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Battle for Hill 112 hero honoured
A BRIDPORT war hero was presented with a commemorative medal by HRH Prince Edward at the 70th anniversary of a crucial battle in the Second World War.
Cliff Broom, 93, from Uploders, attended the service for the Battle for Hill 112 in Arromanche, France.
He is one of only six surviving veterans from the battle.
The event was attended by HRH Prince Edward who presented the six veterans with a commemorative medal for their service.
The battle was fought one month after the D-Day landings, with thousands of lives lost on both sides.
Mr Broom was 23 when he set sail as part of the 4th Dorset Battalion that invaded France during the D-Day landings, and landed on Arromanche beach.
After successfully landing and fighting the German forces, the battalion went straight into their next battle for Hill 112, the highest point of land in the area occupied by the Nazis.
Mr Broom said: “It was a very important battle and quite intense. It was a terrific battle, the land was so difficult to fight on because it’s so flat, but we had to capture the hill because that gave us the best view of the region due to its height.
“It was certainly very important to helping us win the war.
“It was the first time I’d been back to France since the war, and it brought back so many memories. I must say I’m glad I got through it but I would never wish anyone to go through what I went through.”
Mr Broom visited France with the local branch of the Old Comrades Association with 16 others. As part of the ceremony, the veterans laid a wreath at the memorial on what is still called Hill 112.
Mr Broom added: “It was a touching ceremony, emotional. Everybody there including the veterans and the local schoolchildren were all quite emotional.
“The local French people we met were so kind towards us, they were ever so thankful towards us. I think it’s important to remember the battles after the landings. They were just as important.
“After the ceremony we went to sit on the beach wall and we were surrounded by local people who wanted to take pictures with us and tell us how thankful they were, I felt like a bit of a celebrity, I have never shook so many hands or had my picture taken so many times in all my life.”