Now It Can Be Told! - Eight Men to Guard the King
When this country faced invasion, after the withdrawal of the B.E.F. from France by way of Dunkirk, in 1940, prompt and serious consideration had to be given to the safety of Their Majesties and the two Princesses. How they were protected remained a secret until June 7, 1945.
A special bodyguard was formed of eight officers of the Brigade of Guards. To these fell the duty of safeguarding the Royal Family in the event of mass invasion. The chosen eight were known as the Coates Mission - after James Coates, commanding officer of the holding battalion of the Coldstream Guards - and one of their number was posthumously awarded the V.C. on the day that the secret of the Coates Mission was made public. He was Lieut. I. O. Liddell. He had remained with the Mission until danger of invasion had passed, going back then to his regiment and taking part in the fighting in Normandy within a fortnight of D-Day. Seventeen days after the action which won him the V.C. a German sniper's bullet laid him low. He died without knowing that the greatest military award this country can bestow was his.
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