Holly shares the story of her grandad serving in WW2 and the injury that saved his life

Elena Chabo
Photo credit: Lia Toby - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

Holly Willoughby shared some fascinating family history in honour of Armed Forces Day. The TV presenter shared on Instagram, a beautiful black and white photo of a young man, revealing in the caption that the chap in the photograph is in fact her grandfather.

"My Grandad Donald joined the Navy at the age of 18. He was a Chief Petty Officer during WW2," Holly explained to her followers, going on to share some of the information she knows about his time in the Navy and the time the snap was taken.

"The ship in the photo, the HMS Resolution, was just one of the ships he was on. I think the picture of the ship was taken when she was torpedoed by French submarine Beveziers at the battle of Dakar, off the West Coast of Africa. She had a big hole in her port side - the back of the photo says she was listing 13 degrees," she wrote.

Then the This Morning star went on to reveal some even more fascinating information about young Donald's time in the Navy. While we know the incredible risk those who serve in the armed forces repeatedly face, Holly and her family can pinpoint an exact moment of chance when their grandfather avoided losing his life.

"He was due to serve of HMS Hood but before he joined the crew he injured his leg and missed sailing on her - if he had sailed he would of gone down with the other 1415 crew members when the Bismarck sank her in 1941… our family history would have been very different."

Holly finished the story with a note on the pride and gratitude she feels, writing: "I’m hugely proud of him and grateful to everyone who dedicate themselves to the armed forces. Happy Armed Forces Day. #armedforcesday ❤️"

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Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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