D-Day

D-Day: Chelsea Pensioners Share Memories 75 Years After Normandy Landings

The 75th anniversary of D-Day will be marked with commemorations in June.

Veterans of the Normandy Landings have been sharing their memories and thoughts, less than a month before the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is encouraging its residents who took part in the operation to share their stories, to preserve their legacy for the future.

They are the last of their generation - among more than 60,000 British soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy in a pivotal moment of World War Two.

The few who survived are all now at least in their 90s.

D-Day Chelsea Pensioner medals.
Medals worn by veteran James George.

Veteran Bill Fitzgerald said: "When I was 16 years of age living in London I was in the Army cadets.

"As far as firing and using a rifle and stuff like that I was ok, you know.

"To see all those bodies in the water and losing some of your friends, it wasn't very nice.

"You get no advance [notice] of what's going to happen."

James George was also there that day.

"I try to forget about it really, that something had happened, and it will always be with me," he said.

Royal Marine Commandos going ashore during D-Day (Picture: PA).
Royal Marine Commandos going ashore during D-Day (Picture: PA).

It was the largest land, sea and air military operation in history.

Code named Operation Overlord, it led to the liberation of France, and opened up a second front against Nazi Germany that would ultimately lead to its defeat.

It was a decisive moment for the future of the whole world.