D-Day Graffiti in Wales

Posted: June 6, 2021 in 1944, Men of the 111th Ordnance Company, Wales 1943-44
Harold Goerges and John Andrews left their mark, as they left for Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 6, 1944

Seventy-seven years ago today, two 111h Ordnance Company soldiers left a good-bye note on the wall of their room in Albro Castle, St. Dogmaels, Wales. They and my dad and 160 other GIs who were billeted there packed up and left the next day for Omaha Beach in Normandy.

Harold Goerges and John Andrews, lifelong friends of my dad, could have never imagined that their graffiti would be revealed decades later, thanks to Tracy and Peter Newland, current owners of Albro Castle, which was originally a 19th-century workhouse. Tracy noticed some pencil marks on the wall as she was removing wallpaper in the early 2000s and spent several years trying to find out more about the American men who had lived there for five months in 1944.

Then, as fate would have it, eight years ago today, Ed and I showed up uninvited to Albro Castle and met Tracy, who excitedly showed us the wall. This blog was the direct result. Over the next few years, we found five survivors and nearly 60 families of the 111th men, letting us knit together a fairly complete picture of their time in the war. And the search continues.

We will always be grateful to Tracy Newland for preserving this piece of history.

  1. Patrick J Osborn Jr says:

    Thanks for the post. Always interesting!

  2. Kay McAnally says:

    It was such a privilege to have been on that mission to Wales with you and sharing the joy that you, Ed, and my sister Chris felt after the discovery of Harold’s and John’s names written on the wall at Albro Castle. Sharing your blog tells the us the amazing story of how you and Ed were guided by a series of coincidences and encounters on this spiritual journey Thank you and Ed for embracing your calling.

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