q John Haddock Article - Exercise Tiger
Skip to main content

John Haddock Article

Article written about John Haddock, Friday April 23 2004 by Graham Collyer. This article appeared in the local South Hams press as the region prepared to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Exercise Tiger.

Preparing for Exercise Tiger
By Graham Collyer

While the focus in the next few days will be on the 60th anniversary of the tragedy of Exercise Tiger, set against the backdrop of the enforced evacuation of almost 3,000 people from their homes in the southern South Hams, one resident of Dartmouth will also recall the period, some months earlier, when he and his RNVR colleagues were engaged in preparing the beaches for the Americans’ planned rehearsal for D-Day.

John Haddock was stationed at Dartmouth from May to August 1943 and was among working parties that made daily trips out from the harbour to various beaches that the Americans had earmarked for their great exercise. Their job was to ensure the beaches were rugged enough to withstand the pounding they were soon to be given by wave after wave of American tanks and vehicles.

That was about all he and his fellow servicemen knew, and he was soon on the move from Dartmouth, to which he did not return until 1975. Exercise Tiger began to materialise after the local residents had been cleared from the area, but what went on within that exclusion zone was a closely guarded secret.