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Luton Hoo Estate - 75th Anniversary of D-Day

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On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day we pay homage to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who took part in D-Day, Operation Overlord and the Battle of Normandy; who fought to liberate Europe.
Luton Hoo Estate - 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Sir Harold Wernher

The Estate remembers Sir Harold Wernher's involvement in the D Day operation.  In 1939 Harold had been invited to serve on a committee to plan for dealing with casualties in the event of war.  He was also summoned to act as liaison between the War Office and the Local Defence Volunteers, which were to become the Home Guard.  Due to his notable organisational skills he was able to acquire weapons from the USA for them.  Later he became liaison office of Eastern Command, and when in 1941 this split, and he became GSO 1 Home Guard South Eastern Command.  

In 1942 Harold was appointed at Lord Mount Batten's request, firstly as Coordinator of Port Facilities, then Coordinator of Ministry and Service Facilities for Combined Operations, organising facilities and equipment to prepare for the invasion against Northern France.  He played a major role in the complex and difficult planning of the Mulberry Harbour which was essential to the success of the D Day Landings.  

His responsibility was to embrace the whole problem of preparing facilities for the launching of the Assault and of maintaining supplied and reinforcements during the earlier phase of a major Combined Operation against Northern France.’ – Lord Mountbatten

Also, of great importance for the provision of fuel was the 'Pipeline under the Ocean' project in which Harold was involved.  He was given the rank of Brigadier and later promoted to Acting Major General.  

Despite this Harold was never formally recognised for his valuable major contribution to the war effort.  Prince Philip, who had looked on Harold as an adopted uncle, had considered the qualities which made Sir Harold Wernher successful

‘Clarity of mind, very down to earth, practical, when faced with a problem would at once pick on essential, always with an original view, never formed opinions as a results of books or what people said – his opinion might be completely different; when he asked you to do something it was difficult to say no.  In some ways he was a man ahead of his time.’ Prince Philip

 

On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day we pay homage to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who took part in D-Day, Operation Overlord and the Battle of Normandy; who fought to liberate Europe.