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Montgomery's note to British forces on eve of D-Day found in old book

London, Sat, 10 Nov 2012 ANI

London, November 10 (ANI): A copy of the D-Day message signed by the then commander in chief General Sir Bernard Montgomery has been found hidden between the pages of an AA travel guide.

The stirring words were delivered to tens of thousands of British troops on the eve of the Normandy landings in 1944.

Ken Hallam, an 85-year-old retired engineer, discovered the message written in a discoloured A4-sized paper in the book, Treasures Of Britain, which he bought from a charity shop for 1.50 pounds, the Daily Mail reported.

The printed sheet is signed B.L. Montgomery, General, C-in-C, 21 Army Group and dated 5 June 1944 - the day before the start of Operation Overlord - the Allied invasion of occupied Northern Europe.

Hallam, a widower from Loughborough, Leicestershire, took the piece of paper to a historian and handwriting expert who confirmed the document was genuine.

Simon Roberts, manuscript expert at auctioneers Bonhams, said if the signature was genuine, the paper could be worth about 1,000 pounds.

"While the ordinary printed version of this is quite common, specially signed ones are very rare - and this has the added appeal of being signed the day before D-Day," the paper quoted him as saying.

General Montgomery instructed unit commanders to read the words "to all troops" to inspire them as they prepared to take on Hitler's military might.

"Good luck to each one of you," he declared in his speech "And good hunting on the main land of Europe."

Montgomery also quotes the famous lines of Scottish nobleman and Civil War soldier James Graham:

He either fears his fate too much,

Or his deserts are small,

That dares not put it to the touch,

To gain or lose it all.

Ken is now planning to sell the note at auction and donate the funds to a military charity. (ANI)

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