The memoir of a World War Two nurse has been uncovered after his grandson found it hidden in an attic suitcase.

Debden writer, Liam Livings rediscovered the suitcase, left lying in his attic since the death of grandfather in 2007, this weekend.

He was amazed to find inside it, an exercise book filled with the experiences of his grandfather, Private Frank Livings, in the Second World War.

Frank had served as a nursing orderly in a field surgical hospital, working just behind the front line.

His writings contain fascinating anecdotes of soldiers swimming to the beach on D-Day, operating under gunfire, almost getting poisoned by cider and using a cow pat for a pillow!

“We drove out to Arromanches beach.  A messerschmitt flew down machine gunning us.  They missed us as bullets kept going into the sea either side of us.  The skipper drove out to the sea. He came back to try and land us again, this was D Day with fighting on the beach.”

He also describes an encounter with Field Marshal Montgomery:

“I was in the foyer when General Montgomery come bursting through the door.  He said to me ‘get all the surgeons down here straight away.’ He stood amongst them and said, ‘if I find you operate without anaesthetic I’ll have you slung out the army.  Two wrongs don’t make a right, I’ve warned you, you give the same treatment to the Germans as you do to our boys’.”

Frank, who grew up in Epping Green, never told anybody about his experiences, but Liam’s decision to work in the NHS, had prompted his grandfather to write down his medical experiences in 2004.

Liam, a member of Waltham Abbey Writers Group, said: “I felt really moved because he had chosen not to tell his children, but he had written this down for me. It was very emotional. He had put a lot of effort into writing the account and reading it is so vivid. He had written it the way he spoke, so for me it was really special.”

Frank explains his reasoning for writing his account as he touchingly signs off:

“Well Liam, this is some of my experiences in my army career. I have never ever told anyone before, but now 66 years on, I thought someone should know about it so I picked you being my eldest grandson and hope you will be proud of your old Granddad.

“D Day boy Frank Livings, Private 14643780.”