On 6th June 2015 Tony Rodaway, nephew of D-Day veteran Billy Rodaway, travelled to the site of HMS Armadillo in Ardentinny to unveil a memorial plaque dedicated to Harry Smallman, Ken Oakley and all Royal Navy Commandos who participated in the planning and execution of the D-Day landings in 1944. The short ceremony and memorial plaque also paid tribute to Seaman William (Billy) Rodaway and Bob Bull and the crew of HMS Prins Albert with whom they served.
The plaque will be incorporated within the commando memorial cairn at Shepherd’s Point shortly.
Information on their outstanding service can be found here:
I had the honour of taking the plaque up to Ardentinny, so just a few words in a little poem I wrote a few years ago,
ABOVE AND BEYOND.
WHAT DID THEY HAVE THIS BAND OF MEN
THAT SET THEM ASIDE FROM OTHER MEN, WHO FOUGHT FOR THEIR LIVES IN A MAN MADE HELL THEN WROTE HOME TO THEIR FAMILYS ALL IS WELL.
WAS IT SOMETHING THAT CAME FROM DEEP WITHIN OR DID IT JUST HAPPEN WHEN THE ADRENALIN KICKED IN, THERE ACTIONS SAVED LIVES SO OTHERS COULD LIVE SOME PAID WITH THEIR LIVES, THEY HAD NO MORE TO GIVE.
A GOOD FEW CAME HOME TO A HERO’S WELCOME OTHERS CAME HOME TO FIND NO FOOD ON THE TABLES, SOME WERE NOT ABLE TO EVEN FIND WORK SELLING MATCHES ON A CORNER, THAT’S NOT WORK.
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THEM EACH AND EVERYONE THEY WONT BE FORGOTTEN AS TIME ROLLS ON, THEIR DEEDS WILL BE REMEMBERED TILL THE END OF TIME EVEN THOUGH I DID NOT MEET THEM ALL, THEY WERE PALS OF MINE.
To all at Ardentinny.Org,
I am shedding tears as I watch this video.
A final farewell to a forgotten ship and crew.
Thank you all who helped and attended.