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News > Heritage > 80th Anniversary of D-Day

80th Anniversary of D-Day

Bradfield Remembers Rodney Maude (B 29-33)
4 Jun 2024
Heritage

Rodney Michael Sandwith Maude arrived at Bradfield in September 1929 and left in December 1933 in B House. He was an Exhibitioner and in the Running VIII in 1933. Rodney was very proud of being an Old Bradfieldian. He often said his school days were undistinguished, but he put down his considerable grasp of the French language to the teaching of it at school. After Bradfield he went to RMA Woolwich from 1934-5, joining the Royal Engineers in 1935 before going to Trinity College in Cambridge from 1935-7 and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1937.

During the Second World War, he was with 246 Field Company of the Royal Engineers landing on Sword beach as part of the D-Day landings during Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944.

He wrote a letter home before this action to his mother which we commemorate today and was included in the Guardian newspaper nearly 20 years ago and is quoted below as follows:

Major Rodney Maude: In command of 246 Field Company, Royal Engineers. Landed on Sword Beach on D-day
June 4 1944

My dear Mum

You certainly won't get this letter until after the event, as it were, but I hope it won't be delayed too long. I am writing this on board the ship in which we go across. At the moment, of course, we are at anchor off the coast of England, surrounded by a great many other ships and craft.

We embarked yesterday afternoon. We had lunch in camp and then got into buses and drove - very slowly - down to the harbour. The men were all very cheerful, cracking jokes and cheering every girl we passed on the way. You would never have dreamed, except from the amount of equipment we were carrying, that we were not going on another exercise. I must say I didn't feel any different myself.

I have known for over a year of course that we would eventually go off on this, or something similar, and I used to dread the last preparations and the final parting from friends and England, but in actual fact (fortunately) I haven't minded at all, now that it is really happening. We all feel very confident and optimistic about the result of the landings, and we all think it is going to be a walkover - at first, anyway. Also, it simply doesn't occur to anyone as a possibility that anything unpleasant can possibly happen - to other people, yes, but not to oneself, so naturally nobody worries about it. And also we are all intensely interested to see how this thing which we have been planning so long and training for so long does work out in practice. I hope you have been getting some of my letters, but I am afraid they haven't been very good ones recently for obvious reasons - and there probably won't be any more for some time as I shall be rather busy for a few days! Anyway, please don't worry, I am sure to be all right and no news is good news. All my love to you, and don't worry.

Your loving

Rodney

After the war he worked in the Post Staff College until he retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 1958. Later he worked with Shell. He passed away on 8 May 2007 at 91 years of age and he generously remembered the College in his will. A long, full and distinguished life after those early years at Bradfield.

Pictures of Rodney below in B House and the house football team in 1930

Bradfield is proud to remember him and his service.

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