TWO Milford Haven businesses recently financially supported Pembroke Dock D-Day Veteran Ted Owens on a return trip to Walcheren Island, off the coast of The Netherlands.

On June 6, 1944, 20-year-old Ted stormed Sword Beach as part of 41 Royal Marines Commando.

As Ted fought alongside his comrades he was hit by shrapnel from an exploded shell, which embedded itself in his shoulder, back and chest.

Ted recalls that he lay motionless in agony for so long that his colleagues thought he was dead.

He was hospitalised for 10 weeks before returning to his troop as part of the liberation forces that landed on Walcheren Island.

From here Ted went on to fight at The Battle of the Bulge.

Ted has often spoken of the fondness he felt for the people of Walcheren, who treated him and his comrades with such warmth during the time they spent with them, obviously delighted to see them arrive and protect them from the occupying German forces.

After meeting Ted during a recent Round Table meeting, Dan Mills of Martha’s Vineyard, and Guiseppi Quinn of Todaro’s, were both struck by Ted’s story and became aware of his up-and-coming trip back to Walcheren Island, and that he had been asked to lay a wreath at Bergen Op Zoom Cemetery on behalf of 41 Commando.

“Ted is a hero in the real sense, and the chance to help him return to a place he has such strong memories of is an honour; he played a part in helping the people of Walcheren be free again, for that we should all celebrate him, and I look forward to hearing about his trip when he returns,” said Guiseppi.

“My grandfather was Dutch, and fought as part of the Dutch Navy during the Second World War against the Nazis, so to meet a man like Ted, who was there at the same time and fighting on the same side was a pretty surreal experience. The stories Ted told and the emotion in his eyes really hit me, and I knew that I had to help Ted on this special trip with his good friend Dai O’Toole,” added Dan.