D-Day veteran overlooked by village

SIR, - As an ex-pat living in the US for the past seven years, I like to keep up with local news from my home village of Addingham. I am a frequent visitor to the online Ilkley Gazette and enjoy reading your articles about local events in and around Ilkley.

However, having read the June 10 article, "Survivor of D-Day does the honours," I felt compelled to write to you to set an important matter straight..

In referring to the opening of the Marchup Ghyll Nature Reserve, clearly a wonderful creation for the village of Addingham, I was more than surprised to read, "....organisers were unable to find a D-Day veteran living in Addingham".

My father, George Hedley Kettlewell, of Green Lane, is a life-long resident of Addingham. He served in the Royal Navy during World War Two and was in the first assault flotilla to land on Juno Beach on D-Day.

His landing craft was specifically adapted to hold two tanks which opened fire on Juno Beach to pave the way for the troops to land.

My father was amongst the first to witness the devastating casualties of the Allied troops on D-Day and having lost several of his best 'buddies' on Juno Beach, his memories of that historic event are as real and painful to him today as if it were only yesterday.

As a long-time wildlife enthusiast, I have nothing but praise for the financiers, organisers, local villagers and children who so willingly volunteered their time and worked so hard to ensure the success of this wonderful enterprise.

What has greatly saddened me is that the official opening of the nature reserve, "....a lasting commemoration of D-Day ...," took place without the knowledge or recognition that Addingham had such a special D-Day veteran on its very own doorstep. What a missed opportunity for Addingham.!

If only their search had been a little more extensive. To mark the 25th Anniversary of the D-Day landings the Ilkley Gazette interviewed my father about his war time experiences alongside those of other war veterans in the surrounding vicinity. This publication was accepted at the Imperial War Museum in London as part of the D-Day collection.

On the 50th anniversary of D-Day, again, the Ilkley Gazette published some of my father's recollections of those events. On this, the 60th anniversary of that historic day, he would have been equally delighted to have shared his memories with the local community.

My father will be celebrating his 80th birthday on July 30 with his long held memories of being a young sailor at Juno Beach just as vivid.

I know he would have loved to have been a recognised part of this D-Day commemoration, not least of all as a tribute to all those who lost their lives that day. Would it not be in the interests of the village history books that when the commemorative plaque is given its rightful place at this treasured Nature Reserve , perhaps my father can do the village the honour of being the one remaining Addingham D-Day veteran able to witness the importance of that tribute ................... Lest We Forget.

Mrs Eileen Haynes

(nee Kettlewell)

574 North Monroe Street,


New Jersey,

United States of America.


SIR, - Born in Addingham and at 19 years of age leading the assault on Juno Beach aboard LCT (A) 2285, leader of the 103rd flotilla, running into the beach four times on D-Day and staying to ferry in troops and supplies until the end of October.

Providing an account to the Gazette reporter for the 25th anniversary, and again for the 50th anniversary, I find it was reported in last week's Gazette that organisers of the nature reserve official opening could not find any D-Day veterans in our village of Addingham.

I feel insulted. I hope you will put the record straight.


15, Green Lane,


FOOTNOTE: The Gazette did publish an appeal for D-Day veterans to come forward a few weeks ago, but unfortunately Mr Kettlewell was not among those who did so. However, we have passed the above letters on to Coun Danny Palmer of the nature reserve group.

- Editor.

Poll shambles

SIR, - Even by Labour's standards, the postal voting system has been a complete shambles.

We have had reports of fraud, intimidation, votes being sold on Ebay, Labour's headquarters being caught out giving advice on how to exploit the voting system, missing ballot papers, people receiving dozens of ballot papers, children receiving ballot papers and the police have had to investigate numerous complaints when presumably they should have better things to do like catching burglars.

Turnout did increase, although how much of that was due to fraud we do not know, and turnout increased anyway in those areas which did not have this system inflicted on them.

Given that Chris Leslie overruled the independent Electoral Commission to impose all postal votes on us, he should now apologise and promise it will not happen again.

This has been a prime example of how Labour have to meddle in everything, however much it is not needed or wanted.

If Mr Leslie wishes to continue with this ridiculous system I will challenge him to a public debate on this issue any time, anywhere in the Shipley constituency with an independent chairman of his choice.

Will Mr Leslie admit this system was a failure or will he debate this issue with me?

Philip Davies

Shipley Conservative

Parliamentary Candidate,

2 Hartlington Court,


Bitter pill

SIR, - Every day hundreds of thousands of people across the country take vitamin pills and other food supplements as a matter of routine.

But within a very few years, a huge proportion of the vitamin and mineral tablets on sale in this county will be outlawed by European legislation, not for safety reasons, but in order to harmonise the products that are on sale in different countries right across Europe.

Familiar products like 1000 milligramme fizzy Vitamin C tablets, which many people take when they get a cold, will disappear.

This is an outrageous restriction of consumer choice, and is typical of the kind of overregulation that is bringing the European Union into disrepute.

It is not too late to reduce the impact significantly of these unwanted new regulations, but it will take positive action from the Government and the Minister, Melanie Johnson, to secure a better deal for our consumers and our health food industry.

Sadly, there is no sign of such action. That's why we have launched a nationwide campaign to try to get the Government to change its mind. It is being supported by local health food shops in every local area in the UK.

You can support our campaign by signing the electronic petition we have established at www.conservatives.com/vitamins or by picking up one of the campaign cards in your local health food store. Please give us your support.

Chris Grayling MP

Shadow Minister,

Public Services, Health

and Education

RNIB plea

SIR, - On Tuesday of this week, RNIB launched a campaign to end the institutionalised discrimination amongst employers that is leaving three out of four blind and partially sighted people of working age unemployed.

People with sight problems can and do succeed in a wide range of jobs, yet with unemployment at a 20-year low, ignorance and outdated attitudes are keeping most out of work.

Despite the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and the introduction of Government schemes the situation has not improved over the last ten years.

RNIB is calling on employers to change their belief that employing people with sight problems is too difficult or expensive, and on the Government to take action to support employers and these people more effectively.

Help us by signing the Work Matters Charter at www.rnib.org.uk or phone the RNIB Employment Line on 0870 0136556.

Colin Low

RNIB Chairman.