Veterans of World War II speak on their experiences in Normandy during June of 1944 at the Normandy Victory Museum, France 030622 CREDIT US Army.jpg_.jpg
Second World War veterans shared their experiences of D-Day at the Normandy Victory Museum, France, earlier in the week (Picture: US Army).
D-Day

Second World War veterans honoured on eve of D-Day anniversary

British veterans gathered in one of the first sites liberated from the Nazis.

Veterans of World War II speak on their experiences in Normandy during June of 1944 at the Normandy Victory Museum, France 030622 CREDIT US Army.jpg_.jpg
Second World War veterans shared their experiences of D-Day at the Normandy Victory Museum, France, earlier in the week (Picture: US Army).

More than 20 British Second World War veterans gathered on Sunday near Pegasus Bridge, one of the first sites liberated by Allied forces from Nazi Germany’s control.

This comes ahead of Monday’s anniversary of the D-Day landings, which took place on 6 June 1944.

Veterans, their families, and French and international visitors took part in series of events organised over the weekend for the 78th anniversary of D-Day.

This year’s D-Day anniversary comes after two successive years of the COVID-19 pandemic restricted or deterred visitors.

Welcomed by the sound of bagpipes at the Pegasus Memorial in Ranville, British veterans attended a ceremony commemorating a key operation in the first minutes of the Allied invasion of Normandy, when troops had to take control of a strategically-crucial bridge.

On Monday, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, home to the graves of 9,386 who died fighting on D-Day and in the operations that followed, will host US veterans and thousands of visitors in its first major public ceremony since 2019.

On D-Day, Allied troops landed on the beaches codenamed Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword and Gold, carried by 7,000 boats.

On that single day, 4,414 Allied soldiers lost their lives and more than 5,000 were wounded.

On the German side, several thousand were killed or wounded.