Dan Snow's History Hit


The Veteran Searching for his D-Day Shipwreck

On June 6, 1944, D-Day, Patrick Thomas, a young Royal Navy telegraphist, boarded the craft in Portsmouth. The boat was part of the first wave on Sword Beach, covering communications for land battles while providing defence from enemy ships and torpedoes. On June 25, it was hit by an acoustic mine and almost all of the men on board were trapped inside. Knocked unconscious, Patrick awoke in the water in time to see his friends and the craft sink. Unsure exactly where the vessel went down, the families of the deceased had never had a place to honour the fallen.

Then, in Normandy in 2015, Patrick met a young archaeologist called John Henry Phillips and the pair struck up a close friendship. Moved by Patrick’s story, John embarked on an extraordinary mission to find the landing craft that sank on D-Day and enable Patrick and the families to finally lay the memories of their loved ones to rest. But, as with any shipwreck, locating it wouldn’t be easy.

Produced by Mariana Des Forges

Mixed and Mastered by Dougal Patmore

Archive courtesy of BBC and ‘No Roses on a Sailor’s Grave,’ distributed by Go Button Media.

If you'd like to learn more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download the History Hit app please go to the Android or Apple store.

More Episodes


What Could Labour Learn From Harold Wilson?

In the week of the Labour Party when polls indicate that the party is likely to form the next government, it seems an opportune moment to examine what lessons they might be able to draw from their own history. But why Harold Wilson?Harold Wilson won four general elections. More than Clement Atlee or Tony Blair. Wilson was a wily, strategic political operator who made some radical changes to the UK including the decriminalisation of homosexuality, legalising abortion, abolishment of the death penalty and confirming the UK's membership of the European Economic Community. He led the country through a number of crises that would be very familiar to us today including industrial action an energy crisis and the pound sterling being under threat. He was also, allegedly, the Queen's favourite Prime Minister.To discuss Wilson's life and leadership Dan is joined by Nick Thomas-Symonds. Nick is a Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade. He is also a writer, barrister and politician and has recently published a biography of Harold Wilson.This episode was produced by Mariana Des Forges, the audio editor was Dougal Patmore.If you'd like to learn more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe to History Hit today!To download the History Hit app please go to the Android or Apple store.Complete the survey and you'll be entered into a prize draw to win 5 Historical Non-Fiction Books- including a signed copy of Dan Snow's 'On This Day in History'.