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Tributes Paid To Vale D-Day Veteran Idwal Symonds

 

Tributes have been paid to Vale-of-Glamorgan-based, D-Day veteran, Idwal Symonds, who has passed away aged 97.

The news was confirmed on the "Dinas Powys By-Pass and Local Issues" facebook page, in a post that said:

"I am very sorry to inform you that Dinas Powys' very own D-Day veteran Idwal Symonds, has passed away aged 97."

"Our deepest sympathies are with Carole, Ian and the rest of his family."

Idwal was interviewed by ITV Wales in 2019, in which he recalled the beach landing with great viscerality, saying that the air was "humming with bullets"

''The scale of the operation came home to me on the day before D-Day'' Idwal continued.

''When I got up in the morning and looked out the Solent and the Spithead running up into Southampton and Portsmouth was packed with boats, packed.''

When Idwal and his comrades landed on the beach, they immediately came across an unscalable concrete wall. Left with no other option, the company had to go around the obstacle in the face of intense gunfire. He was only 19.

As the fighting continued, Idwal and his company found themselves in a corn field where they were forced to surrender.

Orders from Hitler himself stated that any commandos captured behind enemy lines should be shot.

Idwal argued that they weren't behind enemy lines and therefore the order didn't apply to them. He then faced a terrifying wait, as the Nazi soldiers relayed this back to HQ, to see what his fate would be.

Flower

Luckily, his company were given a reprieve, but Idwal was now a Prisoner of War.

He spent a year in a POW camp in Poland under terrible conditions and with little food. Idwal weighed 12st when he became a prisoner, but by the time he was liberated, he had lost six stone.

In the end, it was a soldier from Wales who liberated him.

''It was a Welsh Guards tank and a chap from Beaumaris, which was only a few miles from my home.''

Despite his ordeal, in 2019 Idwal said he wouldn't change a thing about his time at war, but hopes future generations don't have to go through the same thing.

Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns said:

"Very sad news to hear of the passing of Vale D-Day veteran Idwal Symonds. Idwal was a true war hero and will be sadly missed."

Whilst the Barry and Area RBL Poppy Appeal said:

"Rest in Peace Sir, your Duty Done."

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