Chelsea Pensioner and D-Day Veteran George Skipper CREDIT PA
WWII

D-Day Anniversary Likely ‘Last Chance’ To Remember Fallen Comrades, Chelsea Pensioner Says

George Skipper has urged his fellow D-Day veterans to sign up to the RBL's free trip to Normandy.

Chelsea Pensioner and D-Day Veteran George Skipper CREDIT PA

George Skipper was 20-years-old and a newlywed when he set sail for Normandy in 1944 (Picture: PA).

A trip organised by the Royal British Legion (RBL) to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day will likely be the “last chance” to remember those who lost their lives, a Chelsea pensioner has said.

George Skipper, 95, urged his fellow D-Day veterans to fill the 100 spaces still available.

"Get on that boat and think you're lucky to be on it because there's a lot of people that didn't make it,” Mr Skipper said.

"Every time I go to events I think, 'Where's Tommy?' They're all passing away. It must be the last chance."

Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea 190918 CREDIT MOD
George Skipper lives at the Royal Hospital Chelsea (Picture: Ministry of Defence).

Veterans and a guest or carer will depart from Dover aboard the MV Boudicca on 2 June and take part in commemorative events in Normandy until 6 June.

Door-to-door travel expenses will be paid for by the RBL, the Ministry of Defence and Arena Travel.  

Mr Skipper said he had arranged to take a “lovely, marvellous friend” on the trip.

“It can't come quick enough,” he added.

"It will be a great memory for me to think about the people who didn't make it."

George Skipper was 20-years-old and a newlywed when he set sail for Normandy in 1944. He landed on Gold Beach and jumped down into the neck-deep water.

He began helping men who could not swim – all as bullets whizzed around him.

For his courage, he was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by French President François Hollande in 2015.

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D-Day veterans have gathered in Normandy for decades to remember their fallen comrades.

"When the French president gave me the medal I said, 'it's too late, we lost too many men',” Mr Skipper said.

"I had my gun in my hand and just went forward. A lot got shot down but I was lucky. I must've done something good in my life.

"D-Day was a very important time in my life and I want to go back whilst I can to remember and to pay tribute to the friends and comrades that I lost.

"When I go back I see what we achieved and what we fought for."

192 veterans have signed up to the trip but there is space for a further 118 to attend.

The deadline for applications is 4 March and forms can be downloaded online.