had enough space to put down your bag there was nowhere to stretch out.
Charles, the son of miner and First World War veteran Edward Eagles and his wife Catherine, was born in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, in 1924.
"We knew when things were about to start moving, though, as the quality of our food improved significantly.
"The noise of the shells, bullets and aircraft it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. All you could see were ships and boats and soldiers," recalls Charles, now 89.
"I managed that but, when marching off the landing ramp, I dropped straight into a bomb crater on the sea bed. I lost all my gear and could have drowned."
"I was asked what part of the world I came from and I replied I was a Newcastle lad," he said. "The next thing I knew I was on a train north to join Durham Light Infantry.
Charles missed his first posting while undergoing emergency treatment and was told he could either take the commando course again or join another regiment.
A photographer who survived the bullets and bombs of D Day today on the 70th anniversary of the landings recalls the hell that was Normandy on June 6, 1944.
A WELL KNOWN Wearside businessman who took part in the D Day landings returned to the beaches of Normandy to honour his fallen comrades.
Having survived the fierce fighting, the bomb disposal expert went on to cheat death several times during the rest of the war. He has never, however, forgotten D Day.
"I was placed in the hold of a ship with my company. Some of the soldiers wrote letters, others looked at family photographs or cleaned their rifles," recalls Charles.
Finally, battalion by battalion, more than 3,000 allied soldiers left the woods and made their way into Southampton where they boarded boats and landing craft.
The noise of shells, bullets and aircraft "whizzing" over his head greeted Charles as he was dragged from the water. Ships were behind him; dozens of dead soldiers ahead.
"I remember falling over dead bodies as I tried to run up the beach. Nike Air Max 90 Navy Blue And Gold
"It was all about supplies and I hated it," he said. "I was only there for about a month before I volunteered for the commandos. It was tough, but I enjoyed it much more."
"It was our job to dismantle booby traps and landmines. I volunteered for it, although some thought it was almost like a suicide mission," he recalls.
Private Eagles found himself in the 9th DLI. It was not long, however, before he was recruited into a new platoon S Company and dealing with deadly explosives.
Then came D Day. Charles and his comrades were ordered to gather at Nightingale Wood, close to Southampton, and wait. Days dragged past without further news.
"We were also told to make our wills out before leaving."
"I ended up in Brancepeth and was greeted by a lad from Seaham called George Burrows. He was a great bloke but I couldn't understand a word he said at first!"
"It was so bloody hot that it absolutely stank with all these men crammed together. You only Nike Air Max 90 Essential Alligator
"Then the weather got choppy and the invasion, which was originally scheduled for June 5, got cancelled. We weren't allowed off the boat, though; we had to wait it out."
Day veteran's return to honour his comrades
"Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery came through, to try and boost our morale with a chat. General Dwight D. Eisenhower paid us a visit as well," recalls Charles.
I had nothing left, no gun or explosives. It was a terrible day, and I will never, ever, forget it," he said.
"I lost a lot of friends during D Day, and this is not the first time I've returned to put crosses on their graves. It is important that we never forget the sacrifices they made."
before the course finished, however, Charles ended up in hospital after a pal slipped down a cliff during training and fell straight onto his shoulders.
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"As we got close to the beach, we had to climb down a rope ladder into a landing craft. This wasn't easy, especially carrying 100 weight of high explosive," he said.
After leaving school at 14, he started selling bikes in a sports shop. The storm clouds of war were gathering, however, and at 18 he joined the Royal Army Service Corps.
Finally, with a calm period of weather predicted for June 6, D Day was given the go ahead. Charles landed on Gold Beach at 9.30am in the middle of fierce Nike Air Max 90 Womens Size 5 fighting.
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