Letter: War's first casualty

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The Independent Culture
Sir: John Lichfield in his article (9 January) on Pegasus Bridge suggested that Lieutenant Danny Brotheridge of the Ox & Bucks (gliders) "became the first Allied casualty of the D- Day invasion at 20 minutes past midnight on 6 June 1944". That is not wrong, but it depends upon the criteria by which one judges. What of those Royal Navy and Royal Engineers wet-suit swimmers, dropped by submarines, who tested the beaches, for instance?

In Oxford's military cemetery is a war grave recording that Lance-Corporal E T Hall of 2 Para was buried there on 6 June. He was shot by his own camp-guards while doing the round of the five airbases involved in the night-time drop. Why should he not be the first D-Day casualty?

Dom ALBERIC STACPOOLE

Ampleforth Abbey

York

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