Broadcasting and writing articles about squatting. Delighted to see that his song, to the tune of Raglan Road, is so successful.

  • Ross De Freitas 10/06/2019, 21:38

    Jim so proud of you mucker. You really are inspiring so many people.

  • Tarak Kauff 11/06/2019, 10:46

    You are the best! Love the song, love you brother! We will try and publish this in the next issue of Peace in Our Times. I may need to ask you for the lyrics. Thanks so much for all you do and what you so solidly stand for.

    • Doreen Steinberg 15/06/2019, 09:55

      All our and our Allied Forces deserve our gratitude – sadly this ca
      nnot said of Luton Council. Armistice Day 11.11.17 ignored by Luton Council – https://youtu.be/V5xwqKcOYnA and they are wasting more of our money trying to become UK City of Culture 2025. A snowball stands more chance of celebrating its 21st birthday in hell! https://youtu.be/R6zp5dpHJL0 Extinction Rebellion and Luton Airport Expansion. Other places are trying to reduce air pollution – Luton plans to drastically increase it by building over the whole of Wigmore Park for a 2nd terminal 5 storey hotel, dual carriageway etc,

  • David Lawrence 11/06/2019, 11:01

    Jim, I wish I was in as good health at 90. (really must give up my hedonistic lifestyle). Song’s extremely moving, keep up your good work.

  • DavidWestgate 11/06/2019, 15:31

    Terrific, Jim.
    A great song that couldn’t be better timed.
    Well done and congratulations.

  • Norman Scarth 11/06/2019, 20:39

    A LONE VOICE! Sorry Jim, but I do NOT like the words, or the tone, of your song:
    They support those who glorify war by glorifying ‘The Ordinary Soldiers’ (whoever they may be) who ‘Gave Their Lives’, & are at complete variance with the ethos of VETERANS FOR PEACE.
    You sling, ”And those of you who ​were unborn, who’ve lived in liberty, remember those who made it so …”,
    WHAT blurry liberty? The ‘liberty’ of Orwellian Britain – of which you seem to be blissfully unaware? My ‘Hero Status’ didn’t save me when I dared to tell of the diabolical means used by Quisling Ruled Britain to silence whistle-blowers – I myself suffered potentially lethal terror attacks: malicious prosecutions for non-existent ‘crime’s, Kangaroo Court ‘trials’; Then, from the age of 75, many years in many different prisons & lunatic asylums, prison again (for ‘Contempt’) at the age of 85, & AGAIN at 86, until, much belatedly, I finally accepted that Britain is not a safe place for those who tell the truth, & fled the the land of my birth for safety in Ireland.
    Even less do I like the song purporting to be the words of the under-age soldier dying in The Great War.
    “It wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t to blame”.
    It WAS his fault! He WAS to blame (& more so his parents who didn’t stop him!)
    He didn’t join up ‘to die for his country’: He joined up (& took 2 years off his age to do so!) because he was excited at the thought of sticking a bayonet into another human being!
    Obviously the conscripts are not to blame for wars, but those who volunteer are. Without them, the higher-up warmongers would be impotent.

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